10 of the Cheapest Cars for 2023
Everything on this list comes in below $26,000.
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According to Kelley Blue Book, new-car purchase prices soared to an all-time high late last year, with non-luxury vehicles selling for an average of more than $45,000. If that's too rich for your blood, don't fret: There are still some low-cost options available. Here are 10 of the cheapest 2023 sedans and hatchbacks, ranked from most to least expensive for dramatic effect.
All vehicle pricing includes MSRP plus destination charges (set at the time of publication), and will be rounded to the nearest thousand.
2023 Subaru Legacy Base: $25,000
The midsize Subaru Legacy is the largest sedan on this list and comes standard with all-wheel drive, in case traction is a concern. With the base 182-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, it returns 30 mpg on the EPA's combined cycle.
2023 Mazda Mazda3 2.5 S Sedan: $24,000
The Mazda3 is a versatile compact car, available in sedan or hatchback ($1,000 more) form with front- or all-wheel drive and either a 191-hp naturally aspirated engine or a 250-hp turbocharged four-cylinder (as options increase, so do prices). Buyers can spec a manual transmission on the entry-level hatch, but that pushes the price above 30 grand.
Toyota | Corolla XSE
2023 Toyota Corolla LE Sedan: $23,000
Budget-minded car shoppers have turned to the reliable Toyota Corolla for decades. Whether you choose the entry-level sedan or hatch (about $1,500 more), you'll get a 169-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine underhood and see 35 mpg combined. Toyota's Safety Sense 3.0 suite (adaptive cruise control, forward-collision mitigation, automatic high-beams, and more) is standard, as is an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
2023 Hyundai Elantra SE: $22,000
The Hyundai Elantra is not only affordable, but also stylish and well-equipped, with desirable safety features like collision-avoidance tech and blind-spot monitoring. The base model sees 37 mpg, thanks to its fuel-efficient 147-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine.
Volkswagen | 2021 Jetta
2023 Volkswagen Jetta S: $22,000
If you want something a bit more conservative-looking than the Elantra, the VW Jetta might do. Blind-spot monitoring, LED head- and taillights, and an 8.0-inch digital gauge cluster come standard, but forward-collision mitigation costs roughly $1,000 on the S model. Said base model, employing a 158-hp turbocharged 1.5-liter engine and a manual transmission, delivers 34 mpg. Should you opt for the $800 automatic, the fuel-economy rating improves by 1 mile per gallon.
2023 Subaru Impreza Base Sedan: $21,000
In base form, the compact, all-wheel-drive Subaru Impreza makes do with a 152-hp 2.0-liter engine and a five-speed manual transmission. An automatic is available for $1,300 extra regardless of body style (a hatchback version costs about $500 more), and it may be worth the upcharge for fuel economy alone: Manual models see at best 26 mpg combined, while those with an automatic have ratings in the low 30s.
2023 Kia Forte LX Sedan: $21,000
The last compact car on this list, the Kia Forte LX uses a 147-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and achieves 34 mpg. The Korean automaker's Wise Driver tech (automatic emergency braking, lane keeping, and driver-attention warning) comes standard, as does an 8.0-inch infotainment system and automatic high-beams.
2023 Kia Rio LX Sedan: $18,000
The Kia Rio competes in the subcompact space with a 36-mpg combined fuel-economy rating, courtesy of its efficient 120-hp 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. Vehicles in this class aren't usually known for extensive feature sets, but this vehicle offers standard wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. A Rio hatchback runs about $19,000 to start.
Mitsubishi | 2022 Mirage
2023 Mitsubishi Mirage ES Hatchback: $18,000
Unlike the other multibody models on this list, the bare-bones Mitsubishi Mirage is cheaper as a hatchback than a sedan (by about $1,000). Its meager 78-hp 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine isn't powerful, but it helps the little Mitsu — which has an EPA rating of up to 39 mpg combined — win out over every other model on this list in fuel efficiency.
2023 Nissan Versa S: $17,000
Although it's the cheapest car on this list, the Nissan Versa is not completely spartan. The base model's safety equipment includes automatic high-beams plus front and rear automatic emergency braking, for example. With the standard 122-hp 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and five-speed manual transmission, the sedan delivers 30 mpg. Opting for the automatic model raises the price to around $19,000 and the EPA score to 35 mpg.