Purchasing a new car will always be pricier than a used one, but that doesn't necessarily mean there aren't affordable options available. The average cost of a new car is around $37,000, according to the online automotive resource Edmunds.
For this reason, the review board narrowed down a variety of vehicles that won't break the bank. It turns out that if you want to maximize your savings, you should opt for a sport utility vehicle, sedan or hatchback. There are even a few electric cars available under the average threshold.
Here are the nine vehicles that made it onto the review board's "Most Affordable Cars for 2020."
9. Chevrolet Bolt EV
Price range: $37,890 to $38,020
Miles-per-gallon-equivalent: 119 (combined)
Number sold in 2019: 16,418
It's no secret that electric cars are pricy. However, there are a few models out there that are cheaper than Tesla's new Model 3, which can cost up to $56,990. The 2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV makes the cut as one of the most affordable electric cars on the market with a range that can reach up to a 259-mile range, according to Edmunds. There were 16,418 Bolt EVs sold in 2019.
8. Hyundai Ioniq Electric
Price range: $31,235 to $36,284
Miles-per-gallon-equivalent: 135 (combined)
Number sold in 2019: 19,574
The most popular electric car on this list is also the second most affordable in the category. Enter the Hyundai Ioniq Electric. Edmunds noted that the 2019 model is the one that offers value and versatility in performance, information and entertainment features and mileage that can reach up to 124 miles. The Ionic Electric's foldable rear seating was cited as an additional perk. However, the biggest con is the car's limited availability. It's currently only available in California.
Despite the limitation, the Ioniq Electric had a sale increase of 29.8 percent, going from 15,076 to 19,575 in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
7. Chevrolet Traverse
Price range: $30,995 to $41,998
Miles-per-gallon: 21 (combined)
Number sold in 2019: 147,122
The most popular car in this ranking certainly isn't the cheapest. However, the Chevrolet Traverse is an SUV that offers the most room for the money with its three-row seating. It's still more affordable than its three-row competitors for 2020 – the Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot – which cost up to $48,800 and $49,620, respectively. To get Chevy's Traverse at the lowest price point, you're going to have to do some digging, according to Edmunds, due to many dealers not carrying the low-cost L trim. Though, the extra work may be worth it to get this quiet SUV with its V6 engine.
In 2019, there were 147,122 Traverses sold.
6. Nissan Leaf
Price range: $30,885 to $35,878
Miles-per-gallon-equivalent: 112 (combined)
Number sold in 2019: 12,365
The price-friendliest electric car on this list is the Nissan Leaf. Particularly, Edmunds noted that the 2019 model offers quiet operation, quick acceleration and assistance features for driving. Though, the tradeoff for the cost means limited mileage and cargo space compared to other electric vehicles on the market. There were 12,365 Leafs sold in 2019.
5. Hyundai Santa Fe
Price range: $26,995 to $32,091
Miles-per-gallon: 23 to 25 (combined)
Number sold in 2019: 127,373
The Hyundai Santa Fe is another popular pick for SUV lovers for its roomy interior and a price point that is more affordable than the Chevrolet Traverse. There were 127,373 Santa Fes sold in 2019, which is an 8.8 percent increase from the previous year. Edmunds cited the Santa Fe's noise-reducing glass, reclining rear seats and adaptive cruise control as some of its best features. However, the review board noted that prioritizing the base model's low-cost means settling for a 2.4-liter engine.
4. Kia Soul
Price range: $17,485 to $22,045
Miles-per-gallon: 27 to 30 (combined)
Number sold in 2019: 98,033
Getting the most affordable SUV on this list also means a downgraded tradeoff in the space department. And that's what you get with the Kia Soul, though its taller build makes up for its compact size, according to Edmunds. The 2020 redesign provides adequate passenger seating and cargo space when compared to the rest of the subcompact SUV category. Edmunds cited the Soul's 147-horsepower engine as a perk as well.
In 2019, there were an impressive 98,033 Kia Souls sold.
3. Nissan Vers
Price range: $15,625 to $18,393
Miles-per-gallon: 30 to 35 (combined)
Number sold in 2019: 66,596
The only sedan to make this ranking is the Nissan Versa. Previous models were significantly cheaper, according to Edmunds, but the review board said the modernized redesign for 2020 is worth the price hike. The new features include keyless entry, powered windows, a stronger engine and trendier style. Edmunds also said the Versa is built with a roomy interior and sizable trunk. There were 66,596 Versas sold in 2019.
2. Mitsubishi Mirage
Price range: $14,790 to $16,768
Miles-per-gallon: 36 to 39 (combined)
Number sold in 2019: 26,966
Taking second place on this list for the most affordable car is the Mitsubishi Mirage. This hatchback has an edge in terms of category mileage, reaching up to 39 miles on a single gallon. However, Edmunds noted that the Mirage's cheaper price point means a less powerful engine for drivers that practice passing and merging maneuvers. Despite this, the Mirage's warranty provides 10-year and 100,000-mile coverage.
In 2019, there were 26,966 Mirages sold.
1. Chevrolet Spark
Price range: $14,095 to $16,888
Miles-per-gallon: 33 (combined)
Number sold in 2019: 31,281
The car that has snagged first place as the most affordable is none other than the Chevrolet Spark. This compact hatchback is a fit for drivers that don't need a lot of space for seating or cargo. It's also not the fastest car available, but that's the sacrifice that comes with the cost, according to Edmunds. However, the Spark offers other valuable perks, including maneuverability, substantial fuel economy, a seven-inch touchscreen and Wi-Fi hotspot in addition to smartphone connectivity.
The Spark's sales jumped by nearly a third in 2019 with 31,281 sold. In 2018, there were only 23,602 sold.