The average price of all cars, light trucks, and SUVs sold in the United States is slightly above $30,000.
But several vehicles sell for 60% less. Almost all of these are light-weight, four-door, four-cylinder cars that get extremely high gas mileage. And among them are 10 vehicles that are sold for under $14,720 — about the cost of adding one carbon ceramic braking system to a single Mercedes E63 sedan.
Every mainstream manufacturer that sells vehicles in the U.S. has to be in the low-priced car business. There are too many Americans who want to pay as little as they can for a car for any large car company to ignore. Of the 13.1 million vehicles sold in the U.S. in the first 11 months of this year, the 10 least expensive vehicles sold a total of nearly 500,000 during the same period.
All of the most inexpensive cars target are or were initially designed for younger Americans with limited budgets. Kia Rio and Soul, two of the cheapest cars, have hip hop hamsters with music at the forefront of their ad campaign. Smart, the minicar manufacturer, was the first to design a campaign specifically for Twitter. Of course, while it’s not necessarily their target demographic, lower-income families and buyers looking for a second car also make up a number of these buyers.
These cars are so important to manufacturers that almost every major car company makes and markets at least one of them — the Chevrolet division of General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM), Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F), Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM), Nissan, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda and the smart division of Mercedes-Benz USA. And the two other largest manufacturers offer cars like the Honda’s Civic and Volkswagen Jetta that are priced just slightly above $15,000.
Car analytics group Edmunds.com provided 24/7 Wall St. with the 2013 model cars sold in the U.S. with the lowest starting base prices, or MSRPs. Edmunds.com also provided U.S. sales for each of these models for each year going back to 2007, as well as sales for the first 11 months of this year. We also reviewed specifications on these vehicles primarily from the automaker websites.
These are the 10 Cheapest Cars in America.