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Affordable, Fun, and Reliable: Five Vehicles for Drivers on a Budget

January 21, 2020

Many of today’s new cars cost a small fortune. The high cost of maintenance makes some vehicles even more expensive to own. Luckily, there are some affordable options to consider. Here are five great rides for folks on a tight budget.

Honda Fit

If you aren’t looking to spend big money on a new vehicle, take a look at the Honda Fit. This affordable hatchback offers a lot of driving fun for the money. You’ll enjoy its nimble handling and strong i-VTEC four-cylinder engine. Because the Fit isn’t turbocharged, it’ll offer greater reliability in the long run. Strong safety scores from the NHTSA make the Fit even more rewarding.

Many drivers are drawn to the Honda Fit’s everyday practicality. For a compact car, it provides a lot of passenger and cargo space. While all trims look attractive, the Fit Sport stands out with its upgraded alloy wheels and underbody spoilers.

Toyota Corolla

You can’t go wrong by buying a Toyota Corolla. This small car has always offered legendary reliability. When serviced regularly by an experienced auto mechanic, it can deliver a like-new performance for years to come. Replacement parts, such as brake pads and air filters, are also very affordable.

Although the Corolla isn’t fast, it packs enough performance to offer a satisfying commute. A sports-tuned suspension is found on the SE and XSE trims, which brings sharper handling. You can also expect the Corolla to deliver good fuel economy. Most importantly, newer models benefit from a standard safety package. Accident-avoidance technologies, like automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning, give you more confidence while behind the wheel.

Hyundai Accent

The Hyundai Accent is certainly among the best vehicles for saving money. A good predicted reliability rating and low maintenance costs make the Accent a great investment. Although the Accent is a cost-cutting economy car, it offers the quality of vehicles that are far more expensive.

Under the hood sits a four-cylinder engine with 120 horsepower. Although this might not seem like much muscle, it gets the Accent moving without any trouble. You can also benefit from the Accent’s admirable fuel efficiency, which tops out at around 40 mpg. If you desire more security on the road, opt for the available forward collision system.

Chevrolet Sonic

The Chevrolet Sonic is yet another cheap, affordable car. In terms of overall value, it’s among the best vehicles in the class. A 4G Wi-Fi hotspot and a touchscreen display come standard. Mechanics also rave about the Sonic’s durability.

Power comes from a lively turbocharged engine, which pumps out 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. Available as an option, Chevy’s Performance package gives the Sonic an even more exciting feel. It adds sports-tuned shocks and a sweet-sounding performance exhaust. Most vehicles in this price class are far more boring to drive.

Acura ILX

Luxury vehicles can be a financial burden. Fortunately, that’s not the case for the Acura ILX. This small luxury sedan is among the least expensive in America. Even when equipped with extras such as a 10-speaker premium sound system, the ILX is still more affordable than other vehicles in the segment. Fortunately, its quality still meets Acura’s high standards. Offered as an option, Acura’s A-Spec package enables the ILX to embarrass its pricier competitors in the styling department.

Motivating the Acura ILX is a racy four-cylinder engine, which was previously featured on the high-performance Honda Civic Si. A total production of 201-horsepower ensures on-demand performance when you need it. All versions of the ILX now come equipped with an eight-speed automatic transmission. However, drivers who prefer a stick should be able to find a manual-equipped ILX on the pre-owned market.