2012 Honda Accord

15 Cars You Can Still Afford When You’re Broke

Buying a car isn’t cheap. Car shopping is a feat, filled with crunching numbers, negotiating down prices, and walking away from deals that are still too expensive. Car prices can fluctuate depending on your region and local dealerships, and finding a reliable and budget-friendly vehicle can be a challenging task.

However, several affordable options also offer fuel efficiency and practicality. If you’re in the market for a new car, there are still plenty of options out there that won’t wreck your budget.

1. Honda Civic

Honda Civic car on display at The 33th Bangkok International Motor Show on March 27, 2012 in Bangkok, Thailand.
Image Credit: Chatchai Somwat/Shutterstock.

The Honda Civic has long been a fan-favorite amongst the budget-conscious folk, and it is one of the most popular budget-friendly cars on the market. With its renowned reliability and excellent fuel efficiency, the Honda Civic caters to buyer’s preferences by being available in various trims and features. Honda Civic’s prices hover around $25,000; the vehicle tends to get between 31-35 mpg. 

2. Toyota Corolla 

2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid
Image Credit: Toyota.

The Toyota Corolla is comparable to the Honda Civic. Like the Civic, the Corolla’s reputation precedes it. Toyota, in large part, has meager maintenance costs throughout a vehicle’s lifespan. Corolla’s are known for their reliability, and the cars have spacious interiors, advanced safety features, and user-friendly technology. These compact sedans have an average mpg of 41.58. 

3. Honda Accord

2012 Honda Accord
Image Credit: Honda.

The Accord is another top-rated Honda. This popular midsize sedan comes in a variety of engine types and styles, but overall, the car gets an average of 35 mpg. Although the Accord is larger than the Civic, the vehicle maintains excellent fuel efficiency. The Honda Accord is a suitable option for those who want more space than the Civic but still want to find comfort and affordability. 

4. Ford Focus

2010 Ford Focus SE
Image Credit: WikiCommons.

The Ford Focus comes in sedan and hatchback options, and this compact car has been in production since 1999. Since its inception, the vehicle has undergone some redesigns and transformations. Ford released the most recent Focus in 2018. The Ford Focus is known for its practicality, fuel economy, and various series options. 

5. Hyundai Accent 

Hyundai Accent
Image Credit: Greg Gjerdinge/WikiCommons.

The Hyundai Accent is an affordable vehicle with generous standard features. The Accent offers a comfortable ride and boasts an impressive fuel economy. With a starting price of around $16,645, the Hyundai Accent is a practical, affordable option. The Accent offers a spacious interior and solid engine and transmission systems. 

6. Nissan Versa

Nissan Versa
Image Credit: Carlos Valenzuela/WikiCommons.

This subcompact car has a spacious interior, offering both affordability and functionality. With an approximate starting price of around $17,000, the Nissan Versa gets an average of 35 mpg. Known as one of the most affordable cars in America, the Versa boasts a sleek design, advanced safety features, and an excellent price for budget-conscious car buyers. 

7. Kia Forte

Kia Forte
Image Credit: WikiCommons.

The Kia Forte is a compact car that starts at around $19,990. The Kia Forte is an excellent option for those who want variety on a budget and is available in a two-door coupe, four-door sedan, and five-door hatchback style. The Forte gets an average of 31 mpg, and even though it’s a budget-friendly option, Kia’s dedication to compromise and safety is evident. 

8. Mitsubishi Mirage G4

Mitsubishi Mirage G4
Image Credit: Mr.choppers/Wikicommons.

The Mitsubishi Mirage shares similarities with the Nissan Versa but lacks comfort. The Mirage G4 is a sedan version of the Mirage hatchback, and while its rear seat is quite spacious, there’s still room for improvement. The Mirage G4 does get superb fuel economy with 37 mpg. The newest version of the Mirage offers pedestrian detection and other advanced safety features. 

9. Mazda Mazda 3

Mazda3 shown at the IAA 2013.
Image Credit: VanderWolf Images/Shutterstock.

One of the most popular and impressive compact cars on the market is the Mazda Mazda 3. While its price is slightly higher than other cars on this list, coming in at around $24,000, the Mazda 3 has a well-designed, spacious interior with excellent driving dynamics. The vehicle’s premium features justify its price point, and even though the Mazda 3 has slightly lower fuel economy, this car is a solid budget-friendly purchase. 

10. Subaru Impreza

2013 Subaru Impreza
Image Credit: WikiCommons.

After undergoing a complete transformation and redesign, the Subaru Impreza is ready to be your next affordable vehicle purchase. The sedan option is no longer available, which means the five-door hatchback is the only option available in newer models. All Subarus have all-wheel drive, which is an excellent feature when considering cost and affordability. The Subaru Impreza is a practical, affordable choice for those in regions with challenging weather conditions, and its reliability only emphasizes its value. 

11. Volkswagen Jetta

Volkswagen Jetta
Image Credit: WikiCommons.

One of the standout vehicles in the sedan category is the Volkswagen Jetta. This well-designed vehicle boasts a comfortable interior with a smooth ride. The cabin is spacious, and there’s precise handling. With an average of 33 mpg, the Jetta offers decent fuel economy. The base price for the Jetta is around $20,000 for a manual transmission. If you prefer an automatic transmission, the price is slightly higher. However, the Volkswagen Jetta is comparable to its rivals, the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. 

12. Chevrolet Trax

2017 Chevrolet Trax 4WD
Image Credit: WikiCommons.

If you’re looking for a crossover SUV, the Chevrolet Trax is one of the most affordable ones on the market. The second-generation Trax is a step up from its predecessor, and this vehicle has refined interior and exterior design features. The interior is much more spacious, and the cargo area has more room than the previous version. One of the significant downsides is that the Trax doesn’t come with all-wheel drive. However, this crossover SUV definitely won’t break the bank for the price point. 

13. Nissan Kicks

Nissan Kicks
Image Credit: Dinkun Chen/WikiCommons.

This subcompact crossover is the perfect choice for someone looking for style, efficiency, and affordability. This smaller SUV has advanced safety features, a spacious interior, and a modern style. With a starting price of around $19,500, the Nissan Kick offers an average of 33 mpg. This budget-friendly crossover will make you feel stylish—and practical. 

14. Hyundai Kona

Hyundai Kona Electric
Image Credit: Hyundai.

Blending versatility and performance, the Hyundai Kona offers ample cargo space with a stylish exterior. The Kona has user-friendly technology and is an excellent option for community and longer road trips. This subcompact SUV achieves a decent fuel efficiency of 30 mpg. Starting around $20,500, the Hyundai Kona is affordable and sleek. 

15. Chevrolet Spark

Chevrolet Spark
Image Credit: M 93/WikiCommons.

This elegant vehicle is compact and affordable. If you’re looking for a car that efficiently uses space, look no further: the Chevrolet Spark is the perfect car for you. Noted as one of the most affordable Chevrolet makes, the spark gets an average of 30 mpg. The Chevrolet Spark is a relatively small car with a decently small engine. 

Author: Marisa Higgins


Marisa Higgins is a lover of good storytelling, and she’s spent the past decade teaching college English, and writing and researching about American Literature and Culture. She lives in Knoxville, TN with her husband, and their Beagle-Chihuahua, Rumi, and cat, Rory. Marisa’s work can be found at A-Z Animals, FuelsFix, and TellTaleTV. You can visit her website here: www.marisadhiggins.com


Similar Posts