Special Report

This Is the Cheapest Car in America

SergeyTikhomirov / iStock via Getty Images

Americans have run into problems buying cars in the past year. Car shortages have been triggered by an extremely low supply of the chips used in electronic and navigation systems. Additionally, supply chain issues have cut the availability of other parts. The chip shortage could last well beyond the end of this year.

The low supply has pushed up prices. Not only have they hit all-time highs for new cars, but for used cars as well. Disappointed new car buyers have turned to the used car market, and the increased demand has pushed prices of used cars higher as well. Still, there are some less expensive cars, and the cheapest car in America is the Chevrolet Spark. (And these are the cheapest electric vehicles you can buy.)

Though prices are higher, the problem has hurt both dealers and manufacturers. Dealers often have few vehicles, and the small number they get often go to customers within days. Manufacturers have shuttered assembly lines, and their bottom lines have been affected.

In addition to car shortage, another new wrinkle for buyers has been created by high gasoline prices, which recently surged above $4 per gallon of regular gas, on average, nationwide. In some areas of the United States, the figure has passed $5. Cars that get high gas mileage have become extremely attractive.

The average price of a new car sold in 2021 was a staggering $43,072. That is equivalent to the entire annual household income of about a third of Americans. (This car holds its value better than any other in America.)

Car and Driver recently analyzed new car prices to find the lowest ones available. Notably, its editors reported, “The cheapest new car sold in the U.S. is nearly $13,000 cheaper than the average price of a used car.” To find the least expensive cars in America, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed Car and Driver’s 10 Cheapest New Cars for 2022. All other data is from the report.

The least expensive new car available in America is the Chevrolet Spark with a base price of $14,595. The Spark will be discontinued next year. Chevy puts the price of the Spark slightly lower than the Car and Driver analysis. Chevy’s number is $13,600.

The Spark gets very good gas mileage at 30 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates. That is mostly because the Spark has a tiny 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine, which puts out only 98 horsepower.

The Spark gets relatively good reviews. Car and Driver rates it 7 out of 10. Kelley Blue Book rates it 4.5 out of 5, and Motor Trend rates it 7.1 out of 10.

Click here to see the cheapest car in America

Source: Courtesy of Nissan USA

10. Nissan Sentra
> Base price: $20,635
> Fuel economy EPA combined/city/highway: 33/29/39 mpg

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Source: Courtesy of KIA

9. Kia Soul
> Base price: $20,505
> Fuel economy EPA combined/city/highway: 27/25/31 mpg

Source: Courtesy of Hyundai

8. Hyundai Venue
> Base price: $20,245
> Fuel economy EPA combined/city/highway: 31/30/33 mpg

Source: Courtesy of Kia

7. Kia Forte
> Base price: $20,115
> Fuel economy EPA combined/city/highway: 35/31/41 mpg

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Source: Courtesy of Hyundai USA

6. Subaru Impreza
> Base price: $19,790
> Fuel economy EPA combined/city/highway: 26/23/31 mpg

5. Hyundai Accent
> Base price: $17,690
> Fuel economy EPA combined/city/highway: 33/29/39 mpg

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Source: Courtesy of Kia

4. Kia Rio
> Base price: $17,275
> Fuel economy EPA combined/city/highway: 36/33/41 mpg

Source: Courtesy of Nissan

3. Nissan Versa
> Base price: $16,205
> Fuel economy EPA combined/city/highway: 30/27/35 mpg

Source: Courtesy of Mitsubishi

2. Mitsubishi Mirage
> Base price: $16,125
> Fuel economy EPA combined/city/highway: 36/33/41 mpg

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Source: Courtesy of Chevrolet

1. Chevrolet Spark
> Base price: $14,595
> Fuel economy EPA combined/city/highway: 33/29/38 mpg

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