10 of the Cheapest Front-Wheel Drive Vehicles for 2023

If you're shopping for a new ride, here are some of the best values in front-wheel drive cars and SUVs.

Red 2023 Nissan Versa in front of concrete wallNissan

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Despite typically offering greater interior space, efficiency, and improved traction on slippery surfaces compared to rear-wheel drive setups, some of the least expensive new vehicles are front-wheel drive (FWD). Here are ten of the cheapest FWD models out there, many of which prove that “cheap” doesn’t mean featureless or boring these days.

2023 Nissan Versa S: About $17,000

Nissan's entry-level sedan isn’t flashy, but the Versa is known for its generous front legroom and headroom. There are also standard safety features that either aren't offered or aren't standard in some of its competitors, like rear automatic braking. It’s also one of few new small cars with a standard manual transmission.

Yellow 2023 Mitsubishi Mirage side profile driving in the cityMitsubishi

2023 Mitsubishi Mirage ES: About $18,000

The Mitsubishi Mirage subcompact hatch’s 17.1 cu-ft of cargo space with the rear seats up and 39 mpg make it a good option for those who may otherwise have been drawn to a used small car. This year, forward collision warning is standard across the lineup, joined by an automatic transmission.

Gray Kia Rio driving down streetKia

2023 Kia Rio LX: About $18,000

The Rio stakes its claim in the subcompact sedan segment with best-in-class passenger room and an impressive 10-year/100,00-mile warranty. The Kia's 8.0-inch touchscreen is large and comes with standard Apple CarPlay/Android Auto capability.

Gray 2023 Kia Forte driving down mountain highwayHyundai

2023 Kia Forte LX: About $21,000

The compact Forte offers value at its low price point with a 32-mpg estimate, standard safety features like lane following and keeping assist, driver attention warning, rear occupant alert, and a generous 8.0-inch touchscreen inside. You'll also find best-in-class trunk space.

Green 2023 Hyundai Venue parked by the waterHyundai

2023 Hyundai Venue SE: About $21,000

Looking for SUV style and utility on a budget? The Hyundai Venue boasts a higher seating position than a typical sedan, plus a boxy cargo area tall enough to haul bigger items.

Blue 2023 Kia Soul parked outside buildingKia

2023 Kia Soul LX: About $21,000

As the third Kia here, the Soul's features are similar to the Forte — the same 147-hp engine, 8.0-inch touchscreen, and standard safety systems. The Soul's boxy shape hurts its fuel economy (30 mpg compared to the Forte's 32), but it also offers adequate passenger and cargo space.

Orange Nissan Kicks SUV driving down highwayNissan

2023 Nissan Kicks S: About $22,000

Like the Hyundai Venue, the Nissan Kicks pairs SUV-esque utility with compact sedan pricing. Its boxy cargo area can lug up to 25.3 cu-ft of whatever you want to throw at it, which is about double that of many sedans on this list.

Gray Volkswagen Jetta driving down highway by fall treesVolkswagen

2023 Volkswagen Jetta S: About $22,000

The venerable Jetta is a mainstay of the compact sedan category. Thankfully, VW packs the base S trim with a litany of features, like VW's App Connect to make the most of smartphone integration, an 8.0-inch digital instrument display, and safety tech, including blind-spot monitoring and six stability-enhancing systems.

Red Hyundai Elantra driving down city streetsHyundai

2023 Hyundai Elantra SE: About $23,000

Hyundai's play in the compact sedan segment draws the eye with its styling but sells itself with impressive standard equipment. The list includes forward collision avoidance, blind spot, driver attention warning, and lane-keeping/following assist systems. Topping off the Elantra is its 37-mpg estimate.

Toyota Corolla LE Wind Chill Pearl driving down highwayToyota

2023 Toyota Corolla LE: About $23,000

The Corolla name is synonymous with value in the compact class. The 2023 model continues to uphold that reputation with standard automatic climate control, a 4.2-inch digital instrument display, an 8.0-inch touchscreen, wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, and a comprehensive suite of driver assist systems. The Toyota also scores a 35-mpg estimate.

All vehicle pricing includes MSRP plus destination charges (set at the time of publication), and will be rounded to the nearest thousand.

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James Tate
James Tate has been writing about cars professionally for 15 years and he remains obsessed with them. He enjoys digging into the incredible technology of new vehicles as much as he likes the tactility and the driving experience of yesterday’s cars. He has written for a variety of legacy automotive magazines and websites.