As technology and engineering advance with each passing year, cars are being sold more as lifestyle choices than as modes of transportation. But all those extras we pack into our car choices can get expensive, and most of the time we just want to get where we’re going.
So, when you parse a car down to its most essential function, which automobiles are worth their weight in gold? These are the cheapest new cars of 2022.
Starting Price: $13,600
The Chevrolet Spark continues its reign as the cheapest new car on the market. In fact, it’s still the only vehicle with a with a sub-$14,000 base price. For that price you get a mere 98 horsepower but an impressive 38 highway mpg. The Spark also comes standard with a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay functionality, Bluetooth connectivity, rearview camera and climate control.
The Spark’s tradeoff for cost and efficiency is its size. You won’t have much space to maneuver within the cabin. But if you’re just looking for a great commuter or city car, this is not a bad choice.
Starting Price: $14,645
The Mirage’s engine provides an impressive fuel economy of 36 mpg city/43 mpg highway, but don’t expect much power out of it. Mustering a lowly 78 horsepower, the Mirage is the least powerful car on the market.
That doesn’t mean this compact vehicle has nothing to offer. It comes standard with several safety features – forward collision mitigation, lane departure warning and automatic high beam. Like the Spark, it also comes with an Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatible 7.0-inch display.
The Mitsubishi Mirage may not be the most fun car to drive, but if you’re running errands or commuting around the city, it may be the best cheapest new car of 2022 for you.
Starting Price: $14,980
The Versa’s starting price rose just $50 in 2022, allowing it to sneak under the $15,000 line for one more year. Not long ago, the Nissan model was the cheapest car around, but it was completely redesigned in 2020, which bumped the price tag up roughly $1,500.
The remodeling created a much-improved vehicle. (No more manually operated crank windows.) The car now comes with more legroom than one would expect, plenty of cargo room and a 122-horsepower, four-cylinder engine that’s more than adequate.
Safety is addressed with a host of features including automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, and automatic high-beams. The entry-level Versa S sedan retains Bluetooth functionality, but lacks the Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration you can find in higher trims.
Starting Price: $16,150
Last year, the Kia introduced both a sedan and hatchback Rio model. Both versions are still available today, although the latter will cost you about $1,000 more.
The car is still loaded with many of the standard features you’d find in higher-end vehicles, including Bluetooth capability and a 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration. The higher-trim level offers SiriusXM satellite radio, keyless entry, LED headlights and automated emergency braking and safety features.
In 2020, the Rio increased its combined mpg from 32 to 36, where it remains today. With standard entertainment options and improved fuel economy, the Rio is an even better value than in years past.
Starting Price: $16,645
The Accent’s price tag jumped nearly $1,500 in 2022, causing it to fall one spot on this list. Although not the cheapest, the Accent may deliver the best value of any car on the low-end of the price-tag spectrum. Depending on the trim level you’re willing to upgrade to, the car can deliver nearly all the features of a more costly automobile.
The Accent’s stylish – and roomy – interior belies its sub-$17,000 price. Last year, the model added an inline-four engine that raised its combined fuel rating to 36 mpg. The basic trim level comes with cruise control, Bluetooth capability and power windows and locks.
For cost-conscious consumers, a good warranty is essential. Hyundai delivers with a 5-year/60,000-mile warranty and 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
For more car recommendations, check out our test drives.
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This story was originally published in 2020 and has been updated.