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Buying a New Car for Less than 17,000

Updated on October 2, 2012
India's Nano
India's Nano
Suzuki (India) Maruti
Suzuki (India) Maruti
China's Chery QQ
China's Chery QQ
1970 Datsun 240Z
1970 Datsun 240Z

It is difficult to find a decent new car for less than $20,000, out the door. That is because many cars are listed as $19,500, $19,000 etc., and by the time you add taxes and other costs, it is over 20K out the door, which defeats your purpose.

But, there are several new cars that do cost less than 20K out the door. The Chevrolet Sonic goes for $14,465, the Dodge Dart starts at $16,000 and is really one of the better ones with 41 MPG, for a small car, it has a nice look. The Fiat 500, base model, begins at $15,500, and is cute, but the base is a dog when it comes to power. You might want to consider a turbo instead. Ford has its Focus at $16,200 and has been highly rated by all small car buyers. The Kia Soul runs only $14,400 and even has a 138 hp engine and a six speed transmission. Some have a problem with its body style, however. The Mazda 3 is a strong contender also at only $15,200, again, highly rated by most small car owners.

Of course, lesser cars also exist like India's Nano and Maruti 800, China's Chery QQ, all costing $5000 new. Soon, Nissan will re-release its Datsun (for those too young, until 1985, Nissan was Datsun. The company changed its name from Datsun to Nissan around that time) in some countries. It will be a no frills car costing less than $4000. This car will be a basic car with a 2-cylinder engine, cheap materials, manual transmission. Nissan (Datsun) first released its first car in Japan in 1935 and arrived in America in the early 60's, where they were generally laughed at and ridiculed until 1969 when the sport car, 240Z, appeared. By the mid-1970's, Datsuns were everywhere and wanted for their fuel economy.


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    • perrya profile image

      perrya 5 years ago

      The ones in India\China are not available in the US. The way to make a cheap car is bare bones and avoid the US market.

    • glassvisage profile image

      glassvisage 5 years ago from Northern California

      This is a good guide with some cars I hadn't heard of before. There are a few commercials I see with new cars for around $16k, like the Dart. Smart cars are cheaper too. Good idea to consider cars from other countries too.