Five Great Cheap Cars You Should Check Out Right Now

Everyone loves a good deal, and cheap wheels don’t necessarily mean you’re buying a jalopy anymore. Even the most humble machines now come with plenty of safety features, great audio systems, and everything we love about more expensive rides. Here are five recently tested economy cars and what we thought of them. (Decals and availability vary – some of these cars are extremely popular.)

2021 Mazda CX-30 Sub-compact crossover $ 21,900

The 2021 Mazda CX-30 is an expensive little machine that does everything you ask of it, from reasonable acceleration through its 186 horsepower motor to reasonable seat and trunk space at a reasonable price. It also has a few control issues, like not allowing you to raise or lower the trunk lid with your hand if you get impatient with the snail pace of its mechanical open / close, or automatically apply the parking brake. when you stop the car whether you want a parking brake or not. (You don’t.)

That said, it’s such a lively little wheel set that I couldn’t help but love it during a week-long test. If you get a bonus this year and have a few more parts, there are plenty of versions, including a diesel model.

Your only powertrain available is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission for this version, but it’ll get you where you go and back. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is optional. Fuel economy is around 28 mpg.

2021 Toyota Corolla Hybrid $ 23,650

There’s so much to love about the Corolla Hybrid, from its low base price at its 50 miles per gallon mileage to the simplicity and ease of its navigation and sound system, which syncs with my Droid in less than 15 seconds. (Are you listening, Lexus, Mazda?)

The 2021 Toyota Corolla Hybrid is only available in one version, the LE. Standard features include manually adjustable front seats, proximity keyless access, fabric upholstery, automatic climate control, a 7-inch digital instrument cluster display, and an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa, two USB ports, a six-speaker stereo, Bluetooth, satellite radio and a Wi-Fi hotspot.

How does it roll? It’s great in town, lukewarm on the highway. Its handling is decent, its trunk is chintzy, and you better not exceed speed when going up and down winding roads – we were screaming tires at speeds as slow as 40 MPH on a mountain trip.

But it’s adorable, it’s affordable, and probably the best low-cost hybrid for sale.

Driver assistance functions are also standard, such as forward collision warning, pedestrian and cyclist detection, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, hold assist lane control, automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, traffic sign recognition and a reversing camera. Check out options like a $ 500 blind spot monitor and rear cross traffic alert, or a universal garage opener for $ 175.

Hyundai Elantra Hybrid 2021

With gasoline prices at an all time high, a hybrid starting at $ 23,550 like the Elantra is welcome, indeed. The week-long test revealed a face worthy of Tesla, with sleek, digitally produced analog dials, a solid, spacious and well-built cockpit, and mileage somewhere in the 54, city / highway district. I found its start pleasantly hasty, and whipping it around the corners was a (minor) blast. Its rear space is considerable for tall and / or tall people and the trunk is just as generous at 14.2 cubic inches.

You move via a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, assisted by an electric motor developing 43 horsepower and 125 lb-ft of torque. A lithium-ion polymer battery serves as an “electron reservoir”. Total power? 139. It’s better than a leaf blower, but the torque is 195 lb-ft, so it really feels like you’re driving on the freeway, and the acceleration is especially great for this type of vehicle. Throw it in “Sport” and you will get good speed acceleration; its other modes are “Normal” and “Smart”.

You ride around town on high efficiency Hankook Kinergy GT tires mounted on 17 inch wheels. The management is pleasant so unspectacular. There’s a Highway Drive Assist that will keep you in your lane if you’re drowsy or distracted. The only downside to the car is its occasional uncertainty when changing gears, but that’s not a deciding factor.

Hyundai incorporates all the latest safety equipment as standard, including automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot assistance, rear cross traffic alert, lane keeping assistance and automatic high beam headlights. Choose the Limited version and you’ll benefit from adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go function as well as highway driving assistance.

At the end of the line ? It’s an incredibly well-made vehicle that does what you ask it to do. The price is right and so is the mileage you get.

2021 Volkswagen GLI Autobahn Starts at around $ 31,000

With all the uproar over electric cars being the wave of the future, it was nice to get in the Jetta and find a “change”. Saint 1985, Batman! The clutch and throttle tango in the Jetta was also a gas. (both figuratively and literally.) Actually, if you wanted to teach someone how to work a standard, this would be a great choice because it’s buttery smooth. My test model was the high-performance version of the trim, with a 228-horsepower turbo four that offered one of the smoothest rides of any of the cars in this article thanks to its independent rear suspension. The GLI never looked great, nor the interior spectacular, but I was stunned by both its performance and the smoothness of the controls.

For the coming year, buyers are getting an updated rear end and a refresh of her kiss. The bottom of the car’s rear bumper also has a honeycomb design, with bigger twin pipes that, in theory, will provide a more sagging exhaust note. You can get the vehicle as an automatic for a bit more cash if the standard thing isn’t to your liking, and the engine and transmission choices remain the same as they were last year. Its leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter feel good, and there’s also a ‘black package’ available with the VW logo. Standard features are thankfully plentiful, with ventilated front seats, wireless charging, a digital gauge cluster, panoramic sunroof, adaptive dampers, a more than decent audio system, and ventilated front seats provided. Mileage is a pretty good highway / city combined 33 MPG, depending on your footing. You won’t want to slam it – it’s just not that type of vehicle.

It starts at a reasonable price of $ 30,745, with a final MSRP charged at around $ 33,000.

Honda Civic 2021 $ 21,245

The Civic is a no-frills, no-fuss car. This will work great for anyone who needs reliable wheels, who wants to fit a lot of groceries, a suitcase or two, a guitar, or bags of Home Depot dirt in the trunk. If you have three friends to take somewhere, they go, with lots of space and comfort, EZ-PZ. I loved how good this car was – neither flashy nor embarrassing, just a good, sane car. It’s also doing very well with Millennials, Gen Z, first-time buyers and multicultural buyers, and we’re proud of them all. Trims are plentiful, although the coupe is gone from next year. It also offers several engine choices and a tight CVT automatic or manual transmission.

The 2021 Honda Civic sedan starts at $ 21,250, plus a destination fee of $ 955. The prices go up from there as you go up the plates, no. Base models powered by the 2.0-liter naturally aspirated engine are energetic and responsive for their size. During a weeklong test, some of which involved 100 mile round trips, I found the seats comfortable, visibility excellent, and all controls easy to find. It’s just amazing how some budget bars, like the Civic, have better-designed center consoles than some cars costing over $ 100,000. Go for the Civic Type R and you get high-padded sport seats covered in a grippy red and black suede-like material and with red double stitching. Your new car comes with Front Collision Mitigation with Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Keeping Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed ​​Following, Lane Departure Mitigation, and Automatic High Beam – all series. Mileage is around 38 MPH for my test model, city / highway combined.

The last great thing about my Civic, however, was noticing that the seat belt chime offers the same two notes as the Bette Midler song “La Rose” – “C” and “G”. You can therefore, when entering your garage and depending on the type of day you have spent, sing along with the seat belt chime with: “Some say love / It’s a river / that drowns the tender reed / Some say love / It’s a razor / that leaves your soul bleeding.”