• Mar 3rd 2008 at 3:21PM
  • 15
Number 5

Geely HQ SRV: 5-door "tall" estate. China $5,780
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Number 4

Very similar to the HQ, the Geely MR has its roots in the Daihatsu Charade from the mid-'80s. The difference is that this car can be fitted with more "sporty" powertrains.

Geely MR: 5-door. China. $5,500
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Number 3

Until the Tata Nano arrives, the Suzuki Maruti 800 -- the "smallest car in production" -- will be the cheapest car you can buy in India and in other nearby countries (and even South America). Some versions of the Maruti have even arrived in Europe.

Suzuki Maruti 800: 5-door hatchback. $4,994.
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Number 2
It's almost twice as expensive as the cheapest car on the this list, but that doesn't stop the Cherry QQ from coming in at #2. This car sparked some trademark issues because of similarities to the Daewoo/Chevrolet Matiz.

Chery QQ: 4-door hatchback. China. $4,781.
[Click image for more information and additional photos]

Number 1

This car is well thought out, and lots of patents have resulted from the creation process -- from the Nano's powertrain to the assembly process itself. Will this car ruin the world? Some voices say that more cars on the roads imply more pollution, which is hard to argue against.

Tata Nano: 4-door hatchback. India. $2,497.
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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      I could use one of these little cars for getting around town in. I work less than 2 miles from my home plus most of my driving is within 5 miles of home so why do I need something high-dollar and fancy? It's nice to have one ride for hauling the family and making longer trips with but something other than a motorcycle for lousy Michigan weather.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Actually, be smarter, why do you need ANY car!? I ride a bike to get anywhere I need to go, up to about 25km (16miles).
      • 3 Years Ago
      all i see is the new hyundai excels from the 80s for the top five; they are so crappy! I rather buy a 15 year old elantra then cherry QQ (stupid name).
      Karl Petry
      • 7 Years Ago
      America used to sell some inexpensive cars, but the bean counters at the big three stopped it, that's why cars are so expensive now. Maybe it will take the Chinese, or Indians (India) to wake up our auto manufacturers but realisticaly most likely not. Expect to be buying overseas cars in the future. Remember, the more expensive the car, the more costly the insurance. Cheap car, cheap insurance.....totally not American. We are all the losers.
      • 5 Years Ago
      How come the world doesn't know about Suzuki mini-van? Or Suzuki mini-cargo/truck? Are they illegal in the road? But Japan are using them all around.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Why are there ANY cars/trucks in the US market with dual beam headlights?

      Almost half these cars have real headlights. [separate low & high beams]
      • 7 Years Ago
      I have a feeling most of these cars lack the emmision controls required in the U.S. and thus pollute the environment. They can't be brought in to America. Also, they may not get the best gas mileage.
      My old 2001 Prius gets between 47 and 60 mpg and is very clean, of course. Both those factors are more important to me than mere purchase price.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Look at you, horrible and unaware. I am sure the CheryQQ, for example, certainly passes all limitations... And the price of your Prius? Only at a cost of more than, more than half the world earn in a lifetime, idiot. And the environmental damage of your Prius' batteries!? Wow, with wealthy "1st world" people as unaware & ignorant as you, the world's future & environment surely are doomed.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The estimate for repairing my Corolla from a 10mph crash came in more than some of those cost!
      • 7 Years Ago
      I don't know what to think of this one. Most these cars are indeed a hindrance to the environment, It doesn't bode quite well to have a zillion new cars on the road, consuming resources, pushing the oil prices up and - that's right - polluting. A lot. The thing is, the Indians haven't had our past of cars, so now they can enjoy it, we go and tell them they can't have it. Not nice.

      The answer would lie in Tata - and the other cheap car manufacturers, as much as the expensive car manufacturers - start spewing off new cars with cleaner technologies. It's the only way, the Nano is a great base for a small electric plug-in vehicle.

      Now, I have to say that, marketing-wise, the Nano is a disaster. Buy it 'cause it's cheep? Come on, we can all see what a heap that is! Can't we?

      Carlos Ferreira
      • 6 Years Ago
      well, i guess forbes has not really done a thorough job for two reasons. Firstly coverage on available car manufacturer..it mostly look at India, China and South America..I bet there is some cheaper car you can find in Malaysia..check out Perodua and Proton...seek and you shall find. Secondly you should stated whether the price stated is manufacturer price or on the road price.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I would love to buy a new car cheap.but no matter how cheap a car is or how cheap it is on gas the oil companies will just jack up the cost of gas.
      • 4 Years Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why are none of these availabe in Canada? Will any be coming here any time soon? We are budget conscience also. I would love one for in town running about.
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