When we were fresh out of high school and driving dad’s old station wagon on the weekends, one of our friends went out and bought himself a brand new car. A bright shiny blue Yugo. We’re not sure what it cost, but it couldn’t have been much. Our friend (who was a linebacker in high school) barely fit in the thing, but when he ran the numbers through an auto loan calculator, he was able to get the payments low enough that he could afford it on his fry cook salary.
Most of us ended up paying just as much over the next couple of years to buy an array of used cars. Still, while we struggled to keep gas in the late ‘70s model castoffs, our friend chugged along at 50 miles per gallon. And four years later, when we were using an auto loan calculator to figure out how much our own new cars would set us back, our friend was still driving that little Yugo.
There’s something to be said for buying a new car, if you can. As long as you can handle living with a compact or subcompact car, there are plenty of great options out there which are cheaper than you may think. While Yugos aren’t an option in the USA anymore (you can still get them in Serbia, though they’re called Korals there), here are some of the cheapest new cars available today:
- Scion XD. They may be a subsidiary of Toyota, but they’re manufactured right in the good old U S of A, in the blue hills of Kentucky. You can buy one for just a little over $16,000 and with 33mpg on the highway, you won’t be breaking the bank to keep it in gas.
- Honda Fit. Another gas sipper coming in at just over $16,000, the Fit will get you a full 35 mpg.
- Kia Forte. $15,400 will get you a brand spanking new Kia Forte. The Korean car manufacturer has made serious inroads in recent years, as much for their insane power train warranties as for their rock bottom prices.
- Kia Soul. They look kind of like a Mini Cooper, but the price will put a much bigger smile on your face. While they’re relative gas guzzlers compared to the other vehicles on this list (they still get 31 mpg), you can get into one for a measly $13,995.
- Toyota Yaris. It’s a 2 door hatchback, but if you can wedge yourself into it, you can have one for $13,900.
- Hyundai Accent. The Accent has become somewhat notorious for not holding its resale value well (on average, they’re only worth 24% of the original cost after 5 years), but what the hell? It only costs $13,700.
7. Nissan Versa. It comes with four doors and sells for less than 13K, coming in at $12,700. It’s only warranted at 5 years, but at that price, who needs more?