If you're in the market for an honest-to-goodness sedan, you're in the minority. The buying public is shifting away from traditional four-doors in favor of SUVs, to the point where they've taken over the market. Thankfully there are still a few manufacturers out there offering sedans. These are the cheapest sedans on sale right now in 2023.
2023 Nissan Versa
With a base price of just over $17,000, the Nissan Versa is the cheapest passenger vehicle on sale today, regardless of body style. Under the hood is a 1.6-liter naturally aspirated engine making 122 hp, enough to get the 2690-pound sedan to 60 mph in just under 10 seconds.
Unsurprisingly, the Versa lacks many of the newest desirable features found in more expensive machinery, but acts as a great value for those looking for basic transportation with an included warranty.
2023 Kia Rio
With a starting price just $800 above the Versa's, the Kia Rio represents another impressive value proposition, delivering basic transportation at well below the industry average transaction price for a new vehicle.
If the Rio is high on your list, we suggest picking one up while you still can. Kia has confirmed the tiny 120-hp sedan won't continue production past the 2023 model year.
2023 Mitsubishi Mirage G4
While the regular Mitsubishi Mirage hatchback is the objectively better (and cheaper) car, the sedan-boded Mirage G4 is nearly as good, using the same 78-hp 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine and delivering the same dynamics.
The main selling point for the Mirage G4 is the rear seat legroom, which increases by three inches over the hatch. So if transporting people on an extremely tight budget is your goal, the G4 is the car for you.
2023 Kia Forte
The Kia Forte is the car for those who don't want something as big as the company's K5 sedan, but can afford more than the budget-minded Rio.
We highly suggest optioning the available 1.6-liter turbocharged engine over the underpowered 2.0-liter naturally aspirated inline-four. The turbo means 201 hp, paired to either a dual-clutch automatic or a six-speed manual transmission. We prefer the stick shift, obviously.
2024 Nissan Sentra
Price: $22,000 (est.)
If the Versa is just too bare-bones for you, Nissan has another affordable sedan that can be had for well under $25,000: The Sentra. Good looks, a well-designed interior, and decent seats combine to deliver an acceptable experience. Don't expect it to be as good as a Civic at this price, though.
The Sentra's only engine choice is a 149-hp naturally aspirated inline-four paired to a continuously variable automatic transmission powering the front wheels.
2024 Hyundai Elantra
Price: $22,000 (est.)
As far as basic transportation goes, it's hard to fault the Hyundai Elantra. It pairs a pleasant driving experience to a well-equipped interior and, for 2024, a new fascia that isn't as nearly as ugly as before.
The base 147-hp engine will work for most buyers, but we'd want the available turbo 1.6, pushing out 201 horses. If you have the budget, we highly suggest springing for the hotted-up Elantra N, as it's one of the best value-minded performance cars on sale right now.
2024 Volkswagen Jetta
Volkswagen no longer sells the base Golf hatchback in America, and that's a shame. But we still get the Jetta sedan, and that's the next best thing.
The Jetta delivers most of the Golf's nice, smooth driving experience in a more traditional sedan body shape, and comes standard with turbocharged power. Best of all, the base transmission is a six-speed manual—a fast-disappearing option in this segment that we wouldn't be able to live without.
2024 Toyota Corolla
There's a reason you still see so many Toyota Corollas on the road despite the buying public's lust for SUVs. It delivers everything you could possibly need for every day driving, whether that be safety, modern features like heated seats and dual-zone climate, or great fuel efficiency.
With a 2.0-liter inline-four making 169 hp, the base Corolla isn't quick by any means. But a relatively low curb weight means you can still have fun if you know what you're doing.
2024 Honda Civic
The Honda Civic makes a good case for being the best choice in the highly contested compact segment. It looks great and drives even better, offering the best interior design at this price range.
While you can't get a stick shift in the Civic sedan anymore, you can get one in the base Civic hatchback. That's the body style we'd rather have, anyway. If you absolutely must have a sedan and still want a stick, you'll have to upgrade to the sporty Si model.
2024 Mazda 3
The Mazda 3 sedan is arguably the prettiest car on this list, with a sports car-esque design we'd expect from a car double the price. Things get even better inside, with a minimalist, streamlined interior with a smart layout and good materials.
Even better, you can order the Mazda 3 with a turbocharged engine making 250 hp, but only if you opt for the hatchback body style. If you must have the sedan, we suggest springing for the manual transmission, available to pair with the base 191-hp inline-four.
2024 Subaru Legacy
As SUVs continue to dominate the market, the Subaru Legacy, once one of Subaru's most important models, has taken a back seat in its lineup. Like its main Honda-badged, competitor, it provides ample interior space and plenty of new safety features.
Like most new Subarus, the Legacy comes standard with all-wheel drive. Thankfully there's still turbocharged power available, coming in the form of a 260-hp 2.4-liter boxer-four. Sadly the only choice of transmission is a CVT.
2024 Chevrolet Malibu
Believe it or not, the Chevy Malibu is the only sedan Chevrolet currently sells. While it looks nice, it can't keep up with more modern Asian-built rivals, both in performance and tech features.
The only engine choice is a 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-four making 163 hp, paired to a CVT powering the front wheels. We'd only consider the Malibu if you absolutely must buy American, or your local Chevy dealer gives you a ridiculously good deal. Otherwise, just get an Accord.
2024 Kia K5
The K5 sedan is proof Kia is killing it right now. Good looks, a solid interior, and a good driving experience all combine to deliver one of the best sedans under $30,000 right now.
The standard 180-hp turbo-four will work well for daily-driver duties, but you wouldn't catch us in anything less than the available 2.5-liter turbo motor, rated at an impressive 290 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque. When equipped, it means the K5 can rocket to 60 mph in just 5.2 seconds.
2024 Nissan Altima
Though it's not the best vehicle in its segment, the Nissan Altima remains a core piece of the Japanese company's lineup, providing a solid driving experience and a good deal of standard features for a low price.
Most Altimas you see on the road will have the base 188-hp engine, but the highlight of the range is the variable-compression turbocharged inline-four, rated at 248 hp. Whichever engine you go for, it'll be paired to a continuously variable automatic.
2024 Toyota Camry
The Toyota Camry is the go-to choice for commuters and Uber drives alike, and for good reason. It's a spacious, comfortable, modern way to tap into Toyota's reputation for unbeatable reliability.
If we had the choice, we'd go for the TRD model. It gets a sporty exterior look and a 301-hp naturally aspirated V-6 engine under the hood. While there's no manual available, we're happy to see an eight-speed automatic included rather than a CVT.
2024 Hyundai Sonata
Price: $28,000 (est.)
The Hyundai Sonata's ultra-futuristic looks and fantastic 10-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty aren't the only good things it has going for it. There's a nice interior with big displays, paired to Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
For pure driving fun we prefer the Accord, but an available turbocharged four-cylinder with 290 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque do a lot to alleviate questions about driving enjoyment.
2024 Honda Accord
Not only is the Honda Accord one of the cheapest sedans on sale, it's also one of the best sedan on the market regardless of price. We enjoy the Accord more than most luxury cars, as it delivers a smooth, unbothered ride and a smartly laid-out interior without any annoying gimmicks you'd find from European brands.
If you can, we suggest springing for the hybrid drivetrain. It delivers 204 hp from a 2.0-liter four-cylinder and two electric motors, and feels wonderful from behind the wheel.
2023 Subaru WRX
By far the quickest and most fun vehicle on this list, the Subaru WRX is the ultimate daily-driver sports car for those living in places that get snow. Standard all-wheel drive, a manual transmission, and turbocharged power mean plenty of excitement, whether you're on your favorite back road or on a race track.
Sadly if you want things like adjustable suspension and high-quality Recaro seats, you'll have to go for the most expensive GT trim, which comes only with a CVT.
2024 Cadillac CT4
With a base price of just under $36,000, the Cadillac CT4 is the only real luxury offering on this list. Don't be fooled by the price, this car is properly appointed with sharp looks, a nice cabin with high-quality materials, and standard turbocharged power.
The CT4-V is the trim to have. It gets a 2.7-liter turbo-four rated at an impressive 325 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque. The 0-60 sprint happens in a deeply impressive 4.5 seconds.
2023 Dodge Charger
Despite being over a decade old, the Dodge Charger remains a strong seller in Stellantis's shrinking lineup of sedans. That's down to the good looks, rear-drive architecture, and available V-8 power.
The base 292-hp V-6 is plenty for most normal buyers, but we wouldn't be satisfied with anything less than eight cylinders. The R/T trim gets a 370-hp 5.7-liter, while the Scat Pack gets an even bigger 6.4-liter making 485 horses.
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