The average transaction price for new cars in the United States in 2018 teetered around the $35,000 mark. Sure, the economy’s doing well (for now), but that’s still enough scratch to afford a bottom-level luxury car, and maybe you don’t feel like spending big (or even medium) on your next car purchase
Paying a fair price is always important, but if you really want to get the cheapest new car you have to look beyond the purchase price.
The 5-Year Cost to Own figures combines depreciation with fuel, financing and insurance costs to help you make a more informed decision when choosing an affordable new car.
The Best Most Affordable Cars 2019
2018 Subaru Crosstrek
With its tall ride and standard all-wheel drive, the Crosstrek is a compact SUV that’s as capable on the trail as it is around town. Available EyeSight driver aid tech brings lane keeping assist for this generation along with stop-and-go adaptive cruise control. Subie’s StarLink tech is greatly improved and now features standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
Drivers in the market for a compact SUV that can tackle a rough dirt trail will find few options better than the 2018 Subaru Crosstrek. More importantly, the tall-wagon now boasts new tech that makes it easier to live with and safer on the road.
2018 Hyundai Sonata
A new eight-speed automatic paired with a spunky turbocharged engine brings some fun to the commute. Adaptive cruise control works in stop-and-go traffic.
The 2018 Hyundai Sonata is a great choice for practical folks who still crave a bit of driving a pleasure.
2018 Nissan Rogue
New ProPilot Assist technology combines really good lane-keeping guidance and adaptive cruise control with a backup plan for keeping incapacitated drivers safe. 2018 models come standard with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay to go with the larger dashboard display. Divide-N-Hide storage and hands-free hatch offer flexibility when loading and unloading.
The 2018 Nissan Rogue finally gains the edge that it needs to stand out in the crowded compact SUV segment with new and unique driver aid technology to match its solid set of amenities.
2018 Chevrolet Camaro
Potent V8 muscle and adaptive suspension make the Camaro SS both a solid performance machine and pleasant daily driver. MyLink offers Wi-Fi hotspot, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto capabilities. Redline package brings more visual attitude. A refined and solid all-around American muscle car.
2017 Kia Soul Turbo
The additional 40 ponies make the 2017 Kia Soul Turbo Exclaim feel much more responsive around town and off the line. The Turbo is also the most fuel-efficient gasoline Soul. Kia’s excellent UVO3 tech leaves very little to be desired and features standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
The 2017 Kia Soul Turbo takes everything good about the standard Soul and puts just a little more pep in this fun and spacious compact’s step, but don’t mistake it for a hot hatch.
2017 Honda Ridgeline
The 2017 Honda Ridgeline is easy to live with. Its V6 engine is efficient and robust. Handling on road and trail is comfortable and controlled. The Ridgeline boasts one of the most extensive suites of driver aid and infotainment technologies in the class and offers unique features such as a dual-action tailgate, in-bed audio, and a lockable trunk.
It’s not the most rugged pickup, but the 2017 Honda Ridgeline is still more truck than most buyers will ever need. Its crossover blend of efficiency and technology makes it easy to live with as a daily driver.
2017 Toyota 86
The 2017 Toyota 86 backs up its compact sports car looks with exceptional handling and an engine that feels happy to run all day at high rpm. Despite a stiff suspension, Toyota manages to tune in reasonably comfortable ride quality.
The 2017 Toyota 86 makes for an excellent little sports car, its focus more on handling than power, while proving comfortable enough to drive on a regular basis.
2017 Honda CR-V
The 1.5-liter turbocharged engine is pretty peppy, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on EX trim lines and above.
The 2017 Honda CR-V promises to be a big seller for Honda. Its sophisticated looks, zippy engine, and myriad features give it a jump on the competition.
2017 Ford F-150
The F-150 has so many choices you can mix-and-match your way to your perfect truck. Pro Trailer Backup Assist is a relief for those who stress out when reversing a trailer. The F-150 is a great all-around truck with a ton of available features. It’s especially good for those new to towing.
2017 Mazda CX-5
Mazda gives its 2017 CX-5 fine interior appointments and a quiet cabin while retaining sharp handling. An available head-up display shows blind-spot warnings and traffic sign alerts.
The 2017 Mazda CX-5 is a great choice in the crowded small SUV segment, offering comfortable road manners and a quiet cabin. It’s in-dash electronics fall behind the times, but its head-up display is an excellent option.
2017 Honda Civic Hatchback
The Civic Hatch Sport offers solid fuel economy, astute driving dynamics and excellent cargo space with the rear seats up. If you want a slightly sportier offering than the competition that won’t break the bank, the Civic Hatchback Sport is a very tough act to beat.
2017 Chrysler Pacifica
Svelte looks encase a well-designed, quiet minivan with loads of thoughtful touches, including tops-in-class convenience features and advanced safety tech. Chrysler’s clever Pacifica charges to the head of the carpool lane with the nicest interior and smart, family-minded technology.