Need an Inexpensive Car? These 3 Models Are Under $20,000

Happy expecting couple searching for the right family car in a showroom.
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Trying to find a cheap new car in a year of record high sticker prices is the economic equivalent of trying to parallel park on a crowded city street during rush hour. Yes, it’s a serious challenge — but not impossible.

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You can still find at least three new models priced at under $20,000, Fox News reported. That’s less than half the average new car price of $46,259 in August, according to estimates from J.D. Power.

While prices continue to soar ever higher, the list of affordable cars continues to shrink. As Fox News noted, the cheapest new car in the United States — the $14,595 Chevrolet Spark — has been discontinued for the 2023 model year. So has the $17,740 Hyundai Accent.

However, there are still three choices left if you want to find a new car for less than $20,000.

Make Your Money Work for You

With the Chevy Spark due to be discontinued, the prize for cheapest new car heading into 2023 is the Nissan Versa sedan. It’s priced at $16,675 for 2022 and is expected to return in 2023. You’ll have to kick in more money to get certain features, however. For example, if you want to get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, you’ll need to move up to the $19,485 SV trim.

Placing just behind the Versa for affordability is the 2021 Mitsubishi Mirage, which starts at $17,290 in 2022, though that price is likely to move higher next year as the model transitions to an automatic transmission.

You won’t get a lot of “vroom” with the Mirage, though. Its 76 horsepower, three-cylinder engine makes it the least powerful car in the United States. But it does get good gas mileage at 39 mpg, and comes with an AM/FM radio with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration.

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The third new car priced at under $20,000 is the Kia Rio. It sells for $17,545 in 2022, though Kia has not confirmed that the Rio will return next year. The car boasts a 120 HP, four-cylinder engine, automatic transmission, and wirelessly connected version of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There is also a five-door hatchback version called the Rio 5 with a price starting at $18,485.

Make Your Money Work for You

They may not be the most attractive options on the new car market, but for many — the price is probably right.

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About the Author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who previously held staff positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work also appeared in Charlotte Magazine, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting earned awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. In addition to journalism, he has worked in banking, accounting and restaurant management. A native of North Carolina who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story, “Saint Christopher,” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Two of his short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. His debut novel, Voodoo Hideaway, was published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.
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