Buying a vehicle is a costly endeavor for most Americans. Although many of us have some idea of our perfect dream car, the decision regarding which car to purchase often comes down to a question of affordability. Potential car buyers on any kind of budget (that means most of us) must consider not only the price of a vehicle, but the total cost of owning one. Additional costs include interest payments if you took out a loan, as well as fuel costs, insurance premiums, insurance deductibles, registration fees, parking, maintenance, and repair, to name just a few.
Automobile buyers on a budget often prefer manual transmissions, as manual transmissions are more fuel efficient than their automatic counterparts. A vehicle with a manual transmission also costs about a thousand dollars less than the same vehicle with an automatic transmission. That’s one reason why cost-conscious car buyers tend to opt for manual transmissions.
All things considered, here’s a descriptive list of the 10 overall least expensive new passenger cars to own, according to various automotive websites. They are listed in descending order by the Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price, although the lowest MSRP does not reflect the lowest overall cost of owning the car.
10. The 2015 Lexus ES 300h is the luxury hybrid version of the Lexus ES 350. Desirable features include a quality interior that greatly reduces wind and traffic noise. This green-friendly ride gets roughly 40 mpg on city streets, and 39 mpg on the highway. The MSRP is $40,000.
9. The 2014 Buick Enclave is a comfy SUV with front-wheel drive and room for seven passengers. The gas mileage averages 17 mpg on city streets, and 24 mpg on the highway. The MSRP for the Enclave is around $39,000.
8. The 2015 Toyota Avalon Hybrid is probably the least expensive large car you can own. This vehicle is a fuel efficient choice, averaging 40 mpg in the city, and 39 mpg on the highway. The MSRP is currently around $35,000.
7. The 2015 Chevrolet Traverse is a large SUV that seats up to eight passengers. The Traverse features the lowest total cost of ownership of all large SUVs. Gas mileage is, on average, 17 mpg in the city, and 24 mpg on the highway. The MSRP is $30,000.
6. The 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport is a Midsize SUV with a high-quality interior and great styling. The Sport averages 20 mpg in the city, and about 27 mpg on the highway. The MSRP is $24,000.
5. The 2014 Toyota Prius Compact is a super green-friendly hybrid with phenomenal gas mileage. The Toyota Prius Compact averages 51 mpg in the city, and 48 mpg on the highway. The MSRP is $24,000.
4. The 2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid is a roomy, midsize sedan. This eco-friendly car gets an average gas mileage of 43 mpg in the city, and 39 mpg on the highway. The standard MSRP is $23,000.
3. The 2015 Honda Civic Si is a sporty but affordable coupe. The interior is somewhat lacking in quality, but the Si is known for its great handling and fast acceleration, as long as you don’t mind the noise. The Si averages 22 mpg in the city, and 31 mpg on the highway. The MSRP is currently set at $22,000.
2. The 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek is a small, affordable SUV with cool styling and all-weather capability. The Crosstrek gets great gas mileage for an SUV, averaging about 23 mpg in the city, and 30 mpg on the highway. The MSRP for the Crosstrek is $21,000.
1. The 2014 Toyota Prius C is the Subcompact counterpart to the above mentioned Toyota Prius compact. The Prius C gets amazing gas mileage, achieving an average of 53 mpg on city streets, and 46 mpg on the highway. The MSRP is a refreshingly affordable $19,000. The Toyota Prius C is known for its reliability and low rate of depreciation.