The AMC Gremlin was short-lived and was only in production from 1970 to 1978. The car was often mocked even long after it was removed from production. However, it put up impressive sales numbers.
At a base price of $1,879 in 1970, the Gremlin would have cost about $12,533 today. AMC advertised the Gremlin as the "original American subcompact," and it came before similar affordable compact cars from the Big Three.
had their own approach for the cheap compact car segment with their Chevette. Originally released in 1975, the Chevy Chevette grew in popularity after America’s Oil Crisis that led to gasoline shortages.
The Chevette was a light and simple hatchback. It was slow and not very sleek-looking, but the main selling point of the car was good gas mileage. The Scooter base model would cost around $12,385 today.
Excel was a pioneering car for Hyundai. It was the first model to be sold in the U.S. by the South Korean car company. Initially, the Excel sold well due to its low price, but its popularity fell after a few years.
Drivers found that the car had poor quality, and sales started to slump. Hyundai used to be known for barebones and cheap cars, but they’ve long moved past this reputation and model for building cars. The Hyundai Excel went for the equivalent of about $11,397 today.
No list of cheap cars would be complete without mentioning the Geo Metro. Suzuki and General Motors collaborated to produce the Geo Metro, which was a spinoff of the Suzuki Cultus.
This tiny car from Japan was often the target of jokes because of its lightweight, but it was successful on the market. The Geo Metro was slow but extremely cheap and efficient. In 1990, the base model Geo Metro would cost the equivalent of $11,871 today.
The cheap cars included in this list are old models that aren’t very reliable. If Britney is driving any of these cars, she’ll probably want to replace them soon. Since she posted the Instagram video during her vacation in Hawaii, she might have just been renting out a cheap vehicle.
Jane Lu is excited about writing and digital media. She has published blog posts for SAP’s Digitalist Magazine with a focus on emerging technology and trends. When she’s not writing about car insurance or upcoming vehicles, you can find her drawing on a graphics tablet or trying to find new places with good french fries.