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Angel Bailey
Angel Bailey

Affordable Cars To Buy

Sometimes, aggressive styling can help cover an otherwise mediocre car, but that's not the case with the 2021 Hyundai Elantra. Style and substance play together here to create an affordable compact sedan that's one of the best you can currently buy.

affordable cars to buy

You can't have a list of great affordable cars without mentioning the Toyota Camry, bastion of the midsize sedan segment. Sure, most people talk about the Toyota Camry like they talk about a package of envelopes they bought at Staples, but that's for good reason: For decades, the Camry has stood as good, reliable, affordable transportation for families of all shapes and sizes.

Unsurprisingly, the Camry is showing no signs of slowing down. The non-hybrid Camry is supremely affordable, yet it's still loaded with tons of tech and safety systems as standard equipment, even on the base LE model. It's quite the smooth operator, too, returning a well-cushioned ride that makes long trips feel much shorter.

The Veloster N gets its motive force from a 2.0-liter turbocharged I4 producing 250 hp (270 hp with the optional Performance Package) and 260 lb-ft. A six-speed manual is standard, but new for 2021 is an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic that can provide the same hilariously fun backroad experience for folks who don't want to row their own. It is so much fun to drive, and like every other new Hyundai, the Veloster N is packed with all manner of safety and creature-comfort tech. Load the thing up to the gills and you still won't hit the $40,000 mark, which gives it some powerful value among similarly powered performance cars.

The 2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid is like a nice night out at a sensible restaurant. Good times abound, but not in a way that will make your wallet cry in agony. The CR-V Hybrid's powertrain is capable of producing 40 mpg in the city and 35 on the highway, which is solid for an all-wheel-drive vehicle, and the ride quality errs on the comfortable side. Throw in a sub-$30,000 base trim and a range-topper that caps out at about $37,000, and you have a wide variety of affordable trims on offer.

The Bolt EV is no longer the only affordable electric car in Chevrolet's portfolio. Now, there's a higher-riding crossover version, the Bolt EUV, which looks mostly the same but actually shares no common sheet metal with its sibling. All the same great things from the Bolt EV are here, including a nicely styled interior with better materials and some solid standard tech. It may not look this way in pictures, but the EUV is actually half a foot longer than the EV, with the increased interior space to match.

Available on higher trims, the CX-5's optional 2.5-liter turbocharged I4 produces a solid 250 hp and 320 lb-ft, the latter of which makes for some very exciting starts and on-ramp antics. A solid body and properly damped suspension allow you to have a surprising amount of fun in corners, and in the right spec, its interior trimmings put some actual luxury cars to shame in terms of both materials and styling.

Believe it or not, we drove them! Everyone at Roadshow is constantly evaluating new vehicles in all types of situations, whether it's hauling mulch or just getting the family from Point A to Point B. Our vast library of published reviews allows us to look at every car in context and determine what makes a properly good vehicle. The names you see on this list represent some of our favorite affordable cars from all corners of the auto industry -- except the super expensive ones, naturally.

Don't forget, though: Your mileage may vary, and not just literally. Everybody's needs are different, and what's good for one goose may not be for the gander. We're flattered if you want to take this list as canon, but we implore you to get out there and actually take a spin in these cars, and others, to get a feel for what you, dear reader, truly want in a vehicle.

At CARFAX, we collect events from the lives of millions of used cars from 20 European countries, as well as the USA and Canada. We can then create a vehicle history for every car in our database and make it available to you.The information helps you to check sales data, avoid expensive follow-up costs and negotiate a fair purchase price.

The most economical cars are those that consume the least amount of fuel. These are typically vehicles with hybrid powertrains. Hybrids can generate and store electricity for use while driving by harvesting the forces created during braking or by siphoning small amounts of engine power. Hybrids can then use the stored electricity to travel short distances or to keep vehicle functions operating while the vehicle is stopped. The most economical hybrids include the Honda Insight, Hyundai Ioniq, Toyota Corolla Hybrid and Toyota Prius.

Subcompact cars have a small footprint built for navigating narrow streets and cramped parking spaces, and the Mitsubishi Mirage is one of the most affordable models in this class. Mitsubishi sells it as a sedan (Mirage G4) and a four-door hatchback.

Many buyers prioritize value when considering compact cars and the Kia Forte delivers. It's one of the most affordable picks in its class, and despite its low base price, it comes with a generous selection of standard equipment and a stellar warranty. The Forte's large trunk gives it more cargo space than competing sedans such as the Volkswagen Jetta. And its top trim comes with a spirited turbocharged engine that makes daily travels more enjoyable.

Unlike the Toyota Corolla, the Forte doesn't offer a hatchback or hybrid variant. And compact cars like the Jetta, Honda Civic, and Mazda 3 surpass the Forte in base-engine horsepower. Still, this capable Kia is an excellent choice if you're looking for a well-equipped, well-rounded compact car that won't break the bank.

The 2023 Hyundai Elantra stands out from other compact sedans with its sharply creased and faceted sheet metal as well as its broad grille with integrated wraparound headlights. But don't think that it's only about style, because it also has plenty of substance to prove its worth. In the Hyundai lineup, the Elantra fills the gap between the smaller Accent and midsize Sonata. Much like the larger Sonata, the Elantra is offered in several variants that include an affordable base trim, very efficient hybrids, and a sporty alternative. It goes one step further with a higher performance Elantra N model with 276 horsepower. 041b061a72


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