Deciding which cheap new car to purchase can be a daunting task. It’s crucial to take your time, do your research, and look at the big picture. While we are largely focused on fuel economy here at MPGomatic, your purchase decision will include a range of considerations. The process can be highly emotional. The car you like best, might not make the most financial sense, for any number of reasons. If the car you fall in love with turns into a money pit, the honeymoon won’t last long.
Kelly Blue Book (KBB) crunched the numbers to determine 2018’s least expensive new cars “based on a full buy-drive-sell ownership cycle” (not just the purchased price). While some folks are most concerned with the monthly payment, the most important factors in KBB’s calculations include initial cost, finance rates, and five-year depreciation, as well as fuel costs. These are KBB’s picks’ not our favorites.
All of the vehicles on the list use conventional gasoline engines. Some worthy compacts and subcompacts oddly didn’t land on the list (including the Corolla, Yaris, Civic, Mazda3, Focus, and Fiesta) and there are no hybrid or diesel models due to the higher sticker prices. It comes as no surprise that all of the vehicles are front-wheel-drive. We’ll run through the list by order of fuel economy and include KBB’s listing order at the end of the article.