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Consumer Reports Recommends These 10 Cheap Cars

Here are 10 of the cheapest new models that are solid, safe, and reliable, recently recommended by CR analysts that includes 3 Toyota models!

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According to a recent Consumer Reports newsletter, it’s not just the most desired big ticket makes and models that are commanding high prices, it turns out that the lower-priced models as well are not untouched by the current market and giving new car shoppers sticker shock when they discover that they will have to pay premium prices that reach $1,000 or more to the MSRP of the least expensive new models available today.

Consumer Reports Car Market Watch

Fortunately, CR analysts are watching the market closely and trying to find the makes and models that will provide new car shoppers with good, solid, and reliable cars without having to go into serious car debt.

In fact, they recommend that looking past the MSRP sticker and focusing on what car shoppers are actually paying lately for lower-priced models is more helpful.

“To help members find the best car at the lowest cost, we have analyzed the average transaction price for new cars using national data from TrueCar, a CR partner, and sorted all models based on their selling price. We then selected 10 models to highlight that are recommended by CR, meeting our stringent standards for road-test performance, owner satisfaction, reliability, and safety,” stated CR automotive experts.

What You Will Find from the List

From CR’s list you will find amongst the recommended models:

  • Prices from a low of $19,795 to a high of $35,300
  • Above MSRP costs ranging from $143 to $1,313
  • All vehicles are either compact or subcompact models
  • Toyota Corolla and Corolla Hybrid stand out as the most attractive deals

10 Cheap Cars That CR Recommends

1. Toyota Corolla 2023 ($22,853)

Price Range:  $21,700 - $27,425

CR MPG:  Overall 36 / City 24 / Hwy 51 mpg

#4 of 17 Compact cars

Recommended model: 2023 Toyota Corolla LE CVT
Average transaction price: $22,853
Average spent over MSRP: $1,153
MSRP: $21,700

2. Nissan Kicks 2023 ($23,250)

Price Range:  $20,590 - $23,150

CR MPG:  Overall 32 / City 24 / Hwy 40 mpg

#1 of 6 Subcompact cars

Recommended Model: 2023 Nissan Kicks SV FWD
Average transaction price: $23,250
Average spent over MSRP: $800
MSRP: $22,450

3. Toyota Corolla Hybrid 2023 ($24,035)

Price Range:  $21,700 - $27,425

CR MPG:  Overall 48 / City 37 / Hwy 59 mpg

#1 of 17 Compact cars

Recommended model: 2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid LE
Average transaction price: $24,035
Average spent over MSRP: $985
MSRP: $23,050

4. Mazda 3 2023 ($24,093)

Price Range:  $22,550 - $35,300

CR MPG:  Overall 30 / City 20 / Hwy 44 mpg

#6 of 17 Compact cars

Recommended model: 2023 Mazda3 2.5 S Select
Average transaction price: $24,093
Average spent over MSRP: $143
MSRP: $23,950

5. Toyota Corolla Hatchback 2023 ($24,384)

Price Range:  $23,155 - $26,580

CR MPG:  Overall 36 / City 24 / Hwy 51 mpg

#12 of 17 Compact cars

Recommended model: 2023 Toyota Corolla Hatchback SE CVT
Average transaction price: $24,384
Average spent over MSRP: $1,229
MSRP: $23,155

6. Subaru Impreza 2023 ($24,508)

Price Range:  $19,795 - $27,395

CR MPG:  Overall 30 / City 21 / Hwy 41 mpg

#5 of 17 Compact cars

Recommended model: 2023 Subaru Impreza Premium
Average transaction price: $24,508
Average spent over MSRP: $1,313
MSRP: $23,195

7. Volkswagen Jetta 2023 ($24,678)

Price Range:  $20,655 - $28,385

CR MPG:  Overall 34 / City 21 / Hwy 54 mpg

#10 of 17 Compact cars

Recommended model: 2023 Volkswagen Jetta SE
Average transaction price: $24,678
Average spent over MSRP: $293
MSRP: $24,385

8. Kia Soul 2023 ($24,978)

Price Range:  $19,890 - $24,190

CR MPG:  Overall 28 / City 21 / Hwy 35 mpg

#11 of 17 Compact cars

Recommended model: 2023 Kia Soul EX
Average transaction price: $24,978
Average spent over MSRP: $788
MSRP: $24,190

9. Hyundai Elantra Hybrid 2023 ($25,813)

Price Range:  $24,550 - $29,150

CR MPG:  Overall 48 / City 40 / Hwy 55 mpg

#9 of 17 Compact cars

Recommended model: 2023 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid Blue
Average transaction price: $25,813
Average spent over MSRP: $1,263
MSRP: $24,550

10. Kia Seltos 2023 ($26,069)

Price Range:  $23,340 - $28,840

CR MPG:  Overall 28 / City 20 / Hwy 35 mpg

#7 of 15 Subcompact SUVs

Recommended model: 2023 Kia Seltos S IVT AWD
Average transaction price: $26,069
Average spent under MSRP: $1,179
MSRP: $24,890

For a more detailed breakdown of the data, please visit the CR website. Note that while access to some information requires a CR membership, the potential savings make it negligible in comparison when looking for the latest information to aid your car buying research.

For an additional articles about recent Consumer Reports car deals, here are a few for your consideration:

Timothy Boyer is an automotive reporter based in Cincinnati. Experienced with early car restorations, he regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications for improved performance. Follow Tim on  “Zen and the Art of DIY Car Repair” website, the Zen Mechanic blog and on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites  and Facebook for daily news and topics related to new and used cars and trucks.

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