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Cheapest Car Brands in Canada

Cheapest Car Brands in Canada

New vehicles have become increasingly unaffordable for many Canadian buyers in recent years. With high inflation driving up sticker prices across the auto industry, finding an inexpensive new car can seem like an impossible task.


However, there are still some surprisingly budget-friendly options on the market in 2024. While choices are certainly more limited today, certain brands manage to offer new cars for sale at relatively low prices in Canada.


This comprehensive guide examines the cheapest cars available new in various categories. We’ll look at the most affordable models not only among subcompacts but also small SUVs and even midsize sedans. Beyond just listing cheap vehicles, we’ll explore the key factors impacting affordability today.


Read on for an in-depth look at how Canadian consumers can still find new vehicles to fit modest budgets even in the face of high inflation and rising prices.

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Most Affordable Subcompact Cars

In the subcompact car segment, the most affordable options for Canadian buyers are the Mitsubishi Mirage, Nissan Versa, and Hyundai Accent.

The Mitsubishi Mirage starts at just $16,998, making it the cheapest new car available in Canada. This tiny hatchback delivers excellent fuel economy and lots of value. The Mirage comes standard with features like power windows, air conditioning, and Bluetooth connectivity. While it’s very basic transportation, the Mirage offers new car shoppers rock bottom pricing.

Next up is the Nissan Versa with a starting MSRP of $17,498. Available as a sedan, the Versa provides a surprising amount of interior room and trunk space given its low price point. It comes well-equipped even in base trim, with amenities like a 7-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration, and advanced safety tech. The Versa gives budget-focused buyers a more practical and comfortable compact vehicle.

The Hyundai Accent sedan has an MSRP that starts at $18,249. It strikes a balance between affordability and desirable features. Standard items include lane keep assist, forward collision warning, a rearview camera, and a 5-inch display audio system. Drivers get good power from the Accent’s 120-horsepower engine. With its upscale interior and generous warranty coverage, the Accent is appealing for bargain hunters.

 

Cheapest Compact Cars

Moving up a vehicle class, compact sedans make up the next most affordable category for new car buyers in Canada. There are several compelling options priced under $25,000 that provide more interior room and features compared to subcompact models. Three of the cheapest choices for 2024 are the Kia Forte, Nissan Sentra, and Hyundai Elantra.

The Kia Forte starts at just $19,595 making it one of the most affordable compact cars in Canada. Buyers are treated to Kia’s excellent 10-year/200,000 km warranty coverage, providing long-term peace of mind. Modern styling and available upgrades like a 201 horsepower turbocharged engine, heated seats, and adaptive cruise control make the Forte feel upscale for an entry-level price point. It’s a smart combination of value, efficiency and everyday usability.

Nissan offers the Sentra sedan with a $19,898 MSRP when choosing the base S trim. Standard high-tech safety features like automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and blind spot monitoring make it stand out in the compact segment. A roomy interior provides plenty of passenger and cargo space. Fuel economy is rated at an efficient 7.5L/100 km in combined city and highway driving. The Sentra provides a lot of car for not a lot of money.

The Hyundai Elantra also presents a strong value case with its $20,149 starting price. It’s larger than most other compacts, delivering midsize interior dimensions and seating for up to five adults comfortably. An available 201 horsepower turbo engine provides brisk acceleration. Hyundai compliments it with the latest infotainment and safety technologies. For shoppers who prioritize interior space, the Elantra is a top affordable choice in the compact category.

 

Most Affordable Small SUVs

For budget-focused buyers needing more utility, the Venue and Kicks small crossovers deliver on value.

The Hyundai Venue starts at just $20,449, making it one of the most affordable subcompact SUVs in Canada. Despite its low price point, the Venue doesn’t skimp on features. It comes well-equipped with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, blind spot monitoring and lane keep assist. The Venue offers upscale styling on the outside and a modern interior. Fuel economy is excellent thanks to an efficient 4-cylinder engine. Overall, the Venue provides a lot of crossover capability for not a lot of money.

At $20,998, the Nissan Kicks is another impressively affordable small SUV. It offers ample cargo space and rear seat legroom. The Kicks is powered by a 1.6L 4-cylinder with good fuel economy. Standard safety tech includes automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and rear cross traffic alert. While not the most exciting vehicle to drive, the Kicks gives crossover buyers terrific value without breaking the bank.

 

Cheapest Midsize Sedans

In the midsize segment, the Malibu stands out for offering the lowest entry price while still providing decent power and features. The 2024 Chevrolet Malibu starts at just $26,798, making it one of the most affordable options for a family-sized sedan.

Under the hood, the Malibu comes standard with a 1.5L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine putting out 160 horsepower. Fuel economy is solid at 8.4L/100km combined. The Malibu offers a smooth, quiet ride thanks to sound deadening materials and active noise cancellation technology. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard.

For safety, Chevy equips the Malibu with forward collision warning, lane keep assist, automatic emergency braking, and a rearview camera. Available active safety features include adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert and more.

The Volkswagen Jetta is another affordable midsize sedan choice, with a starting price of $22,995. The Jetta provides buyers with European styling and handling at an accessible price point. It comes standard with a 147 horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. Fuel economy is rated at 7.7L/100km combined. The Jetta offers a more engaging driving experience than most rivals.

Standard tech features in the Jetta include a 6.5” touchscreen, Bluetooth and a rearview camera. Upgraded trims add extras like adaptive cruise control, wireless charging and Beats premium audio. With its balance of value, driving dynamics and upscale interior, the Jetta remains a smart pick in the midsize class.

 

Factors Impacting Affordability

Several key factors have driven new vehicle prices higher in recent years, making affordable models harder to find:

 

Inflation – Rising inflation has increased the input costs for automakers, from raw materials to wages. This has pushed up new car prices across the board.

Supply chain issues – Ongoing supply chain disruptions like chip shortages have constrained vehicle production, leading to low inventories and inflated prices.

High demand – Despite higher prices, demand has remained strong for new vehicles. This allows automakers to charge more without hurting sales too much.

Low interest rates – Easy access to financing with low interest rates has enabled buyers to afford higher car prices. Rates are starting to rise, which could curb demand.

 

These macroeconomic factors have combined to make cheap, affordable cars a rare find in today’s market. Cost-conscious buyers need to temper expectations and get creative to find good deals on new vehicles.

 

Tips for Finding Cheap Cars

If you’re looking to buy one of the most affordable cars in Canada, here are some tips to help you find the best deal:

 

Consider used models – Buying a lightly used 1-3 year old model can save you thousands compared to the latest new edition. Opt for a former rental or lease return in good condition with low miles.

Look for deals and incentives – Check for any current rebates, discounted financing rates or bonus cash offers from the manufacturer that can further reduce the price. Dealers may offer their own discounts too.

Opt for base trims – Skip the higher trim levels with extra features you may not really need. Stick with a basic model in the cheapest initial configuration.

Shop end of model year – Look for leftover previous model year vehicles still on the lot. Dealers will be eager to sell these units to make room for new inventory.

 

Financing Options

When looking to buy one of the most affordable cars in Canada, financing options are crucial for buyers who can’t pay cash upfront. There are a few smart ways to get financing approved and find the best possible rates.

The most common auto financing method is through a loan from a bank or other lender. Amounts can range from a few thousand dollars up to the entire vehicle price. Term lengths typically vary from 12 months up to 8 years. Those with good credit scores can qualify for the lowest interest rates, which are currently around 3-5% at most major banks.

Another route is dealer financing, where you arrange a car loan directly through the dealership. This can sometimes secure promotional rates, especially for specific models. Just beware of questionable add-ons that dealers may try pushing. Carefully read all paperwork before signing.

For buyers with minimal income or credit challenges, subprime lenders remain an option albeit at higher rates. Take time rebuilding your score before applying for auto loans. A co-signer with better credit can also help secure more reasonable financing.

Leasing is another alternative to financing a purchase. You simply cover monthly payments over a 2-4 year contract. When the lease ends, you return the vehicle rather than owning it. While leasing involves less money upfront, you won’t build any equity and face mileage restrictions.

No matter which financing method you choose, shop around for the best terms. Checking with multiple lenders prevents overpaying. Online auto finance marketplaces like RateHub allow you to easily compare quotes.

 

Costs Beyond Purchase Price

When buying a new car, it’s important to look beyond just the purchase price. Insurance, gas, and maintenance costs will make up a significant portion of your total spending over the years you own the vehicle. Cheaper cars can sometimes have lower operating costs, but not always.

For insurance, the make and model impact your rates. Compact cars and minivans often have lower premiums. Getting quotes from multiple providers is wise to find the best rate.

Fuel costs vary dramatically between vehicles. The most affordable cars tend to be smaller and more fuel efficient. However, factors like engine size, transmission type and whether it requires premium gas also affect gas spending.

Maintenance is where affordable cars can require more budgeting. Cheaper models may need repairs more often. Brands known for reliability like Toyota and Honda tend to have lower maintenance costs. Checking consumer reports on projected maintenance and repairs for any car you’re considering is advised.

Taking a long term view, insurance, gas and maintenance may add up to more than the original purchase price over the years you own a car. Carefully comparing these projected operating costs makes it possible to find the truly cheapest cars when factoring in total lifetime spending.

 

Safety Concerns

When shopping for an affordable car, it’s important not to compromise too much on safety. While the cheapest models may lack some of the latest high-tech safety features, there are still ways to get good protection without breaking the bank.

The most basic safety features like airbags, seatbelts, and anti-lock brakes have become standard even on entry-level vehicles. Go for models that have earned good crash test ratings from the IIHS and NHTSA – many small cars score just as well as larger sedans. Avoid cars with poor ratings.

Also look for standard stability control, which can prevent accidents by keeping the car going in the intended direction. Backup cameras are also becoming more common on cheap cars and help avoid accidents in parking lots.

While advanced driver aids like automatic emergency braking and lane keep assist are great, they may only be optional on base models. But some affordable brands like Toyota offer low-cost packages to add these features. Or you may be able to find a lightly used model with them already equipped.

The bottom line is not to compromise on safety just to get the absolute lowest price. Do your research and try to get the most protection you can reasonably afford. Prioritize life-saving technologies like airbags and stability control over creature comforts.

 

Reliability of Cheap Models

When buying an affordable, budget-friendly vehicle, reliability is a major concern. Cheaper cars often cut corners on quality to keep prices low, which can lead to more frequent repairs and breakdowns. However, some budget models have proven to be quite dependable.

According to J.D. Power’s annual dependability study, the most reliable cheap cars include:

 

  • Toyota Yaris
  • Honda Fit
  • Kia Rio
  • Hyundai Accent
  • Nissan Versa

 

These models performed well above the average for compact and subcompact vehicles in long-term reliability surveys. Overall, Japanese and Korean brands tend to offer better dependability in affordable vehicles compared to American brands.

To maximize the reliability of a cheap car, proper maintenance is crucial. Follow the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule diligently, using high-quality oils and parts. Address any issues promptly before they worsen. Keep records of all service and repairs. Consider an extended warranty for added peace of mind after the factory warranty expires.

With proactive maintenance and care, an inexpensive car can still provide years of trouble-free service. Do research to choose reliable models with long-term owner reviews praising dependability.

 

Top Brands for Affordability

When it comes to affordable, reliable cars, certain brands stand out from the competition. Toyota, Honda, and Hyundai have established strong reputations for offering budget-friendly models without sacrificing quality.

Toyota is renowned for durability and retaining its value exceptionally well. The Toyota Corolla frequently appears on lists of the cheapest cars thanks to low initial cost and minimal depreciation over time. Toyota prioritizes practicality and dependability over flair, making their cars affordable to maintain.

Honda is another brand lauded for reliability and affordability. Models like the Honda Civic and Honda Fit achieve low ownership costs by avoiding expensive problems down the road. Hondas may not be the absolute cheapest upfront, but prove economical in the long run.

Hyundai has evolved into a value leader, shedding its previous reputation for spotty quality. Today, Hyundais like the Accent, Elantra and Kona rival top Japanese brands for reliability at lower prices. Hyundai also backs its cars with generous warranties for added peace of mind.

While the specific cheapest models vary year-to-year, Toyota, Honda and Hyundai remain safe bets for shoppers prioritizing affordability. Their cars deliver low sticker prices plus strong resale values, making them cost-effective purchases new or used.

 

Alternative Transportation Options

For some Canadians, buying even the most affordable new car may be out of reach. Fortunately, there are alternative transportation options besides private vehicle ownership.

 

Public Transit

Public transportation like buses, subways, and commuter trains provide a low-cost way to get around cities and suburbs. Fares are generally only a few dollars per ride. Monthly and annual passes offer even more savings for regular riders. All major Canadian cities have public transit systems, though coverage and frequency vary. Public transit works best for commuting and errands within urban areas.

 

Biking and Walking

Active transportation like bicycling and walking are the cheapest ways to get around. They provide exercise and have minimal environmental impact. Biking is feasible for distances under 10km while walking works for shorter trips under 5km. Safety can be a concern, so choosing routes with bike lanes and sidewalks is recommended. Biking requires an initial equipment investment but saves money long-term.

 

Ride Sharing Services

Services like Uber and Lyft allow you to book rides from private drivers through a smartphone app. Fares are generally cheaper than traditional taxis. You can get door-to-door service without the cost of owning a vehicle. Ride sharing services are now available in many Canadian cities. They work well for occasional trips where public transit is inconvenient.

 

Future Outlook on Affordable Cars

The future for affordable new cars in Canada looks uncertain in the coming years. Experts project that prices will continue trending upwards due to factors like inflation, supply chain issues, and more advanced technology becoming standard.

According to analysts, the average price of a new car in Canada could top $50,000 by 2025. Additional features like collision avoidance systems and parking assist are driving costs higher across all segments. Even the most basic econoboxes are seeing price hikes.

However, some new models arriving in 2024-2025 could provide more budget-friendly options. These include:

 

  • Nissan Micra – Nissan’s smallest and most affordable car will launch for under $15,000.
  • Volkswagen Polo – VW is bringing this popular European subcompact hatchback to appeal to Canadian value-seekers.
  • Hyundai Accent – The redesigned Accent will start around $17,000 with an efficient new powertrain.

 

Other developments to watch that could make cheap cars more accessible include new trade deals to control costs, higher fuel economy across all segments, and automakers finding ways to simplify production to save money.

While the average transaction price will likely continue rising, shoppers focused purely on low ownership costs should still be able to find models priced under $20,000 for the foreseeable future.

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, there are still many surprisingly affordable new car options for budget-conscious Canadian buyers in 2024. While prices have risen across the industry, brands like Mitsubishi, Nissan, Hyundai and Kia continue to offer models with very low starting MSRPs. Subcompact cars provide basic transportation at the lowest prices, while compact sedans and small SUVs add more features and space at minimal extra cost. Those needing a larger midsize sedan can also find value picks.

When shopping for the most affordable new car, prioritize your must-have features and be flexible on colors or trim packages. Get pre-approved financing and be ready to negotiate to maximize your savings. Look at total long-term costs, not just sticker price. And don’t forget to factor in safety ratings and reliability scores, not just price. With smart shopping tactics, Canadians can still find excellent new car deals, even on a tight budget.

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Cheap Car Brand Questions

The cheapest car brands in Canada in 2023 are Mitsubishi, Nissan, Hyundai, Kia, Chevrolet, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Subaru. The Mitsubishi Mirage starts at just $16,998, making it the cheapest new car available. Other affordable options include the Nissan Versa from $20,298, Hyundai Venue from $21,698, and Kia Forte from $21,995. When shopping for an affordable new car, focus on subcompact and compact models.

The cheapest new car you can buy in Canada right now is the 2023 Mitsubishi Mirage ES 5MT with a starting MSRP of only $16,998. With a fuel efficient 1.2L 3-cylinder engine, the Mirage achieves excellent fuel economy ratings of 6.6L/100km city and 5.6L/100km highway.

Some of the most affordable car brands for students in Canada are Mitsubishi, Nissan, Hyundai, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Chevrolet. Good options to consider are the Mitsubishi Mirage, Nissan Versa, Hyundai Accent, Toyota Yaris, Volkswagen Jetta, and Chevrolet Spark. These models can often be found for under $20,000 brand new and get excellent fuel economy.

 

Some of the cheapest used cars you can buy in Canada include compact cars like the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, and Hyundai Elantra. These models typically have lower than average depreciation and can be found on the used market between $5,000-$10,000 with moderate mileage. Reliable subcompact models like the Toyota Yaris, Mazda 2, and Kia Rio are also affordable used options.

Currently there are no brand new cars in Canada with an MSRP of less than $15,000. The cheapest new car is the 2023 Mitsubishi Mirage which starts at $16,998. However, you can sometimes find special manufacturer discounts that bring the price of certain models like the Nissan Versa and Hyundai Accent close to $15,000 before taxes and fees.

 

The most affordable SUV you can currently buy in Canada is the Hyundai Venue, with a starting MSRP of $21,698. Other affordable subcompact SUV options include the Nissan Qashqai from $25,698 and the Toyota Corolla Cross from $26,490. These small SUV models offer good cargo space and modern features while keeping costs down.

Some of the most affordable EV models available in Canada right now are the Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Bolt EV, Hyundai Kona Electric, and Mazda MX-30. These models are priced between $40,000-$45,000 before any government rebates and incentives. Upcoming even more affordable EV options will include the Chevrolet Equinox EV and Hyundai Ioniq 6.

 

Some of the best places to find used cars under $5,000 in Canada are online classified sites like Kijiji, Facebook Marketplace, and Craigslist. You can also check smaller independent used car lots in your area. When shopping in this price range it’s especially important to have the vehicle inspected before purchasing to avoid expensive repairs down the road.

 

The most affordable pickup trucks in Canada are mid-size models like the Hyundai Santa Cruz, Ford Maverick, and Nissan Frontier. These trucks start between $30,000-$35,000 making them much more budget-friendly than full-size options. You can also find older used mid-size pickups like the Toyota Tacoma, GMC Canyon, Chevrolet Colorado at affordable prices.

 

The cheapest cars to insure for young drivers in Canada are often subcompact models like the Hyundai Accent, Kia Rio, Toyota Yaris, and Honda Fit. These small cars have lower horsepower engines and better safety ratings, making them more affordable to insure. Having an older used car can also reduce insurance costs substantially for new drivers.

Some of the most affordable hatchbacks available in Canada right now include the Toyota Yaris Hatchback starting at $20,650, Hyundai Accent Hatchback from $19,248, Kia Rio Hatchback priced at $18,595 and the Mitsubishi Mirage Hatchback which is the cheapest at just $16,998. These models offer excellent fuel efficiency along with ample cargo space.

Most major automakers like Ford, GM, Toyota, Honda, Hyundai and Kia offer 0% financing promotions from time to time on select new car models. To find the latest 0% financing offers available, check the websites of official dealerships in your local area or the manufacturer websites which highlight current incentives.

The most fuel efficient cars in Canada with MSRPs under $25,000 include the Toyota Prius C, Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid, Toyota Corolla Hybrid, Honda Insight, and Hyundai Elantra Hybrid. These models achieve fuel economy ratings between 4.5L- 5.5L/100km combined and offer affordable hybrid technology.

The best places to find new car manufacturer discounts and incentives in Canada are on official brand websites such as Ford, GM, Toyota, Honda, etc. Most major brands offer cash rebates, low financing rates or leasing incentives which can save you thousands when combined with dealer discounts.

New cars that qualify for government rebates in Canada include electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. The federal government offers rebates up to $5,000 on EVs, while some provinces have additional rebates up to $8,000. Some popular EV models eligible for rebates include the Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Bolt, Hyundai Kona Electric and Tesla Model 3.

In an affordable new car under $20,000 you can expect features like power windows, air conditioning, Bluetooth connectivity, backup cameras and touchscreen displays even at the lowest trim levels. Most models will have fuel efficient 4-cylinder engines with availability of automatic and manual transmissions depending on the vehicle.

The best ways to save money when buying a new car in Canada are shopping end of model year clearance sales, finding current cash rebates & low financing incentives, negotiating the dealer invoice price and being flexible on colors/trims. Having your own outside financing from a bank or credit union can also help you negotiate the best possible deal.

The most affordable minivans and people-movers in Canada are the Chrysler Voyager starting at $34,995, Kia Sedona priced from $34,695, Dodge Grand Caravan Canada Value Package offered at $37,995 and the Toyota Sienna which now features a hybrid powertrain with pricing from $43,655. These models offer excellent passenger and cargo space for growing families.

Some reliable places to find quality used cars under $10,000 in Canada include brand certified pre-owned dealerships, smaller independent dealers with service departments, auto auctions through sites like ICBC, and directly from previous owners advertising in classifieds after having a trusted mechanic inspect the vehicle.

The cheapest sports car available for sale new in Canada is the 2023 Mazda MX-5 with a starting MSRP of $33,900. With rear wheel drive, a 2.0L engine putting out 181 horsepower and perfectly balanced handling, the MX-5 provides an exciting driving experience on a budget.

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