Cheapest Cars You Can Buy New In 2024

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Senior Pricing Analyst

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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, Senior Pricing Analyst - January 11, 2024
Nissan Versa sedan red color

The cheapest cars for 2024 start at around $17,000, 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 in 2024, with our tips that may help you get the best deal possible on the most affordable cars for sale.

Updated on January 11th

2024 Nissan Versa Sedan: Overall Value

2024 Nissan Versa sedan red color

Today's Nissan Versa is nothing like it was when it was first introduced. With an MSRP of $17,245, it's the cheapest car you can buy. It's also well-equipped with automatic emergency braking, power windows and locks, and a touchscreen display. Versas with the optional CVT are rated at up to 40 mpg on the highway.

However, note that the CVT adds nearly $1,700 to the price, bringing the Versa's MSRP to $18,915. Still, you may have trouble believing this is still an economy car based on how it looks. Higher trims can also get you alloy wheels and enhanced safety features like adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, and more.

Our review of the 2024 Nissan Versa gave it 2.9 out of 5 stars. The biggest disadvantages stemmed from the Versa's underpowered 122-horsepower engine and cramped rear seats. Having said that, you may be able to forgive these things if you're in the market for a truly affordable subcompact car to buy in 2024.

Shoppers should be aware that Nissan Versa leases can be shockingly expensive. That's largely because the Versa is excluded from Nissan's best deals. If you're looking to lease rather than buy your car, it may make sense to upgrade to a larger model as they can sometimes prove to be a better deal than the Versa.

Explore Nissan Versa Prices & Deals

2024 Mitsubishi Mirage: Fuel Economy

The cheapest 2024 Mitsubishi Mirage starts at $17,955 and offers the best fuel economy of any gas car. According to the EPA, the 5-door Mirage hatchback offers up to 43 mpg on the highway, 36 mpg in the city, and 39 mpg in overall driving. However, the 78-horsepower engine may not have the oomph you're looking for.

Alternatively, the Mirage G4 is a 4-door sedan with a bit more space that starts at $19,055. Unfortunately, the fuel economy ratings for the Mirage don't offer a significant advantage when compared with some newer and larger cars for sale like the Honda Civic (up to 36 mpg overall) and Hyundai Elantra (also 37 mpg).

There's also the fact that poor residual values can make the Mirage a surprisingly 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 found that Mirage prices can cost more money to lease than cars with MSRPs thousands of dollars higher on paper.

Our review of the 2024 Mitsubishi Mirage gave it just 1.9 stars out of 5. That makes it one of the worst-reviewed cars in 2024. It may be cheap, but its engine is noisy at higher revs and hasn't been meaningfully updated since 2014. The car's unrefined ride could also have you taking a serious look at alternatives.

Explore Mitsubishi Mirage Prices & Deals

2024 Hyundai Venue: Cheapest SUV

Hyundai Venue crossover green color

The 2024 Hyundai Venue is the cheapest SUV you can buy with a sticker price of just $21,135. To be fair, that MSRP doesn't give it much of an advantage when compared with some of the SUVs further down this page. This year, the Venue becomes Hyundai's most affordable model now that the Accent is gone.

Our review gave the 2024 Hyundai Venue 2.9 out of 5 stars. The biggest downsides, in our view, were the loud cabin when driving at highway speeds, unimpressive fuel efficiency, and the lack of a more potent engine. The base engine makes 121 horsepower and has a "just average" fuel economy of 31 mpg overall.

However, if speed or hybrid-like efficiency isn't your goal, the roughly $21,000 base price makes the Venue worth a look. For the money, you get a nice range of safety features, too, like automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, driver attention monitoring, auto high beams, and rear-occupant alert.

Unfortunately, blind-spot monitoring is only available starting with the pricier SEL trim. Commuters also may not like the fact that adaptive cruise control isn't available in the Venue at any price. These are some of the tradeoffs worth considering if you're looking to save money by buying a new Hyundai Venue.

According to our records, the Hyundai Venue is often among the cheapest SUVs to lease. While we have seen 0% financing on the Venue before, deals like that have become more and more rare. Due to the Venue's popularity among budget-minded shoppers, inventory can be harder to find than other Hyundais.

Explore Hyundai Venue Prices & Deals

2024 Kia Soul: Easy To Overlook

Kia Soul hatchback front view

The 2024 Kia Soul starts at $21,315, making it one of the cheapest SUVs you can buy. Even if you consider it to be a hatchback, it's hard to deny the model's appeal for the price. In the back, the large tailgate has a wide opening and can fit up to 62.1 cubic feet of cargo with the rear seats folded down.

Our review of the Soul gave it 3 out of 5 stars. The biggest disadvantages were the lack of all-wheel drive and "average performance." 30 mpg also isn't great, but it isn't exactly fair to compare the Soul to a fuel-sipping hybrid model. Our reviewer noted the smooth and relaxed feel of the Soul out on the road.

While the 2024 Kia Soul may score points when it comes to value, discounts tend to be few and far between. Based on our records, the Kia Soul doesn't really benefit from large cash incentives or financing deals. Interestingly, the 4-door Forte sedan and the larger Sportage tend to have better incentives.

Explore Kia Soul Prices & Deals

2024 Chevy Trax: New Arrival

Chevy Trax crossover red color

The cheapest 2024 Chevy Trax starts at just $21,495, making it Chevy's most affordable model. The 2024 redesign was a big step up in terms of quality and features. It's also about 11 inches longer than the previous Trax generation. Its 137-horsepower engine is rated at 30 mpg in combined city/highway driving.

Our review of the 2024 Chevy Trax gave it 3 out of 5 stars, largely due to the unresponsive transmission and lack of a more powerful engine and all-wheel drive. Still, our reviewer found the Chevy Trax to handle surprisingly well. If going fast isn't a priority, the Chevy Trax could be a smart buy for the money in 2024.

Having said that, don't expect to see big rebates on the Chevy Trax. While the previous version benefitted from generous incentives, that hasn't been the case with the latest redesign. It's also worth knowing that 2024 Chevy Trax leases tend to be expensive. In some cases, the larger Equinox may be a better deal.

Explore Chevy Trax Prices & Deals

Other Cheap, Affordable Cars You Can Buy

Buick Envista crossover rear view

On paper, 2024 Nissan Sentra prices start at $21,745, making the compact car one of the most affordable sedans on the market. Alternatively, 2024 Hyundai Elantra prices start at $22,590. That's not too bad for a heavily updated vehicle, giving it an edge when compared to 2024 Toyota Corolla prices (from $23,145).

When it comes to SUVs, 2024 Nissan Kicks prices start at $22,155. You may also be surprised to learn that Buick Envista prices begin at $23,495, making it a stylish alternative to the Chevy Trax. Once you get past the $23,000 to $24,000 mark, you may find considerably more options when it comes to car choices.

Why Are There No Cheap Cars Anymore?

Most automakers have shifted their lineups to more profitable vehicles. Previously, the Chevy Spark ranked among the cheapest cars to buy with an MSRP of just $14,595 when opting for one with the base 5-speed manual. The next step up became the Chevy Trax, a crossover with a sticker price of over $22,000.

Until 2024, the Kia Rio was somewhat of an all-star when it came to pricing. However, after the Rio was discontinued, the cheapest Kia model became the larger Forte sedan. Apart from its sub-$18,000 MSRP, the Rio had one of the best warranties on an affordable car with 10 years or 100,000 miles of coverage.

2023 Kia Rio sedan blue color

Before that, the Hyundai Accent was a good alternative. However, Hyundai no longer builds the Accent. That change took effect several years ago when the company said it would stop making the Accent for 2023. The cheapest Hyundai Accent at the time was the SE trim with a retail price of only $17,670.

One thing to keep in mind is that today's cheap cars have more features than they did in the past. Not very long ago, the cheapest cars you could buy lacked basic things like radios or power windows. Now, things like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity are available along with the latest safety features.

You can, of course, also find some of these models in the used market. However, preowned car prices haven't returned to pre-pandemic levels. Because used car prices may be abnormally high, they may not always provide the value you expect when compared to the cost of a new car with current interest rates.

Explore Used Car Listings

, Senior Pricing Analyst

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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