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10 of the Cheapest Cars in America

It's not easy being a low-priced new car in this era of low interest rates, cheap gas prices, and hot-selling crossovers. The competition from off-lease used cars with more equipment is fierce. That being said, there's a lot to like about this segment, and the standard level of equipment on these little guys is getting better every year.

They're also safer and more efficient than ever before. Take a look at some of the cheapest cars you can buy new.

  • Image Credit: Nissan

Nissan Versa S Sedan - $12,855

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$12,855. That’s what the bare-bones Nissan Versa S sedan will set you back. For that price, the lowest for a brand new car in this country at the moment, you get 109 hp, a 5-speed manual, A/C, Bluetooth, traction and stability control with ABS … and not much else. You'll crank your own windows and lock your own doors, too. Good luck finding one at this price.

Nissan Versa Information

Nissan Versa
  • Image Credit: Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi Mirage - $13,830

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Given the experience of being in a Mirage, it's incredible that it's not the cheapest option on the list. The only engine on offer is an anemic, jittery inline-3 making just 78 hp. There's no Bluetooth, no cruise control, but you do get standard power windows and door locks. Take that, Versa! A quick aside: the CVT is not worth the $1,200 upgrade. Trust us.

Mitsubishi Mirage Information

Mitsubishi Mirage
  • Image Credit: Chevrolet

Chevrolet Spark - $13,875

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The Spark is a very similar vehicle to the Mirage in terms of size, conception, and power output. And while it's no Bentley, it's a big step up from the Mirage for a measly $45 upcharge. There's a 98 hp inline-4; a nifty touch-screen radio with Bluetooth, Android Auto, and CarPlay; and an armrest. You'll have to crank up and down your windows yourself, but in this segment that's still fairly common.

Chevrolet Spark Information

Chevrolet Spark
  • Image Credit: Ford

Ford Fiesta Sedan - $14,535

From behind the steering wheel, the Ford Fiesta feels like a pretty normal commuter car. That's a good thing. Sure, space is at a premium in the back seat, and you're not going to fit a family's worth of stuff in the trunk, but it can seat five in a pinch, and the 120-horsepower engine feels reasonably peppy, at least when compared to some of its rivals on this list. It's available as a sedan or, for a little bit more money, a versatile hatchback.

Ford Fiesta Information

Ford Fiesta
  • Image Credit: Kia

Kia Rio - $15,060

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Step up to a Kia Rio and you'll get an extra gear! That's right, the standard transmission is a six-speed manual. It's also the most powerful engine so far in the cheap car ladder, coming in at 138 hp. It's a veritable hot rod compared to everything else so far. Things inside are still fairly bare-bones: no power windows or center armrest, although those are options.

Kia Rio Information

Kia Rio
  • Image Credit: Smart

Smart ForTwo Pure - $15,400

By far the smallest car in this company, the second-generation Smart ForTwo is a much better car than its predecessor. It's peppy and roomy – but that's because there's only seating for two. While it's easy to park and surprisingly capable on the freeway, there's no question it's better suited to urban environments where parking real estate is at a premium.

Smart ForTwo Information

Smart ForTwo
  • Image Credit: Hyundai

Hyundai Accent - $15,580

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The Hundai Accent is an attractive option for penny pinchers who don't want to skip out on all the bits and baubles that make owning a car more bearable. It's got standard power windows and door locks, split-folding rear seats, and an auxiliary jack for your phone or audio player.

Hyundai Accent Information

Hyundai Accent
  • Image Credit: Fiat

Fiat 500 - $15,990

You may be surprised to see a stylish little Italian hatchback on a list of the cheapest new cars for sale in America. But remember that the Fiat 500 is small, and this price is only for the two-door version. So, you have to be willing to give up some practicality for style. For urban dwellers, though, its pint-sized dimensions may actually be a boon when it comes time to park.

Fiat 500 Information

Fiat 500
  • Image Credit: Kia

Kia Forte - $17,495

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Bigger than its Rio stablemate, the Forte is also considerably better equipped. Under the hood is a 2.0-liter engine that makes 147 hp paired to a 6-speed manual transmission. Cruise isn't standard, but power windows and remote keyless entry are.

Kia Forte Information

Kia Forte
  • Image Credit: Chevrolet

Chevrolet Sonic - $16,020

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The recently facelifted Sonic is a relatively fun-to-drive, well-proportioned little thing. It's also fairly well-equipped for the segment. Interestingly, the sedan variant is a bit cheaper than the hatchback, so you'll shell out for the more utilitarian bodystyle. The base engine is a 138-hp 1.8-liter, but there's an optional 1.4-liter turbo engine that's a little more fun.

Chevrolet Sonic Information

Chevrolet Sonic
  • Image Credit: Toyota

Toyota Yaris - $16,530

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Cheap and more cheerful than the last Yaris, the new 2017 model sports a Euro-inspired look and a decent level of included features. The highlight is probably Toyota's excellent Entune system, standard on the base Yaris. It makes do with a 106-hp engine and a standard 5-speed transmission.

Toyota Yaris Information

Toyota Yaris
  • Image Credit: Toyota

Toyota Yaris iA - $16,835

A refugee from the defunct Scion brand, the Yaris iA is – no bones about it – one of the most unfortunate styling exercises around. Too bad; underneath the skin it's 100 percent Mazda, making it one of the best little no-frills drivers' cars around. Get past the angry catfish fascia and uninspiring horsepower numbers – it's more than the sum of its parts.
  • Image Credit: Honda

Honda Fit - $16,965

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In terms of space utilization and the ability to reconfigure the interior to haul people or a shocking amount of stuff, the Fit is without peer on the list. It's been a favorite in this class for years. It doesn't look like such a great value on paper when compared to the slightly larger Versa, but the extra utility is worth the cost. And with a 130-hp engine and a standard 6-speed manual transmission, it's fun to drive, too. 

Honda Fit Information

Honda Fit
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