2019’s Top 10 Affordable Cars

From Hondas to Hyundais, here are the best and most affordable cars from 2019 that you can still get at an awesome price.
Written by Sarah Gray
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
2019 offered quite a selection of affordable cars, including the
Honda Fit
Chevy Sonic
, and even the last model year of the
Ford Fiesta
. As used car prices continue to rise, you might be surprised that many of these cars still sell for much closer to their original MSRP than you’d normally expect. 
Finding an affordable used car these days can be quite a search, but it’s not impossible—it just requires a little research. To help simplify the task,
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We’ve scoured reviews and recalls to find the top ten cars from 2019 that are still both affordable and reliable.
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Honda Fit — est. $18,527-$20,198

Image of a Honda Fit from Honda's Newsroom.
Engine: 130-hp 1.5L 4-cylinder
This super-practical and surprisingly smooth-riding 2019
Honda Fit
hatchback gets an amazing 36 mpg highway estimate from the EPA—but if you find an LX model with an automatic transmission, that average leaps to 40 mpg. Sure, you sacrifice some of the fun and control of a manual transmission, but when we’re talking about affordability, every penny saved is worth it.
  • Pros: Excellent fuel economy and interior materials
  • Cons: Weak, buzzy-sounding engine

Nissan Sentra — est. $18,281-$20,044

Image of a Nissan Sentra from Nissan's official US Newsroom.
Engine: 124-hp 1.6L four-cylinder
The 2019
Nissan Sentra
is functional. It gets you from point A to point B reliably—and sometimes, that’s all we need in a car. The Sentra is staunchly average in all arenas, including fuel economy, with an EPA-rated 29 mpg city and 37 highway.
  • Pros: Soft ride, surprisingly spacious interior
  • Cons: Overpriced, awkward interior configuration

Kia Rio S — est. $17,106-$19,249

Engine: 130-hp 1.6L four-cylinder
Like so many other manufacturers,
dropped the option for a manual transmission on its 2019
, so buyers lose the chance to experience all the fun you’d expect from an engine with one of the highest power ratings in its class. But fret not, the engine is pretty peppy even with its standard automatic, and gets the gas mileage we expect from a subcompact—an average 39 mpg highway.
  • Pros: Sophisticated appearance and peppy engine
  • Cons: Base model has no options—not even power windows

Hyundai Accent — est. $16,499-$18,216

Image of a Hyundai Accent from Hyundai's media center.
Engine: 130-hp 1.6L four-cylinder
Where the 2019
Hyundai Accent
falls short on options, it delivers on fuel economy on par with rivals in its class. The accent delivered between 36 and 41 mpg in test drives.
  • Pros: Spiffy appearance, athletic handling
  • Cons: Sparse base package

Toyota Yaris — est. $16,391-$17,772

Image of a Toyota Yaris from Toyota's newsroom.
Engine: 106-hp 1.5L four-cylinder
The 2019
is essentially a Mazda2 in
packaging—and paired with a manual transmission, it’s just as fun to drive. The peppy subcompact delivers average fuel economy for its class at 32 mpg city and 40 mpg highway. All told, this is our number-one pick from this list.
  • Pros: Peerless interior quality, playful handling
  • Cons: A bit slow (but not disappointingly so), no hatchback option 
Key Takeaway The 2019 Toyota Yaris is our top pick for affordable cars from 2019.

Chevrolet Cruze — est. $15,478-$17,035

Engine: 153-hp turbocharged four-cylinder (available in gasoline or diesel)
If you’re truly looking to save money at every turn, search out a 2019
Chevy Cruze
with a diesel engine. You lose the option of a manual transmission—but that’s actually not a bad thing in this case. You’ll get a breathtaking 52 mpg highway in return.
  • Pros: Astonishingly fuel-efficient diesel option, comfortable ride
  • Cons: Painfully disappointing manual transmission
Key Takeaway For superior MPG, choose a diesel powertrain for your Chevy Cruze.

Hyundai Elantra — est. $15,710-$17,207

Engine: 147-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder
Even on the base SE model, the 2019
Hyundai Elantra
offered plentiful options, so you’re likely to find some well-equipped examples. Fuel efficiency is on par for its class. 
While the base model only offers a 5-inch display for its infotainment system, upper trims come standard with a 7-inch screen. Many buyers opted for the upgraded 8-inch touchscreen with navigation and wireless charging for phones, so keep an eye out for those options.
  • Pros: Attractive looks, fantastic infotainment system
  • Cons: Cheap interior materials, cramped rear seat

Chevrolet Sonic — est. $14,879-$16,628

Engine: 138-hp 1.8L inline-four-cylinder
The 2019
Chevy Sonic
delivers on many of the things buyers look for in a subcompact car—a spacious cabin, snappy handling, and reliability. Unfortunately, the Sonic doesn’t deliver like others in its class when it comes to fuel economy, rating only 27 mpg city and 34-38 highway.
  • Pros: Hatchback only offered in fancier trims
  • Cons: Mediocre interior quality, below-average fuel economy

Ford Fiesta S— est. $13,869-$15,394

Engine: 120-hp 1.6L four-cylinder
2019 was the last year for the
Ford Fiesta
in North America as the manufacturer shifted its focus primarily to trucks and SUVs. The Fiesta is small, feisty, and well-balanced around corners, which makes up for its sluggish acceleration. Its fuel economy leaves a lot to be desired, too, with an EPA rating of only 27 mpg city and 37 mpg highway.
  • Pros: Hatchback offers plenty of storage space with seats folded down
  • Cons: Scant options on base model, below-average fuel economy
MORE: Should I buy a sports car? 

Chevrolet Spark — est. $13,168-$14,919

Engine: 98-hp 1.4L four-cylinder
Chevy is dominating this list and the market when it comes to compact and subcompact cars. The 2019
Chevy Spark
is the most affordable hatchback in its class—and Chevy didn’t skimp on quality to make that rank. With its teeny-tiny engine, you’d expect fuel economy to be a major selling point for this one, but at just 29 mpg city and 37 highway, it’s barely average.
  • Pros: Nimble handling, quality interior materials
  • Cons: Slow, unremarkable fuel economy

Nissan Versa — est. $12,242-$13,843

Image of a Nissan Versa from Nissan Official Newsroom.
Engine: 109-hp 1.6L four-cylinder
The 2019
Nissan Versa
offers a comfortable interior and staid reliability. But it’s the cheapest new car sold in the US for a reason. You get what you pay for—and with the Versa, you don’t pay for much. Even the fuel economy is lackluster at best, averaging only 34 mpg highway.
  • Pros: Inexpensive
  • Cons: Cheap materials
Key Takeaway The 2019 Versa is the frugal car buyers’ best option.
MORE: 7 things to look for when buying a used car

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Do your research. Generally speaking, used cars are very reliable. But some models have known issues that have led to recalls and even accidents. These are all well-documented, so take some time to read up on your model before making a decision to buy.
Get an independent inspection. Contrary to what you may think, most car dealers are not car experts—but licensed, independent mechanics are.
Check your state’s
lemon law
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