According to Kelley Blue Book, the average cost of a new car in December 2022 was a whopping $49,507, which was 5% more than in 2021. The inventory shortages that many dealerships have had to contend with since the pandemic are easing up, and you’ll find that most dealers now have a decent amount of inventory. However, it may be harder and harder to find a car in the $15,000 range. While we came up with a list for you, don’t forget to check out the cars at an SCA auction when shopping for something with low miles and an inexpensive price tag.
Here are some of the cars that we found that were close to the $15,000 mark:
Nissan Versa – 2023 $15,750
The MSRP on the 5-speed 2023 Nissan Versa S model is $15,750, and includes a 16-liter DOHC 16-valve engine with safety features including Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Warning, Apple CarPlay, and High Beam Assist.
This subcompact was updated for 2023, but it still keeps its mission to offer inexpensive transportation. Car & Driver wrote that it was a smooth ride and fuel-efficient, which is something you want from a passenger car. There are five models to choose from, with the SR being the most expensive at $19,720 MSRP.
Kia Rio – 2023 MSRP $16,750
The 2023 Kia Rio stickers at $16,750, which is out of the $15,000 range, but it’s still worth considering because it’s an economical subcompact that can save you money on fuel. It happens to be one of the last of the subcompacts on the market, and it comes in a four-door or hatchback model.
It’s powered by an inline-4 that only puts out 120 HP, but that’s plenty if your driving mostly consists of zipping around town or running errands. It may not be fast on the highway, but you’ll save money on fuel. It comes in three trim levels up to $18,815 and it also includes wireless Apple CarPlay.
Hyundai Accent – 2022 $17,740
The 2022 Hyundai Accent is the last year of the Accent, and the base model has an MSRP of $17,740. It was named an Editor’s Choice by Car & Driver because they felt that its styling was dignified and that it had a straightforward interior. It’s powered by a 120 HP 4-cylinder that doesn’t have a lot of power, but makes up for it with its fuel efficiency as well as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
The Accent comes in three models, with the Limited being the most expensive with an MSRP of $20,695. If you’re looking for something practical that will save you money on gas, then the Accent is a good option. Since 2022 was the last year, you may still be able to find a leftover model on a dealer lot that they are willing to sell under MSRP that could get you closer to the $15,000 price target.
Chevrolet Spark 2022 – MSRP $13,600
The 2022 Chevrolet Spark is under the $15,000 mark, with an MSRP of $13,600. It’s a subcompact, so the backseat room is limited, but the rest of the interior makes up for it by being practical and well-designed. The infotainment system is intuitive and contains a lot of options, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It may be sluggish at highway speeds, but around town it’s economical and parking is a breeze.
This is the last year for the Spark, so you may be able to find a leftover on a dealership lot that you can get for even less money. There are four trim levels, and even the most expensive at $17,995 MSRP is less than most of the other vehicles available.
Mitsubishi Mirage – 2023 $16,245
The 2023 Mitsubishi Mirage has an MSRP of $16,245, which is higher than the $15,000 mark, but it comes with a 10-year warranty and has an EPA rating of 36 MPG, so there are some benefits to being over the price range. It’s equipped with a 3-cylinder that lacks power for highway driving, but for in-town driving, it works very well. Plus, it’s easy to park due to its subcompact size.
There are four trim levels, with the SE being the most expensive at $19,350 MSRP, but none of the models have a lot of extras in them. Its 7″ Smartphone Link Display Audio System 2 features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, so that’s a bonus! The Mirage is a simple vehicle that delivers economical driving and good fuel economy.
While cars under $15,000 brand new are becoming more and more scarce, there are still many vehicles on the market that are barely used under $15,000. Rather than searching for a brand-new car, many people wait and let someone else take the depreciation hit of a new car before they decide to buy something.
If you’re looking for something that saves money on gas, is not too expensive to buy, and will get you around town, then any of these five cars are a good choice. Besides, their size makes them fun to drive too.