The average cost of a new car in 2022 was just over $48,000. That number itself represents an increase of nearly $5,000 over the previous year. But even as the market continues to skyrocket, there's still a healthy amount of new cars that come in under the $25,000 mark for 2023 – and even a few bare-bones models that start at under $20,000. We should note that all of the prices listed below include the inescapable destination fees.
Manufacturers like Toyota, Nissan, and Hyundai still make up the bulk of brands that offer the most affordable cars on the market, but there are a few surprises. There's a pint-sized pickup truck, a few SUVs, and even some hybrids in the top 20.
The most expensive of the top 20 of 2023 is the Toyota Corolla Hatchback. It boasts a standard 2.0-liter engine and 169 horsepower, plus an 8.0-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, as well as the Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 suite of driver-assist and safety technology.
Not only is the Ford Maverick the most affordable truck in the country, but it’s also one of the 20 cheapest vehicles in the US for 2023. Starting at $23,690, The base XL model’s 2.5-liter hybrid four-cylinder engine gives the Maverick 191 horsepower and up to 37 miles per gallon combined. Buyers looking for a bit more capability can always move up to the turbocharged option and/or the off-road Tremor trim.
The Mazda 3 sedan undercuts the hatchback by a few thousand dollars with a starting price of $23,615. It has the same 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and 191 horsepower as the CX-30 crossover, with much of the same equipment inside – including the 8.8-inch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Mazda 3 sedan also achieves up to 31 miles per gallon combined.
Chevy’s tiniest SUV is also the most affordable vehicle in the range, considering the company killed the Spark in 2022. The 2023 Trailblazer starts at just $23,395 and comes with standard equipment like an 8.0-inch touchscreen and 17-inch wheels.
The Hyundai Kona will have an all-new look and most certainly a moderately bigger price tag for 2024. But buyers interested in a 2023 Kona can take home the compact crossover for just $23,285, and that comes with a standard 2.0-liter engine good for 147 horsepower and eight-way power-adjustable seats for the driver.
The Corolla remains one of the most affordable cars in the class for 2023 with a starting price of $22,645. Standard equipment on the base LE model includes things like a 169-horsepower four-cylinder engine, an 8.0-inch touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay, and Toyota Safety Sense 3.0.
The Volkswagen Jetta soldiers on into 2023 without too many updates. But with a starting price of $21,760 and standard equipment like an 8.0-inch digital instrument cluster, automatic emergency braking, and LED headlights and taillights, it’s a solid value in the compact space.
The Nissan Kicks is still one of the most affordable SUVs in the country with a starting price of $21,585. Updates for 2021 afforded the Kicks a new look and some additional tech, like a fresh 8.0-inch touchscreen display with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.
The Elantra undercuts the Corolla and Jetta for 2023 by a few hundred bucks. It brings with it 37 miles per gallon highway, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen display, among other features.
One of the most affordable five-door vehicles on this list, the 2023 Subaru Impreza hatchback, costs $21,315 for 2023. Granted, you will have to pay an extra $1,300 for a continuously variable transmission as opposed to the standard manual – which brings Subaru Eyesight active safety with it – but you do get all-wheel drive at no extra cost.
The Kia Soul boasts a sharp new redesign for 2023 that includes new headlights, updates to the bumpers, and even some new safety technology throughout the range. Most notably, every Soul now has a lane-keep assist feature with lane tracing, driver-attention warning, and high-beam assist. The base price for the 2023 Kia Soul is a cool $21,215 with destination fees included.
Just ahead of the Kicks is the Sentra, Nissan’s Honda Civic competitor. The Sentra undercuts most of the competition with a $21,045 starting price for 2023, and it comes with standard equipment like Nissan Safety Shield 360, automatic emergency braking, and up to 33 miles per gallon combined.
The Subaru Impreza sedan undercuts the hatchback by $500 for 2023. It too boasts a standard manual transmission and the same all-wheel-drive system as its five-door counterpart.
Kia’s compact, the Forte, is one of the most affordable options in the class. In fact, it undercuts the Corolla by more than $3,000 with its $20,815 starting price. Standard equipment includes a 2.0-liter engine with 147 horsepower and up to 34 miles per gallon combined alongside technology like an 8.0-inch touchscreen display with wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.
More affordable than the Kicks and Soul, the Hyundai Venue is the cheapest SUV in the US. The base SE model starts at just $20,795 in the US for 2023 and includes standard automatic emergency braking, an 8.0-inch touchscreen, and a 121-horsepower engine with up to 31 miles per gallon combined.
The Rio 5-Door is second only to the Mitsubishi Mirage in the US as far as affordable hatchbacks go. Starting at $18,815, the Rio is a no-frills hatchback with very few standard features – but the $1,800 Technology package adds things like an 8.0-inch touchscreen and extra safety equipment.
A sibling to the standard Mirage, the G4 is Mitsubishi’s four-door version. Both cars offer very basic features, like cloth seats and a three-cylinder engine producing just 78 horsepower.
Hyundai may have killed the subcompact Accent in the US, but you can still buy its corporate cousin, the Kia Rio. The Rio starts at $18,515 in sedan form (as you saw, the hatch is slightly pricier), and it comes with very basic features like air conditioning and a four-cylinder engine with 120 horsepower.
Once the most affordable car in the US, the Mitsubishi Mirage falls to second for 2023 with a starting price of $17,290. It’s still the most affordable hatchback in the country, at least. Under the hood is the same three-cylinder engine good for 78 horsepower.
The most affordable car in the US in 2023 is – drum roll please – the Nissan Versa. Starting at $16,755 for the base S model with the five-speed manual transmission, the Versa is a budget-friendly sedan that offers standard equipment like front and rear automatic emergency braking, high-beam headlight assist, and up to 30 miles per gallon combined.
Cheapest Cars In The US 2023
- Toyota Corolla Hatchback: $24,100
- Ford Maverick: $23,690
- Mazda3: $23,615
- Chevrolet Trailblazer: $23,395
- Hyundai Kona: $23,285
- Toyota Corolla: $22,645
- Volkswagen Jetta: $21,760
- Nissan Kicks: $21,585
- Hyundai Elantra: $21,545
- Subaru Impreza 5-Door: $21,315
- Kia Soul: $21,215
- Nissan Sentra: $21,045
- Subaru Impreza: $20,815
- Kia Forte: $20,815
- Hyundai Venue: $20,795
- Kia Rio 5-Door: $18,815
- Mitsubishi Mirage G4: $18,290
- Kia Rio: $17,875
- Mitsubishi Mirage: $17,290
- Nissan Versa: $16,755