Ever since the Great Recession, demand for cheap cars has skyrocketed —and why wouldn't it? Investing in a reliable yet affordable car is the best way to save money in the long run, and truthfully, luxury cars and vintage cars aren't always the best options, anyway.
Car manufacturers have definitely heard consumers out, and that's why so many car companies are now rolling out with quality cars that don't cost too much. Want to get a good budget-friendly car of your own? We decided to take a look at the best budget-friendly cars for people of every walk of life. Here's our take on the cream of the crop...
Chevrolet Sonic LS Sedan
Starting in around $15,000 for the basic model, the Chevrolet Sonic LS Sedan proves that American auto manufacturers can definitely still make a decent budget car.
This sedan is roomy and gives you the opportunity to customize and modify it if you want. However, it's safety that really stands out. The Sonic LS comes with 10 air bags, a rear camera, and OnStar compatibility. So, there's definitely a lot of bang for your proverbial buck available.
Gas mileage might make some people put off by this car, since it only offers 25 miles per gallon for urban living. However, it's good enough for many magazines to call it one of the best budget-friendly cars for suburban drivers.
Who Will Like It: Suburban families who hate minivans, but love minivan functionality. Commuters might enjoy it too, thanks to its 33 miles per gallon rating for highway commutes.
Despite the reputation for being "mom's minivan" and for being gas guzzlers, we'd be lying if we said people stopped wanting SUVs. SUVs, actually, are still some of the most popular cars on the road — particularly for families on the go.
For years, the Honda CR-V has been considered to be one of the best budget-friendly cars on the road, and 2017 is no different in that respect. It comes equipped with plenty of safety features, has been shown to be a very reliable model, and also boasts surprisingly low long-term ownership costs.
The Honda CR-V is a compact SUV, so while it's definitely roomy, it won't be a nightmare to park in most cases. We can dig it, especially at its starting price of $24,000.
Who Will Like It: Suburban families and adults who want a very spacious car.
Fiat 500 Pop
In terms of price, you really can't get a new car that's cheaper than the Fiat 500 Pop. At just under $16,000, this tiny four-door car is meant to be a utilitarian and a low cost way to get from Point A to Point B.
While it is a relatively fun car to drive, it's definitely a no-frills experience. What really sets this car apart from most others is the fact that it has a zippy motor, and the fact that it has a very respectable 31 miles per gallon rating for city dwellers.
Who Will Like It: Commuters who really do not want to have to spend a dime on extra add-ons.
If you haven't looked out on the road, let me fill you in: trucks are back in style. The Chevy Colorado is one of the best budget-friendly cars for people who want a rugged truck with great gas mileage.
The Colorado offers great safety, awesome towing abilities, and is a highly customizable truck. So, it gives you the macho goodness of a classic truck, the solid reliability of a top quality work machine, and a low price tag.
Better still, you can get this slick, country-approved ride for only $20,000. Sold? You betcha!
Who Will Like It: Country boys and workers who need a functional work truck.
There are two schools of thought when it comes to hybrid cars. Some people think they are the best budget-friendly cars in the world, especially when it comes to gas mileage. Others believe they are too pricey on the get-go, and worry about the price of repairs due to their hybrid status.
Personally, I'm a fan of them — especially of the Toyota Prius. At around $23,000 for a very basic 2017 Prius, these cars are actually only slightly pricier than a typical truck.
Additionally, you really do save a lot of money on gas and maintenance with a Prius, too. At a max of almost 58 miles per gallon on highways, having a Prius is one of those things that just makes sense if you have a long commute.
Toyotas are also known for being really reliable. So, breakdowns are very unlikely to happen.
Who Will Like It: Obviously, environmentalists and trendy people will enjoy the Prius because of its hybrid status. However, long distance commuters will be way more likely to fall in love with it after they realize how good their mileage is.
Hyundai Accent SE
The 2017 Hyundai Accent SE is exactly what you would expect a standard sedan to be. It's roomy enough to be a family car, reliable enough to be a commuter car, and also has enough features to keep people comfortable on longer trips.
Standard sedans aren't flashy, and the Hyundai Accent doesn't try to be. (Or, if it tries to be, it fails to the point that we wouldn't be able to recognize the effort.)
Even though it's very basic, it's extremely multi-purpose, is decently roomy, and also has a pretty decent gas mileage rating as well. Overall, it's been rated as one of the best budget-friendly cars for people who need an all-purpose car.
At around $15,000 for a basic model, it's affordable enough for just about everyone to afford. Better still, it has one of the best warranties of all affordable cars currently being sold. So, repairs will be cheap, too.
Who Will Like It: People who need a car that is designed for everyday life.
Mazda has, for the longest time, been known as a semi-luxury car manufacturer. So, it only makes sense that their engineers know how to make a really slick car — even when they are working to make a budget-friendly compact car.
The Mazda 3 is a beautiful little roadster that combines aesthetically pleasing elements with high gas mileage, a powerful motor, and of course, plenty of safety features.
Car and Driver rated this as one of the best budget-friendly cars in the small car category, and we can totally see why. It's a very reasonable $18,000 to start with, and it's reliable enough to be low maintenance, too.
Who Will Like It: City drivers who need smaller cars, commuters, and people who love visually pleasing cars.