Cheap is still in style, and most of the cheap cars are also some of the most reliable ones. Automobile manufacturers and dealers are releasing the purse strings when it comes to incentives and promotions because new car stocks are approaching pre-pandemic levels. So, there are plenty of reliable models available at reasonable prices.
We have compiled a list of the cheap and reliable vehicles currently available. These cars offer excellent value and a wide range of standard amenities that will give you the impression that you’re getting a good deal.
Cheapest Reliable Cars In 2024
15. 2024 Nissan Altima
Starting at $27,140
With its affordable starting price and recent upgrades, the 2024 Nissan Altima is a strong contender in its class. There are four trim levels available for the five-seater Nissan Altima. The most popular model is the 2.5 SR FWD, which has front-wheel drive and a 2.5-liter I4 engine. Its affordable price, user-friendly design, and roomy interior make it a great choice.
The 2024 Altima has some good updates from the 2023 model year, like the Nissan Safety Shield 360, which is standard on all models, a group of semi-automated features, and an optional 12.3-inch (31.2 cm) touchscreen. Its exterior design is also really elegant. It is estimated that this Altima will get 27 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the interstate.
14. 2024 Kia K5
Starting at $26,745
The 2024 Kia K5 stands out in its class with its sleek appearance and available all-wheel drive without losing its essential values. If Kia offered a hybrid model, it would most certainly be unbeatable. Although the K5 had enormous shoes to fill, it succeeded admirably. Its chiseled exterior set it apart in an otherwise dull class, and it delivered on that promise.
The K5 returns in 2024 with only one small change: the GT-Line version now includes heated seats. The Kia K5 is a five-seater car with four different trim options. The most popular model is the GT-Line FWD, which has a front-wheel-drive system and a 1.6-liter I4 Turbo engine. It is estimated that this K5 will get 27 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway.
13. 2024 Chevrolet Malibu
Starting at $26,195
Despite having an older design than its competitors, the Chevy Malibu is still a great option for classic family sedans because of its big cabin and smooth ride. The Chevrolet Malibu is a five-seater car with four different trim options. The single powertrain option is a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine, which feels acceptable in most conditions but has lower output than competitors.
Chevy Safety Assist is a suite of cutting-edge driver-assistance systems standard on all Malibu levels. The 8-inch (20 cm) display panel of the infotainment system blends in well with the dashboard, and its simple design makes it easy to read. According to estimates, this Malibu will get 27 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway.
12. 2024 Subaru Legacy
Starting at $26,015
The Subaru Legacy is a cozy midsize sedan that boasts a stylish interior, remarkable standard safety features, and an extensive infotainment system with a sizable touchscreen available on upper trim levels. It’s also less expensive than many of its competitors, which makes it a suitable option for those on a tight budget who still want the extra assurance of all-wheel drive.
The Legacy’s spacious and cozy interior is ideal for long-distance travel or daily commuting. There are five trim options available for the five-seater Subaru Legacy. The most sought-after model is the Premium, which features a 2.5-liter H4 engine and all-wheel drive. It is estimated that this Legacy will get 27 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway.
11. 2024 Mazda 3
Starting at $25,335
The 2024 Mazda 3 is a reasonably priced compact car with a surprisingly posh feel due to its elegant interior, smooth driving experience, and good performance. Top trims have elegantly equipped interiors with materials that exude a quality that rivals can’t match.
Two engine options are available for the Mazda 3, the first of which is a standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder producing 191 horsepower. Both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive are available with this engine. A 250-horsepower turbocharged 2.5-liter is available, but only on the pricey Turbo models. Buyers can receive a six-speed manual gearbox if they choose front-wheel drive.
If they choose all-wheel drive, they’ll need a six-speed automatic. The base 2.5-liter, four-cylinder sedan has the best gas mileage numbers from the EPA, getting 28 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway. The least fuel-efficient variant is the all-wheel-drive, turbocharged hatchback, which gets 23 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway.
10. 2024 Honda Civic
Starting at $25,045
The Civic is considered the ideal small car, and it’s probably what most people picture when they think of affordable, useful everyday transport. The Civic received a makeover for 2022; however, the available powertrains are the same as those of the previous generation.
The base engine is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 158 horsepower, while the upgraded engine is still a 1.5-liter four-cylinder with 180 horsepower because of turbocharging. There is only one front-wheel-drive model available for the new Civic. The EPA rates the mid-range EX as the most fuel-efficient new Civic, with 33 mpg city, 42 mpg highway, and 36 mpg combined.
9. 2024 Subaru Impreza
Starting at $24,115
The Subaru Impreza is an excellent and sensible pick because of its all-wheel drive, high-tech driver assistance features, spacious interior, and excellent safety ratings. However, other competitors have higher performance and fuel economy. There are three trim levels available for the five-seater Subaru Impreza. The most popular model is the Sport, which has an all-wheel-drive system and a 2.0-liter H4 engine.
Subaru’s EyeSight driver safety system is also getting an update, with a wider-view camera and a new capability that can steer away from an accident at speeds less than 50 mph (80 kph). It is estimated that this Impreza will get 27 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway.
8. 2024 Toyota Corolla
Starting at $23,145
The Toyota Corolla isn’t meant to shock or thrill people. Rather, it provides a reliable and secure journey, regardless of the distance traveled. The Corolla’s primary goal isn’t performance, and its most potent engine can generate 169 sluggish horsepower.
A continuously variable automatic gearbox (CVT) transfers the Corolla’s 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine to the front wheels. That powertrain is the same for all hatchbacks, but the sedan also has a hybrid engine. The Corolla sedan and hatchback offer a comfortable ride that effectively dampens out even the hardest jolts.
They are also more agile than earlier generations because of their controlled body motions. According to the EPA, the all-wheel-drive hybrid is rated at 47 mpg city and 41 mpg highway, while the front-drive hybrid is expected to get 50 mpg city and 43 mpg highway.
7. 2024 Hyundai Elantra
Starting at $22,775
The Hyundai Elantra is a practical yet appealing option for daily driving because it has a lot of basic technology and excellent fuel economy. The Elantra’s cabin is roomy for its size, and its fuel-efficient reputation is enhanced by the available hybrid drivetrain.
While a slender 2.0-liter four-cylinder is standard, the N-Line adds a little extra pep with its turbocharged 1.6-liter engine. The 2.0-liter basic engine in the SE and SEL is paired with a continuously variable gearbox (CVT), while the N Line, Blue Hybrid, and Limited Hybrid variants come with a dual-clutch gearbox (DCT).
According to EPA estimations, the 2.0-liter, four-cylinder Elantra can achieve up to 33 city and 42 highway mpg. Estimates for the turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder model go up to 28 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway.
6. 2024 Volkswagen Jetta
Starting at $22,660
Although compact sedans aren’t as popular as they were in the past, the 2024 Volkswagen Jetta is still a great option for anyone looking for a reasonably priced car. Every Jetta is powered by a 1.5-liter, four-cylinder turbocharged engine that produces 158 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque.
The base S comes with an eight-speed automatic gearbox as standard, although a six-speed manual is also available. Although it’s not designed for razor-sharp handling, the chassis is tuned more for a smooth and comfortable ride, yet it’s nevertheless fun within its bounds.
With an EPA-estimated 31 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway, the base S with the automatic is the most efficient vehicle; the manual-equipped version is rated at 29 mpg in the city and 42 mpg on the highway.
5. 2024 Nissan Sentra
Starting at $22,030
The Nissan Sentra satisfies the mind rather than the spirit. It’s one of the cheapest new cars on the market right now, and it comes with a lot of tech to help the driver, like automatic emergency braking and rear-cross-traffic warning. Each Sentra has a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine producing 149 horsepower. It is mated to a continuously variable automatic gearbox (CVT) and front-wheel drive.
The Nissan has wheels that range in size from 16 to 18 inches (40 to 45 cm) and an independent rear suspension. Although the EPA has not yet released a fuel efficiency estimate, the 2024 Sentra is expected to outperform last year’s figures due to some minor powertrain changes. The 2023 Sentra achieved up to 29 mpg city and 39 mpg highway.
4. 2024 Kia Soul
Starting at $21,565
The 2024 Kia Soul’s spacious interior, engaging handling, and overall vivacity have won over many buyers despite its affordable pricing. The Soul combines elements of both the hatchback and crossover SUV categories. There are four trim levels available for the five-seater Kia Soul.
Although its 147-horsepower engine isn’t enough to light up drag strips, when paired with a continuously variable automatic gearbox, it can be an efficient vehicle in urban settings. Surprisingly, the 2024 Soul is also more sophisticated when driving.
The suspension is set up for easy driving rather than precise handling, and the engine and CVT thrum are kept to a minimum. It is expected that this Soul will get 29 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway.
3. 2024 Kia Forte
Starting at $21,145
The Kia Forte is a sporty-looking compact car, but its greatest asset is its affordability. The Forte small car comes with two engine choices: a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 147 horsepower and a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 201 horsepower. It’s more than capable of cruising the city.
With four elegant trim levels and a plethora of standard amenities at incredibly low prices, the Forte series does offer value. This is further enhanced by a powertrain warranty that outperforms that of Mercedes-Benz or BMW. The Kia Forte has an EPA fuel efficiency rating of 34 mpg overall, 30 mpg in the city, and 41 mpg on the highway.
2. 2024 Mitsubishi Mirage G4
Starting at $19,055
Cheap? Indeed. Pleasant? Not in that way. As one of the most affordable sedans available, the 2024 Mitsubishi Mirage G4 feels every bit of its extremely low price. There’s no denying that the Mitsubishi Mirage G4 has a significant horsepower shortfall in comparison to competing vehicles. Mitsubishi gives the little Mirage G4 a 1.2-liter, three-cylinder engine that produces 74 pound-feet of torque and only 78 horsepower.
Front-wheel drive and a continuously variable automatic gearbox (CVT) are standard on all Mirage G4 versions. During regular driving, the small vehicle accelerates slowly. One of the main advantages of this automobile is its fuel efficiency. The Mirage G4 has an EPA fuel economy rating of 35/41 mpg city/highway.
1. 2024 Nissan Versa
Starting at $17,530
The 2024 Nissan Versa sedan has a fuel-efficient engine and great driving dynamics, making it a desirable and capable everyday vehicle. A four-cylinder, 122-horsepower engine powers the front wheels of the Versa. Base models come standard with a five-speed manual gearbox, but the S model also offers a continuously variable automatic gearbox (CVT). The latter is standard on the more expensive SV and SR trim levels.
Even though the Versa is sluggish to accelerate out of stoplights and pass other vehicles on highways, its continuously variable gearbox (CVT) helps keep road noise to a minimum by simulating real gearchanges. When the CVT is installed, the Versa can achieve up to 32 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway.
Even the cheapest cars are rising in price, but there’s still plenty of value and reliability at the low end of the new car market. Compact automobiles like the Honda Civic and Mazda 3 can match most needs and outperform more expensive models with a few extras. We have compiled the 15 cheapest and most reliable cars you can buy in 2024. If you are in the market and want a cheap but reliable vehicle, you can go through this guide and pick one that best suits your needs.