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2020 Top 5 Cheapest New Cars You Can Buy in the USA

With the Small Car Segment Growing Smaller By The Minute, Only a Few Viable Options Are Still Up For Grabs

Cheapest New Cars

Americans are faced with many challenges. A slumping economy and rampant job losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic have people looking to cut costs at every level. This includes pinching pennies on their automotive purchases. We recognize this need and present to you the top five cheapest new cars you can buy in the U.S. today. Not only are these five new cars affordable, at under $16,000, but they also sip fuel at the pump, and offer extremely low maintenance costs.

2020 Top 5 Cheapest New Cars

2020 Mitsubishi Mirage ES

2020 Mitsubishi Mirage cheapest new cars

Owning a 2020 Mitsubishi Mirage ES can get you a city cruiser that gets outstanding gas mileage. The ES base model is offered with a CVT automatic transmission (36 city/43 hwy mpg) or a manual (33 city/41 hwy mpg). The diminutive 1.2L DOHC 3-cylinder can cruise comfortably on the interstate, but it shines when running around town. It’s not fast from a standstill, or anytime really, but the fuel-sipping nimble Mirage will have you smiling each time you save at the pump.

The Mirage ES now comes standard with automatic climate control. It also has tons of airbags, an anti-theft engine immobilizer, and body-colored exterior details. Base pricing for the Mirage ES starts at $13,995, for the LS manual variant. However, we’ve recently seen dealerships slash sticker prices, offering even more impressive value.

2020 Chevrolet Spark LS

2020 Chevrolet Spark

A 2020 Chevy LS Spark is a fun little car that can park anywhere, and look cool while doing so. The LS base model is offered with a CVT automatic transmission (30 city/38 hwy mpg) or a manual (29 city/38 hwy mpg). This little run-about has a 1.4L DOHC 4-cylinder powerplant under the hood. That little engine is good for 98 hp and 94 lb.-ft. of torque.

The LS Spark comes standard with features that include a 7-inch color touchscreen and built-in Wi-Fi Hotspot with available 4G LTE data. The LS trim level also has two USB and one aux jack for listening to tunes, and 10 standard airbags to keep occupants safe while doing so. Starting price for a Chevy LS Spark is $14,095.

2020 Nissan Versa S


The newly redesigned 2020 Versa S subcompact offers up several tech and safety features normally found in more expensive models. These items include niceties like remote keyless entry and push-button start. The Versa S sedan boasts a 1.6L 4-cylinder engine that puts out 122 hp and 114 lb.-ft. of torque. On offer are either the Xtronic automatic transmission or a 5-speed manual.

Peppier than the Chevy Spark or Mitsubishi Mirage hatchback, the inexpensive 2020 Nissan Versa S sedan is a solid alternative for those looking for a bit of space, along with a trunk. Starting price for the Versa S is $14,730.

2020 Hyundai Accent SE

2018 Hyundai Accent cheapest new cars

Hyundai is also known for adding niceties to base models that are usually found in higher trim levels. The new 2020 Hyundai Accent SE boasts features like a standard rearview camera with dynamic guidelines, 5-inch color touch screen, and keyless entry.

The 2020 Accent SE also sports a new Smartstream G1.6 dual-port injection engine. This new engine is good for 120 hp and 113 lb.-ft. of torque. You can get the Accent SE with a Smartstream Intelligent Variable (IVT) automatic transmissions or a 6-speed manual. Hyundai worked hard to increase the Accent’s EPA estimated fuel economy, which was 28 city/38 hwy, to a now even more impressive 33 mpg city/41 hwy.

Suggested pricing starts at $15,195 for the 2020 Hyundai Accent SE, with the 6-speed manual.

2020 Kia Rio LX

2020 KIA Rio

Similar to Hyundai, Kia Rio enters the 2020 model year with powertrain upgrades. An all-new Gamma 2 1.6L MPI engine supersedes their Gamma 1.6L GDI predecessor. An all-new iVT transmission also replaces the six-speed automatic. The new engine produces 120 hp and 112 lb.-ft. of torque. These changes have upped the Kia Rio LX’s fuel economy to a notable 33 mpg city and 41 highway.

Kia also throws in features like a standard 7-inch color touchscreen that supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Also included are body-colored accents and solar control glass. The base price for a 2020 Kia Rio LX is $15,580.

The Cheapest New Cars You Can Buy in 2020

No matter which automaker you go with, several cheap new car alternatives are still up for grabs on the U.S. market. Although the U.S. is lacking the variety of small cars it once had, these five options all worth your consideration.

  1. Mitsubishi Mirage ES
  2. Chevrolet Spark LS
  3. Nissan Versa S
  4. Hyundai Accent SE
  5. Kia Rio LX

(Note: Photos supplied may show higher trim levels that cost more than base model counterparts mentioned in this article.)

Mercedes Lilienthal
About Mercedes Lilienthal

Mercedes is an Oregon-based freelancer who specializes in vehicular adventure travel. She and her husband have three right-hand-drive turbo-diesel Mitsubishi 4x4s and two customized subcompact daily drivers. Mercedes enjoys automotive adventure competitions, having competed in the 2018 Rebelle Rally and the 2020 Alcan 5000 Rally. Her freelance work includes writing, editing, photography, social media management, event coverage, and marketing services.