The year of sky-high car prices may put you off from owning a ride. But do not fret. There are inexpensive cars up your street that do not break the bank. Looking for the cheapest cars to buy in 2022? Read on to find the most affordable car today.
20. Nissan Leaf - $ 28,000
The Nissan Leaf is the most expensive car on this list, but it is the cheapest electric car. The Leaf costs slightly above $28,000 and offers 149 miles of driving, but the plus model offers 226 miles. The standard Leaf delivers 247 HP, but higher trims deliver up to 214 horses. The Nissan Leaf is not a commuter’s car but is ideal for city driving. The standard model offers too many tradeoffs. You must step up to the S plus model for the best experience. The base model has a 40.0 kWh charger, but the charging port is incompatible with most charging stations.
19. Toyota Camry - $25,845
High fuel economy, wide visors, and a comprehensive suite of standard driver and safety features are why the Camry is a good value when looking for mid-sized sedans. The base 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine makes 201 HP, but the engines vary across the trims. The highest trim is a V-6 engine. FWD is standard. The base trims have a 7.0-inch touchscreen; the upper trims use a 9.0-inch touchscreen to access the infotainment system. The 15.1 cubic feet of cargo space competes with the Honda Accord. The MSRP is $25,845, but expect to pay more if you want the V-6 models.
18. Honda Insight - $25,760
The Honda Insight and Civic have much in common except the hybrid powertrain available in the Insight. The base price is around $25,760 for the base trim. The Insight draws power from a hybrid powertrain that makes 151 horsepower. It has impressive acceleration numbers, hitting 0-60 mph in 7.7 seconds. What’s stunning is the EPA's estimated MPG. The Insight has 55 MPG in the city and 49 MPG on the highway. The interior is quiet and has a standard 8.0-inch touchscreen. Hard plastics clutter the interior, but there’s plenty of head and leg room for both rear and front seat passengers. Standard features include adaptive cruise control, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection.
17. Honda Civic - $23,645
The talking point for the 2022 Honda Civic is affordability. At $23,645, you can drive the entry-level Civic. Eight trims offer different variations for the four-cylinder engine under the hood. The new Civic makes 180 horsepower via a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine. Sadly, there's no manual transmission and only a CVT for the upper trim. The mid-range EX trim hits a respectable combined 36 MPG. Driver and safety assistance features are standard. The standard 7.0-inch touchscreen is intuitive, but you can choose a larger 9.0 or 10.2-inch screen. The Honda Civic will compete with the stylish Hyundai Elantra and the Honda Accord for a spot in your garage.
16. Hyundai Kona - $22,595
Starting at $22,595, the Hyundai Kona comes in two four-cylinder engine options; the 1.6-turbocharged and the 2.0-liter. The 2022 Kona offers a refreshed interior and exterior. Crisp handling becomes evident on corners; you can expect posh features higher up the trims. Lane keep assist, driver monitoring, and automatic braking are standard. The edgy exterior translates to the interior, where Hyundai furnishes the Kona with leather and soft materials. Two powertrains are available, six-speed or seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
15. Volkswagen Jetta | $21,460
The Jetta is a roomy compact sedan without a boyish look. Standard features include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and lane keep assist. A stylish exterior, updated R-Line trim, and a new engine are the notable features of the 2022 Jetta. Under the hood is a 158 hp 1.5-liter turbo four engine. The base model is a 6-speed manual transmission, but there's an optional eight-speed automatic. The interior has ambient lighting, and the features become more desirable as you go up the trims. You can expect to purchase the base model for $21,460.
14. Honda HR-V - $ 21,115
A classy interior and a subdued exterior are a cocktail for success in compact SUVs and crossovers. The Honda HR-V embodies the success of the crossovers and is powered by a four-cylinder engine via a CVT. The engine is grainy but does enough to compete with SUVs. Standard features include lane keep assist, lane departure warning, and lane keep assist. The HR-V averages 30 MPG, which is impressive. The drawback is that 0-60 is not insanely fast, clocking at around 8.6 seconds. The MSRP is $21,115 for the base model.
13. Nissan Sentra - $21,045
The compact car segment is never short of surprises. A surprise entry is the Nissan Sentra which delivers active driver assistance features and comfort in a neatly packaged car that won't cost you an arm and a leg to purchase. The MSRP is $21,045. The economically priced subcompact Sentra doesn’t won’t shove you back in the seat with its speed, but it will wow you with the features onboard and the MPG.
The Nissan Sentra is available in 3 trims, with the base trim costing an estimated $20 635. The MPG clocks in at 33, which is partly to the CVT. Under the hood is an inline-four engine delivering 149 horsepower. Although not sport-sedan, the car hits 0-60 in 8.9 seconds. It features premium interior and foldable rear seats to create more cargo space. A 2.0-liter five-cylinder engine powers the Nissan Sentra delivering via CVT to the front wheels. The MPG is an estimated 39 on the highway.
You can expect hard plastics and soft materials in the interior. There’s even a sunroof on the upper trims. Seven carry-on suitcases can fit in the 14 cubic feet of cargo space. The car is a bit noisy, despite not having a manual transmission. The Nissan Sentra's stylish body sits on the independent rear suspension, ensuring a comfortable ride. However, you will notice how the car jumps at the corners above the speed limit.
12. Hyundai Elantra - $20,995
By now, you know that certain car manufacturers produce affordable cars. Hyundai cars may be the industry standard for affordable cars. The Hyundai Elantra's athletic body covers the perfect blend of performance and efficiency. Underneath the hood is a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, or you can choose the 2.0-liter variant. For the 1.6-liter version, expect 147 hp and 201 hp for the 2.0 liter. According to Prnewswire, the Elantra was 2021’s North American Car of the year, which speaks to its effectiveness. You can get an impressive 43 MPG on the highway with the Elantra. The 2022 lineup introduces the N trim.
11. KIA Forte - $20,115
The Kia Forte's sporty body is backed by the buzzy inline-four engine available in 1.6- or 2.0-liter engines. The latter kicks out 201 hp while the former issues 147 hp. You can choose between a CVT, a six-speed manual, and a seven-speed automatic for transmission. The Forte is available in four trims. The base price for the Forte is $20,115, but you can get the FE trim for $19,090. The KIA Forte is ideal for everyday driving averaging 31 city MPG and 41 on the highway.
10. Toyota Corolla - $20,075
The 2022 Corolla has nine iterations. It can be yours for $20,075. The Corolla has excellent driver assistance features, great fuel economy, and a standard 7.0-inch touchscreen. The trims cost around the same price range, with the most expensive trim under $29k. An inline four-cylinder engine powers the Corolla. There’s a 1.8 or 2.0 liter available. The 2.0-liter variant kicks out 169 horses. The drawback is laughable cargo space. Overall, it is a comfortable car for city driving. The EPA estimate for city driving is 31.
9. Kia Soul - $19,910
The unique utilitarian KIA Soul gets a refreshed CVT from the base trim mated to a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine delivering 201 horsepower. KIA Soul has six distinct trims. The base MSRP is $19,910. The KIA Soul has impressive cargo space, a combined MPG of 27, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system. According to JD Power, the Soul won the small SUV car of the year. When you buy the Soul, you get an industry-beating 100,000-mile warranty that only competes with Honda's warranty. The higher trims get a 10.25-inch touchscreen and standard automatic emergency braking. You may have to pay a few thousand dollars more for the premium trims to get the best out of the KIA Soul.
8. Subaru Impreza - $19,700
Subaru’s reigning flat fours or boxer engines are known for their desirable acceleration and torque. A 2.0-liter flat-four powers the Subaru Impreza, delivering 152 hp. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, but you can step up to the CVT, which will cost you $20,895 compared to the manual at $19,700. The unique feature is the Subaru Impreza is AWD. You get standard collision warning and lane keep assist for the CVT variant. The Impreza exudes a comfortable ride with an AWD that handles corners and breakout angles excellently. The estimated MPG on the highway is 31, but you can expect to spend more on gas as the 2.0-liter car is thirstier in real-life driving.
7. Hyundai Venue - $18,900
Entry-level subcompacts always present good value for money. The Hyundai Venue is no different. Under the hood, you will find a 121-horsepower 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. The Venue is available in three trims, with the base trim costing you $18,900 and the most expensive trim at an estimated $22,150. Like other Hyundais, the Venue has a 100,000-mile powertrain warranty. The EPA’s estimated combined MPG is 31.
6. Hyundai Accent - $17,690
Cars under $20k do not come any better than the Hyundai Accent. You've probably ridden one when using ride-sharing apps or car rentals at the airport. The Hyundai Accent's base price is $17,690. Even the highest trim is under $20k ($19,600). A 1.6-liter four-cylinder inline-four engine powers the car via CVT. You can expect up to 41 MPG. The Hyundai Accent is nowhere near fast and is one of the slowest cars to drive, but you can fix that. But the speed should not put you off, considering you get a subcompact sedan with a roomy interior and intuitive 5.0-inch touchscreen. Sadly, there is no manual transmission for the 2022 model.
5. KIA Rio - $17,090
There are two variants of the KIA Rio; the sedan and the five-door hatchback. The sedan costs $940 less. The difference between the two is cargo space, with the five-door hatch having more cargo space than the sedan. The KIA Rio five-door version offers 120 Hp delivered via a CVT from the 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. The hatchback's base price is $17,090, while the sedan costs $16,150. For most subcompact cars, You will expect to make compromises. The KIA Rio doesn't offer many tradeoffs and has all the bells and whistles for a car ideal for urban and country driving. The MPG in the city is 33, while on the highway, it is 41. It should be a no-brainer why the fuel attendant at the gas station will frown when you want to replenish your Rio’s tank.
4. Nissan Versa - $16,205
An attractive exterior usually covers a mediocre car. But this is not the case with the Nissan Versa. The Nissan Versa has on-road refinements and advanced safety features you will not find in cars in its price range. A new Nissan Versa will set you back around $16,205 for its base trim and close to $20,000 for the SR and SV Premier trims. A standard Versa is powered by an inline-four engine kicking out 122 hp.
The Nissan Versa base trim is a six-speed manual transmission with 35 MPG compared to the SR and SV trims with CVT and 40 MPG for highway. The car includes Nissan’s Intelligent Mobility feature to complement safety features like lane departure warning and pedestrian detection. Automatic headlights and cruise control are also part of the base trim. The only drawback is the modest acceleration. The Nissan Versa offers plenty of features for such a tight budget.
3. Honda Fit - $16,190
The Honda Fit enjoys a spacious cabin and impressive fuel economy. There are seven variants, with the base model starting at $16,190. The highest trim costs slightly above $20,000. You can expect a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine delivering 130hp via manual transmission or CVT for the higher trims. Adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning are standard, but you can expect responsive utility in the premium trims. Every other trim has a 7.0-inch touchscreen except for the base LX trim. The compact car can give you up to 300,000 miles of service before developing complications.
2. Mitsubishi Mirage - $16,125
Let’s break the monotony of KIAs and Nissans with almost the cheapest car in America. The Mitsubishi Mirage is a fuel-efficient sedan with 35 MPG in the city and 41 MPG on the highway. The base price is $16,125. The five-seater is powered by a 3-cylinder engine kicking out 78 horses. You wouldn’t expect the lazy acceleration to compete with other cars, but it makes up for the unrefined engine with ample cargo space and soft-to-touch interior materials. Pedestrian detection and automatic braking are standard in the 2022 model with CVT
1. Chevrolet Spark - $14,595
What could be better than a basement price for a car? Rock bottom prices for a neat hatchback come in the form of Chevrolet Spark. The car will be discontinued in 2023, and we may have limited time to enjoy the base price of $14,595. The two-door hatchback relies on a tiny inline-four engine to deliver 98 horses through a five-speed manual transmission. You don't expect the car to retain much spark for the price tag. Cruise control and forward warning collision are optional for the base trim. However, you get car Wi-Fi, keyless ignition, brake assist, and rear parking sensors for higher trims.
Written by Benjamin Smith
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