Cheapest Cars You Can Buy New In 2022

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Managing Editor

As CarsDirect’s resident pricing expert, Alex offers must-know analyses of pricing & incentives to those looking to buy or lease a car. His consumer-oriented coverage of the latest trends and breaking news has been featured by The Wall Street Journal, Fox Business, Motor Trend, Automobile Magazine, and more.

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, Managing Editor - December 8, 2021

The cheapest cars for 2022 start at just under $15,000, although shoppers can expect to find fewer vehicle choices in this price range than in the past. A shift toward more expensive SUVs has made it increasingly difficult to find a cheap new car.

In some cases, manufacturer incentives can make some cars a better deal than others. Here's a roundup of the cheapest cars you can buy heading into 2022, with insider information on factors that may help you get the best deal possible.

2022 Chevrolet Spark: Cheapest Price

With an MSRP of $14,595 including destination, the 2022 Spark remains the cheapest car you can buy in the United States. Sadly, that only gets you an entry-level model with a manual transmission. Configured with a CVT transmission, the MSRP increases to $15,695 before factoring in any dealer discounts or incentives.

When the Chevy Sonic was discontinued, the jump in price to the next car in the lineup increased significantly. For reference, 2022 Malibu pricing starts at $24,395, a difference of $9,800 compared to the cheapest Spark. Alternatively, you may want to consider a 2022 Chevrolet Trax crossover, which starts at $22,595.

Explore Chevy Spark Prices & Deals

2022 Mitsubishi Mirage: Best Fuel Economy

The cheapest Mitsubishi Mirage starts at $16,125 with a manual and offers the best fuel economy of any gas car. According to the EPA, the Mirage hatchback offers up to 43 mpg on the highway, 36 mpg in the city, and 39 mpg in overall driving. However, the 1.2L engine may not offer drivers the power they may be looking for.

Alternatively, the Mirage G4 is a 4-door sedan with a bit more space that starts at $16,995. Unfortunately, the fuel economy ratings for the Mirage don't actually offer a significant advantage when compared with newer and larger cars like the 2022 Honda Civic (up to 36 mpg overall) and 2022 Hyundai Elantra (37 mpg).

There's also the fact that poor residual values can make the Mirage a bad car to lease. As a result, you may find that it's a better value when buying rather than leasing. In some cases, we've actually found that the Mirage can cost more money to lease than cars with MSRPs thousands of dollars higher on paper.

Explore Mitsubishi Mirage Prices & Deals

2022 Nissan Versa: Best Value

The latest version of the Nissan Versa has an MSRP of $16,055 with destination and remains the brand's cheapest car. The downside is that the Versa with the lowest price comes with a manual transmission. If you prefer the optional CVT configuration, the cost of the entry-level Versa S sedan increases to $17,725.

At that point, the cost of the Versa is just over $2,000 more expensive than the Spark. However, the Versa does have a major advantage by offering standard automatic emergency braking (AEB), lane-departure warning, and 10 airbags, even on the cheapest trim. This could make the Versa a better overall value.

Looking to lease? You may want to step up to the Nissan Sentra. That's because the Versa tends to lack the same level of incentives and can often end up costing a similar amount to lease. The Sentra has historically offered lower interest rates as well, with some deals involving 0% APR financing for up to 60 months.

Explore Nissan Versa Prices & Deals

2022 Kia Rio: Cheap With A Great Warranty

The 2022 Rio has an MSRP of $17,145 and is Kia's cheapest car model. While this value-priced sedan may seem attractive, driver assistance technology is only optional starting with the more expensive S trim ($17,785). Having said that, Kia does offer one of the best new car warranties at 10 years or 100,000 miles.

Unlike the Spark, the Rio is available as either a sedan or hatchback. The hatchback is slightly more expensive than the sedan with a base price of $18,085. That's a difference of just $940 compared to the sedan and may offer an additional level of flexibility depending on your lifestyle and/or personal preference.

Explore Kia Rio Prices & Deals

2022 Hyundai Accent: Cheap But Not The Best Deal

The 2022 Hyundai Accent has a base price of $17,670 for the cheapest SE trim and presents a compelling value. That's a little over $500 more expensive than the Rio, although standard automatic emergency braking (AEB) is only standard when choosing the range-topping Limited trim ($20,625).

Even though the Accent is Hyundai's cheapest car, we tend to find that the larger Elantra sedan (MSRP $20,875) can actually be a better deal. Whether it's lower financing rates, larger rebates, or better lease deals, you may find an opportunity to choose an upgrade for less money than you think.

Explore Hyundai Accent Prices & Deals

, Managing Editor

As CarsDirect’s resident pricing expert, Alex offers must-know analyses of pricing & incentives to those looking to buy or lease a car. His consumer-oriented coverage of the latest trends and breaking news has been featured by The Wall Street Journal, Fox Business, Motor Trend, Automobile Magazine, and more.

Follow On: Twitter

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