The Cheapest New Cars of 2023

This article has been updated for the 2023 new car model year. Each year, I enjoy researching and publishing a ranking of the cheapest new cars sold in the U.S. market. This article is a ranked list of the top 10 cheapest new cars in 2023, by price (MSRP, but I’ve also included factory invoice pricing as well to help aid any negotiations with dealers).




If you’re in the market to buy a new car, I’d also recommend pricing out the same models for the prior model year, when available, for comparison. With dealers wanting to get rid of last year’s inventory and shift focus to the 2023 models, there is potential to find a good deal on previous model years. In most cases, they are the exact same vehicle, with minimal tweaks. In 2023, each of the 10 cheapest new cars are nearly identical – with no major performance or styling updates – to the prior year.

I have made efforts to limit my vehicle use, but am still somewhat dependent on one and I know many others here are too. As a vehicle consumer, I think it is interesting to see what’s trending in the automotive market and what cost and fuel-efficiencies have been gained. There is value in knowing what to look for now (in limited circumstances) or further down the road.

cheapest new cars 2023

An EV on the cheapest new cars in 2023 ranking? Potentially soon, with a qualifying $7,500 electric vehicle tax credit.

That said, it’s worth noting that this list of the cheapest new cars is not an endorsement for everyone to go out and buy a new car. When it comes to optimizing your finances, vehicle ownership has a few rules that I would suggest readers consider:

  1. If you can, opt for public transportation, biking, walking, and carpooling over driving. Start with a test run and see if you can progress from there.
  2. If you have a 2-vehicle household, is it possible for you to shift from 2 vehicles to 1? I shifted from 2 cars to 1 eight years ago and it saved me a lot of money.
  3. Get as much mileage as possible out of your vehicle by properly maintaining it, until the cost of maintenance clearly outweighs the cost benefits of holding on to it. New vehicles these days can often go 15+ years with regular maintenance and my personal goal is to go 10+ years, at a minimum.
  4. If you do need a vehicle, do market research and negotiate the best deal. I don’t believe in the “always buy used” motto (particularly with the elevated prices seen in the used car market in recent years). With proper incentives, a new car may actually be a cheaper total cost option, particularly with the used car market being over-priced for many years now. Do your homework to find the most economical option for you.
  5. If you are in the market for a new car and can hold off for a bit, that might be best. Once the current vehicle microchip supply chain issues fully subside, I think we’ll see better availability, better prices, and better deals to be had.

When looking for the cheapest new cars, there is a whole lot more to finding the the most affordable car than just looking at sticker price. For convenience, I’ve focused on:

  • The base auto transmission model, without added options. Some of these vehicles don’t have a manual transmission option. And if they do, they can be hard to find and sell (only around 2% of the vehicles sold in the U.S. market these days are manual vs automatic transmission). If you can find and drive a manual, it could save you roughly $800 – $1,200 versus the prices highlighted in this article.
  • Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP). There may be credits, rebates, or other incentives available for each model at any given moment. And you should never pay MSRP, as part of an effective new car negotiation strategy.

Also, I’d recommend pricing out vehicles at KBB.com and nadaguides.com to see not only what the MSRP and factory invoice costs are (which I’ve included below), but what actual buyers are paying in your local market.




I’ve also included other variables that impact total cost of vehicle ownership:

  • city, highway, and combined MPG fuel efficiency
  • average annual fuel cost (from the EPA’s fueleconomy.gov website, at $3.26 per gallon of regular unleaded, and 15,000 miles driven (45% city, 55% highway)
  • length of basic and powertrain warranties

Finally, I highly recommend pricing out insurance premiums at a number of automotive insurers prior to choosing which car to purchase, as prices per vehicle can vary dramatically. No vehicle here will break the bank on insurance costs versus the others, but there may be some differences.

Cheap New Cars Have Been Disappearing in Recent Years

We’re now solidly within a period of disappointing new market entrants in the economical compact and subcompact car segments. I think there’s a few big reasons for that:

  1. Gas prices (until recently) had been at consistently low levels. This led to decreased demand for small vehicles, which led to less automaker focus on this segment.
  2. There is lower profit margin to squeeze out of cheap cars, so there’s less incentive for automakers to develop and market them.
  3. Those looking for fuel efficiency are gravitating more and more to electric-drive vehicles, and not smaller cars. I explored this further in my ranking of the most fuel-efficient cars and cheapest electric vehicles (soon to be updated for 2023).

41 new or redesigned cars will hit the market in 2023. Only a few are below the $30K price point: the Kia Sportage Hybrid, Mazda 3, Mazda CX-50, Toyota Prius, Hyundai Kona, Chevy Trax, and Subaru Crosstrek.

As noted at the top, none of the vehicles that made this cheapest new vehicles in 2023 list are new or redesigned. Looking at a broader trend, a large number of cheap compact and subcompact vehicles have recently had their production end in recent years in favor of more development and focus on higher margin, higher demand trucks and SUVs (and now EVs):

  • Chrysler: 100
  • Dodge: Dart
  • GM: Chevy Volt, Chevy Cruze, Chevy Sonic, Chevy Spark
  • Fiat: 500
  • Ford: Fiesta, Focus Sedan (hatch will live on), Fusion
  • Honda: CRZ, Fit
  • Hyundai: Accent
  • Nissan: Juke, Rogue
  • Smart: ForTwo
  • Toyota: Prius C, Yaris
  • VW: Beetle, Touareg

While this makes sense from a business perspective, it’s not a good sign for the future for those who like inexpensive vehicles.

Changes in the 2023 Cheapest Cars Rankings

There were only a few noteworthy changes to the 2023 cheapest cars ranking. The Chevy Spark and Hyundai Accent were both discontinued for 2023 and have dropped off of the list. The Subaru Impreza and Hyundai Elantra were the benefactors, coming in at #10 and #9 in the ranking, respectively.

It’s also worth noting a shout out to 3 electric vehicles that could make this list provided they (and the buyer) are fully eligible at the date of purchase for the full $7,500 federal electric vehicle tax credit that was authorized in the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.

  • Chevy Bolt: 2023 base MSRP of $27,495 ($19,995 after $7,500 credit)
  • Chevy Bolt EUV: 2023 base MSRP of $28,795 ($21,295 after $7,500 credit)
  • Nissan Leaf: 2023 base MSRP of $29,135 ($21,635 after $7,500 credit)

If the full $7,500 credit applies, each would have made this cheapest new cars list – coming in at #4, #9, and $10, respectively. With the fuel and maintenance savings that electric vehicles can bring, this would make them a great value to those in the market for a new car. Why not automatically add them to the list then? As stated, not every vehicle and person will be eligible for the full $7,500 EV tax credit. Vehicles have new standards to meet in regards to their manufacturing process, with certain “made in America” requirements. The certification process is still being sorted out – though Chevy and Nissan have both submitted these vehicles for consideration for the credit. If you’re interested in these vehicles, stay tuned for more.

The Cheapest New Cars of 2023: Top 10 Ranking

Here are the top 10 cheapest new cars of 2023. Which would you choose, if you were going to buy a new car right now?

10. Subaru Impreza

2023 Subaru Impreza

  • Base Automatic Transmission model: Subaru Impreza, Base 4-Door Sedan
  • MSRP: $22,115
  • Factory Invoice Price: $20,055
  • Engine Specs: 2.0L, Continuously Variable Auto Transmission (CVT), 16 valve, 4 cylinder, 152 hp
  • City MPG: 28
  • Highway MPG: 36
  • Combined MPG: 32
  • Annual Fuel Cost: $1,550
  • Powertrain Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles
  • Limited Basic Warranty: 3 years or 36,000 miles
  • Overview: the 2023 Subaru Impreza has a price increase of $1,015 versus last year’s model. The Subaru Impreza has been around forever, but 2023 is the first year it (or any Subaru) has made my cheapest new cars list – by virtue of others falling off of the list over the years. It’s a solid car that has had the same styling for many years. Personally, if I were going to buy this car, I’d spring for the much better looking and more functional 5-door hatchback option, which adds only $500 to the MSRP.

9. Hyundai Elantra

2023 Hyundai Elantra

  • Base Automatic Transmission model: Hyundai Elantra SE, 4-Door Sedan
  • MSRP: $21,545
  • Factory Invoice Price: $19,899
  • Engine Specs: 2.0L, Continuously Variable Auto Transmission (CVT), 16 valve, 4 cylinder, 147 hp
  • City MPG: 33
  • Highway MPG: 42
  • Combined MPG: 37
  • Annual Fuel Cost: $1,300
  • 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
  • Overview: the 2023 Hyundai Elantra has a price increase of $550 versus last year’s model. This model is another new entrant to this year’s list with other cars dropping out. The fuel economy for a 2.0L engine is great, as is the warranty.

8. Nissan Kicks

2023 Nissan Kicks

  • Base Automatic Transmission model: Nissan Kicks S, 4-Door Hatchback
  • MSRP: $21,285
  • Factory Invoice Price: $19,557
  • Engine Specs: 1.6L, Continuously Variable Auto Transmission (CVT), 16 valve, 4 cylinder, 122 hp
  • City MPG: 31
  • Highway MPG: 36
  • Combined MPG: 33
  • Annual Fuel Cost: $1,500
  • Powertrain Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles
  • Limited Basic Warranty: 3 years or 36,000 miles
  • Overview: the 2023 Nissan Kicks has a price increase of $510 versus last year’s model. The Nissan Kicks reminds me a lot of a car that I previously owned – the Pontiac Vibe/Toyota Matrix. It is slightly smaller, but still is a good looking hatchback, with solid fuel efficiency.

7. Kia Soul

2023 Kia Soul

  • Base Automatic Transmission model: Kia Soul LX, 4-Door Hatchback
  • MSRP: $21,215
  • Factory Invoice Price: $19,098
  • Engine Specs: 2.0L, Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT), 16 valve, 4 cylinder, 147 hp
  • City MPG: 28
  • Highway MPG: 33
  • Combined MPG: 30
  • Annual Fuel Cost: $1,650
  • Powertrain Warranty: 10 years, 100,000 miles for original owner, 5 years/60,000 for subsequent owners
  • Limited Basic Warranty: 5 years, 60,000 miles
  • Overview: the 2023 Kia Soul has a price increase of $710 versus last year’s model. The Kia Soul is still a solid offering for its size at this price level. However, the Soul is close to being the same vehicle since its launch 14 years ago, with only slight styling and engine updates. It would be nice to see further developments in these areas. The Soul also has poor fuel efficiency for its size.

6. Nissan Sentra

2023 Nissan Sentra

  • Base Automatic Transmission model: Nissan Sentra S, 4-Door Sedan
  • MSRP: $21,045
  • Factory Invoice Price: $19,950
  • Engine Specs: 2.0L, Continuously Variable Auto Transmission (CVT), 16 valve, 4 cylinder, 149 hp
  • City MPG: 29
  • Highway MPG: 39
  • Combined MPG: 33
  • Annual Fuel Cost: $1,500
  • Powertrain Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles
  • Limited Basic Warranty: 3 years or 36,000 miles
  • Overview: the 2023 Nissan Sentra has a price increase of $510 versus last year’s model. Good fuel efficiency and value at this price point.

5. Kia Forte

2023 Kia Forte

  • Base Automatic Transmission model: Kia Forte FE, 4-Door Sedan
  • MSRP: $20,815
  • Factory Invoice Price: $20,125
  • Engine Specs: 2.0L, Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT), 16 valve, 4 cylinder, 147 hp
  • City MPG: 30
  • Highway MPG: 41
  • Combined MPG: 34
  • Annual Fuel Cost: $1,450
  • Powertrain Warranty: 10 years, 100,000 miles for original owner, 5 years/60,000 for subsequent owners
  • Limited Basic Warranty: 5 years, 60,000 miles
  • Overview: the 2023 Kia Forte has a price increase of $700 versus last year’s model. The Forte is an all around solid car with great fuel efficiency, a strong warranty, and good user reviews.

4. Hyundai Venue

2023 Hyundai Venue

  • Base Automatic Transmission model: Hyundai Venue SE, 4-Door Hatchback
  • MSRP: $20,795
  • Factory Invoice Price: $20,244
  • Engine Specs: 1.6L, Continuously Variable Auto Transmission (CVT), 16 valve, 4 cylinder, 121 hp
  • City MPG: 29
  • Highway MPG: 33
  • Combined MPG: 31
  • Annual Fuel Cost: $1,600
  • 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
  • Overview: the 2023 Hyundai Venue has a price increase of $550 versus last year’s model. The venue was a new model to the Hyundai lineup 3 years ago, with many similarities to its sister model, the Kia Soul. The Venue has more of a rounded, sporty appearance than the Soul and is slightly less expensive. It also gets solid ratings from its users. Lots of value here. Like the Soul, fuel economy is just OK for the engine specs.

3. Nissan Versa

2023 Nissan Versa

  • Base Automatic Transmission model: Nissan Versa S, 4-Door Sedan
  • MSRP: $18,425
  • Factory Invoice Price: $16,960
  • Engine Specs: 1.6L, Continuously Variable Auto Transmission (CVT), 16 valve, 4 cylinder, 122 hp
  • City MPG: 32
  • Highway MPG: 40
  • Combined MPG: 35
  • Annual Fuel Cost: $1,400
  • Powertrain Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles
  • Limited Basic Warranty: 3 years or 36,000 miles
  • Overview: the 2023 Nissan Versa has a $650 price increase versus last year’s model. The Nissan Versa was refreshed 3 years ago and looks a lot like the old Honda Civic. It offers strong fuel efficiency at 32 city and 40 highway MPG.

2. Kia Rio

2023 Kia Rio

  • Base Automatic Transmission model: Kia Rio LX, 4-Door Sedan
  • MSRP: $17,875
  • Factory Invoice Price: $17,157
  • Engine Specs: 1.6L, Continuously Variable Auto Transmission (CVT), 16 valve, 4 cylinder, 120 hp
  • City MPG: 32
  • Highway MPG: 41
  • Combined MPG: 36
  • Annual Fuel Cost: $1,350
  • Powertrain Warranty: 10 years, 100,000 miles for original owner, 5 years/60,000 for subsequent owners
  • Limited Basic Warranty: 5 years, 60,000 miles
  • Overview: the 2023 Kia Rio has a price increase of $600 over last year’s model. The Rio was the sister model to the now discontinued Hyundai Accent (let’s all shed a tear). Strong fuel efficiency, warranty, and pricing, if you can get over the extremely plain stylings.

1. Mitsubishi Mirage

2023 Mitsubishi Mirage

  • Base Automatic Transmission model: Mitsubishi Mirage ES, 4-Door Hatchback
  • MSRP: $17,600
  • Factory Invoice Price: $15,890
  • Engine Specs: 1.2L, Continuously Variable Auto Transmission (CVT), 12 valve, 3 cylinder, 78 hp
  • City MPG: 36
  • Highway MPG: 43
  • Combined MPG: 39
  • Annual Fuel Cost: $1,250
  • 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
  • Overview: the 2023 Mitsubishi Mirage has a price increase of $501 over last year’s model. The Mirage has a 3 cylinder engine, giving it excellent fuel economy. It also has an excellent warranty and a great price. The downside: it has a reputation of not having the greatest quality from owners. You win some, you lose some.

Leave a Reply