Invest

how to invest

Live

career, food, travel

Save

saving, credit, debt

Protect

insurance, security

Retire

401K, IRA, FI, Retire

Home » Auto Ownership

The Cheapest New Cars of 2014

Last updated by on 12 Comments

If you’re new to this blog and in the market for a new car, you might as well start your search with a list of the least expensive new cars on the market. And this post serves as just that – a list of the cheapest new cars of 2014.

I research and revise this list each year – you can find last year’s cheapest new cars here, for comparison – and since dealers want to move on to 2014, you might be able to find a great deal on last year’s models.

But before you take this article as a testimonial to run out and buy a new car – here is my advice:

  1. Live without a car, if at all possible (take public transportation/bike/walk).
  2. If you have a significant other, downsize from 2 cars to 1, if you can. I did this about 5 years ago and it’s been a HUGE cost saver.
  3. Drive your existing car as long as it is economically feasible to continue doing so.
  4. If you do need a car, look long and hard for a great deal. I don’t believe in the “always buy used” motto. Sometimes new cars are the cheaper option if you can find a great deal and you ride it until its death, particularly with the used car market being over-priced, as it has been in recent years. Do your homework to find the most economical option for you.

We good? OK, now I can rest easy.

Pricing Out a Vehicle

cheapest new carsThere is a whole lot more to finding the cheapest vehicle than just looking at sticker price. In this post, for your convenience, I’ve included:

  • the base auto transmission model (manuals are often cheaper, but hard to find and sell)
  • the MSRP (which you should never pay)
  • the factory invoice

As well as other important variables that impact total cost:

  • city and highway MPG ratings
  • average annual fuel cost (from the EPA’s fueleconomy.gov at $3.24 per gallon, 15,000 miles driven (45% city, 55% highway).
  • length of powertrain and basic warranties

You’ll also want to price out insurance premiums at a number of insurers BEFORE choosing a car to purchase.

Notes on the Cheapest New Cars of 2014

Not a huge list of newcomers this year.

One that is exciting, in its cheapness, if not styling – is the Mitsubishi Mirage. This car enters the list at #4 as a 4-door hatchback. It gets outstanding fuel economy at 37 city and 44 highway, and carries an excellent warranty at 10 years or 100,000 miles for original owners, 5 years/60,000 for subsequent owners on powertrain, and 5 years 60,000 miles on a basic limited warranty.

There is a new cheapest new car this year, as the Nissan Versa surpasses the Smart Car ForTwo (which has had sizable price increases the past two years) for the #1 spot. The Versa also adds an S+ version to its lineup, which is the same as the basic, but with a continuously variable transmission – which pushes it up to 40 MPG highway.

Most of these models did not exist 5 years ago, so it’s encouraging to see a renewed focus by automakers on making compact, inexpensive vehicles.

None of these vehicles make my list of the most fuel efficient cars of 2014 because of their newer engine technology – but most do have very respectable fuel economy due to their small sizes.

Foreign Automakers Still Own the Market for the Cheapest Cars

Foreign Automakers claim ownership of 7 of the top 10 cheapest new cars. The Spark and Sonic (Chevy) and Fiesta (Ford) are the only models to make the list from U.S. automakers.

Without further ado, here are the top 10 cheapest new cars of 2014 from #10 up to #1. What’s your pick, if you had a choice?

10. Mazda 2

  • 2014 Mazda 2Base Automatic Transmission model: Mazda 2 Sport 4-Door Hatchback
  • Engine: 1.5L, 4-speed Auto Transmission, 16-valve, 4 cylinder, 100 HP
  • MSRP: $16,355
  • Factory Invoice: $16,354
  • City MPG: 28
  • Highway MPG: 34
  • Annual Fuel Cost: $1,600
  • Powertrain Warranty: 5 years or 100,000 miles
  • Limited Basic Warranty: 3 years or 36,000 miles
  • Notes:The cousin to the Ford Fiesta, The Mazda2 actually has a 4-speed transmission vs. the Fiesta’s 6-speed – giving it lower fuel efficiency. Zero price increase year/year, while the Fiesta actually declined. My money is still on the Fiesta.

9. Hyundai Accent

  • 2014 Hyundai Accent Base Automatic Transmission model: Hyundai Accent GLS, 4-Door Sedan
  • Engine: 1.6L, 6-speed Auto Transmission, 16-valve, 4 cylinder, 138 HP
  • MSRP: $16,455
  • Factory Invoice: $16,067
  • City MPG: 27
  • Highway MPG: 37
  • Annual Fuel Cost: $1,550
  • Powertrain Warranty:10 years or 100,000 miles
  • Limited Basic Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles
  • Notes: Just a $135 year/year price increase for the Accent.

8. Chevy Sonic

  • 2014 Chevy SonicBase Automatic Transmission model: Chevy Sonic LS 4-Door Sedan
  • Engine: 1.8L, 6-speed Auto, 16-valve, 4 cylinder, 138 HP
  • MSRP: $16,245
  • Factory Invoice: $16,168
  • City MPG: 25
  • Highway MPG: 35
  • Annual Fuel Cost: $1,750
  • Powertrain Warranty: 5 years or 100,000 miles
  • Limited Basic Warranty: 3 years or 36,000 miles
  • Notes: My parents own, and I’ve driven the 1.4L turbo version. Hard to find, but has great fuel efficiency and a lot of pep! The 1.8L has disappointingly low fuel efficiency for a car of this size.

7. Toyota Yaris

  • 2014 Toyota YarisBase Automatic Transmission model: Toyota Yaris L 3-Door (Liftback/Hatchback)
  • Engine: 1.5L, 4-Speed Auto Transmission, 16-valve, 4 cylinder, 106 HP
  • MSRP: $15,965
  • Factory Invoice: $15,689
  • City MPG: 30
  • Highway MPG: 36
  • Annual Fuel Cost: $1,500
  • Powertrain Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles
  • Limited Basic Warranty: 3 years or 36,000 miles
  • Notes: No major changes in the 2014 Yaris – and the price only increases by $75 versus last year.

6. Kia Rio

  • 2014 Kia RioBase Automatic Transmission model: Kia Rio LX 4-Door Sedan
  • Engine: 1.6L, 6-speed Auto Transmission, 16-valve, 4 cylinder, 138 HP
  • MSRP: $15,700
  • Factory Invoice: N/A
  • City MPG: 27
  • Highway MPG: 37
  • Annual Fuel Cost: $1,550
  • Powertrain Warranty: 10 years or 100,000 miles
  • Limited Basic Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles
  • Notes: Good simple car, with a good price and great warranty.

5. Ford Fiesta

  • 2014 Ford FiestaBase Automatic Transmission model: Ford Fiesta S Sedan, 4-Door
  • Engine: 1.6L, 6-speed Auto Transmission, 16-valve, 4 cylinder, 120 HP
  • MSRP: $14,795
  • Factory Invoice: $14,525
  • City MPG: 29
  • Highway MPG: 39
  • Annual Fuel Cost: $1,500
  • Powertrain Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles
  • Limited Basic Warranty: 3 years or 36,000 miles
  • Notes: A rare price decrease year over year, with a bit of a refresh. The Fiesta MSRP was $15,090 last year and comes in almost $300 cheaper in 2014. Still a great little car – one of my favorites on this list.

4. Mitsubishi Mirage

  • 2014 Mitsubishi MirageBase Automatic Transmission model: Mitsubishi Mirage DE CVT, 4-Door Hatchback
  • Engine: 1.2L, Continuously Variable Auto Transmission (CVT), 3-cylinder, 74 HP
  • MSRP: $14,790
  • Factory Invoice: $14,485
  • City MPG: 37
  • Highway MPG: 44
  • Annual Fuel Cost: $1,200
  • Powertrain Warranty: 10 years or 100,000 miles for original owners, 5 years/60,000 for subsequent owners
  • Limited Basic Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles
  • Notes: A new addition to the list of the cheapest new cars. Everything about this car screams “economy” – from the price, to the look, and the fuel efficiency. It wins the title for being the most fuel efficient gas engine vehicle on the market. And it has an outstanding warranty, matched by only Kia and Hyundai.

3. Chevy Spark

  • 2014 Chevy SparkBase Automatic Transmission model: Chevy Spark LS 4-Door Hatchback
  • Engine: 1.2L, 4-speed Auto Transmission, 16-valve, 4 cylinder, 84 Horsepower
  • MSRP: $14,305
  • Factory Invoice: $14,170
  • City MPG: 30
  • Highway MPG: 39
  • Annual Fuel Cost: $1,450
  • Powertrain Warranty: 5 years or 100,000 miles
  • Limited Basic Warranty: 3 years or 36,000 miles
  • Notes: A new addition to Chevy’s lineup in 2013. The Spark gets great gas mileage and great price. It’s hard to justify the purchase of a Smart car for a few hundred more when a sizable new alternative like the Spark exists.

2. Smart ForTwo Pure Coupe

  • 2014 Smart ForTwo PureBase Automatic Transmission model: Smart ForTwo Pure Coupe
  • Engine: 1.0L, 5-speed Auto Transmission, 12-valve, 3 cylinder, 70 HP
  • MSRP: $14,020
  • Factory Invoice: $13,171
  • City MPG: 34
  • Highway MPG: 38
  • Annual Fuel Cost: $1,500
  • Powertrain Warranty: 4 years, 50,000 miles
  • Limited Basic Warranty: 4 years, 50,000 miles
  • Notes: A hefty $780 bump in price, after last year’s $750 increase. The ForTwo drops to the #2 spot behind the Nissa Versa. Of note: there is now an electric version of the Smart car that might be worth checking out, but if you’re looking for a gas version, there are much more sizable alternatives available with comparatively better pricing.

1. Nissan Versa

  • 2014 Nissan VersaBase Automatic Transmission model: Nissan Versa Sedan 1.6S, 4 Door
  • Engine: 1.6L, 4-speed Auto Transmission, 16-valve, 4 cylinder, 109 HP
  • MSRP: $13,800
  • Factory Invoice: $13,474
  • City MPG: 27
  • Highway MPG: 36
  • Annual Fuel Cost: $1,600
  • Powertrain Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles
  • Limited Basic Warranty: 3 years or 36,000 miles
  • Notes: New to the #1 spot this year due to Smart car price increases. The new S+ model features a CVT and a 4 MPG lift to hit the 40 MPG landmark – at an added $800 price.

Related Posts:


About the Author
I am G.E. Miller, & this is my story. My goal is financial independence ASAP. If you share that goal, join me & 7,500+ others by getting FREE email updates. You'll also find every post by category & every post in order.


12 Comments »
  • Steve says:

    I don’t know enough about most of these cars to comment, but a word to the wise about the Mazda 2: It’s very short, or at least it was. I’m slightly shorter than 6’2 (about 6’1 and 7/8) and from the model a few years back, my head hit the roof when sitting down. It may have become slightly taller since, I haven’t been in one for a few years. I’d imagine that some of the other cars on this list are also smaller, as less material = cheaper cost.

    I realize there’s no reason for this blog to have an unusual number of taller readers, but I feel that’s something to bear in mind for those of us that are. Personally, I’d much rather pay a bit more to not be crammed like a sardine any time I drive…

  • Natalie says:

    Another note about Mazdas–I’m not a car person, but my Mazda3 and I are reaching the end of our relationship and I can tell you that one reason I won’t be buying one again is that Mazda parts are pretty expensive compared to Hondas and Toyotas. It’s been a good car in that I haven’t had to do major repairs on it, but even minor wear and tear stuff has set me back more than it would have if I’d bought from a different make. My fear is that it wouldn’t take anything too serious to rack up more in repair bills than it’s worth, since it’s already 10 years old with some dents and scratches here and there. Just one driver’s opinion.

  • Mark Ross says:

    Great list of cars! I wish I had the money to buy at least one of them, but for now, I’m sticking on using public transportation to go to my school.

  • Carla says:

    I wouldn’t get paid to have a Ford Fiesta as my sole transportation. They’re super cheap, flimsy, and there are known, non-solvable issues with the transmission. In this case, inexpensive is the same as cheap.

  • Good list, G.E. – thanks for compiling it. I enjoy reading it every year, even though I’ve never purchased a new car myself.

  • Mike says:

    The cars on this list are good cars. My brother drives a spark and is really happy with it and the GF drives a Versa hatchback which we do like. I would like to point out though, none of these cars are really snow worthy. Sedans also have very limited utility. After a lot of consideration I recently purchased a Nissan Frontier (pickup) for the high utility and 4 wheel drive that makes it snow worthy. If you live in a northern climate or are a major DIYer it’s certainly a consideration you should make – but be smart, most people don’t have any use for a full size 1/2 ton pickup with 10000 pounds of towing capability. Mid size and compact pickups these days are more than enough for most people even if they’ve become much rarer. And hatchbacks are more than capable for those who only do small DIY projects.

    • Tom says:

      I recently bought an old beater of a truck to use for some DIY projects and taking trash to the dump (no trash service where I live). The transmission failed on me after only a few months of use. Then, I had the idea to add a trailer hitch to my subaru legacy and got a little 4×6 trailer.

      That is good enough for my small projects and no recurring costs (no insurance, or taxes, minimal maintenance costs if at all). If I was to start hauling masonry I’d probably break my car, but I can always beg, borrow or steal a truck if need be.

  • Marero says:

    Hey i’m a car fanatic but me and my wife are turning our lives into a more frugal one. we traded in my old problematic 04 MAZDASPEED miata ( a small turbo charged 2 seater convertible) and took advatage of a 1,000 dollar dealer incentive to purchase a 2014 MIRAGE. i love the space it has and how comfortable it handles. I live in monterey and my miata used to get 19MPG due to all the steep hills around here. the new mirage is getting 30mpg and does not require a High octane fuel like my old car did. and if you keep it around 50mph on the highway you will see mpg climb to over 50mpg. i also test drove the spark and it is just as good, it has a shorter waranty and slightly less cargo room with the rear seats folded flat, but it is slightly nicer inside and has more modern styling.

    If you start looking into this car (or any frugal small car) you will see many people bad mouthing them and saying that they are not “real” cars because they are so cheap and slow. don’t be discouraged modern “cheap” cars are more than adequate for public roads, and not uncomfortable by any stretch of the imagination. i had paid a lot for a sporty car and if i had used all the power and handling i paid for i would end up dead or in jail.

    also make sure you do the math, i have always been an avid proponent of buying used cars but when it came to switching cars this time i saw that i could buy a brand new, safer, and more fuel efficient car for about 3k more than ones with 70 or 80 thousand miles on them. the way i see it we drive 10k each year so that’s like adding 7 or 8 years of use for 3k.

    last word of advise walk into the dealer with a quote from a free car buying service that says what other people are paying for it in your are. we ended up paying close to 3k below msrp with the manufacturer incentive for a car that has been on the market for 2 months since people have not started snatching them up(YET).

  • TheCaveman says:

    It’s refreshing to see a fellow 20-something finance blogger challenging the idea that used cars are always better than new cars.

    My biggest beef with that idea is that you never know why a previous owner traded in their used car. Is it a lemon? That’s a lot bigger of a risk with a used vehicle than it is with a new one. In 2011, I bought a 2012 Honda Civic. It’s a reasonably-priced vehicle and Hondas have been known to last forever, which is precisely how long I plan to drive my car! I just prefer to get a brand new vehicle for that purpose because I take really good care of my car, and it is said that how well you maintain your car for the first few years really makes a difference on its overall longevity.

    Great article – I highly recommend the Honda Fit or the Toyota Yaris for the known reliability of their brands and the great gas mileage!

SPEAK YOUR MIND

Enter your:


Home | Sitemap | Terms | © 20somethingfinance.com