15 Best Cars Under $30K That Are Totally Worth Buying

From sleek sedans to rugged SUVs, these affordable rides redefine value for money.
Updated Sept. 8, 2023
Couple signing car documents

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It might seem challenging to find an affordable car that’s also good and safe, but many such options are available on dealer lots.

Good, affordable sedans, SUVs, and trucks are available that will fit your needs while allowing you to keep more money in your wallet.

Check out these options to see if a new car under $30,000 could be a good fit for your garage.

Toyota Camry Hybrid

Courtesy of Toyota toyota camry

A hybrid can be a good option if you’re looking for something that is friendly to the planet and that will cost you less in gas money.

The Toyota Camry Hybrid is more expensive than the non-hybrid vehicle version. The hybrid’s manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) is $28,855, compared to $26,420 for the all-gas version.

But you could save money on gas with the hybrid. The hybrid Camry LE gets 53 miles per gallon on the highway, while the non-hybrid version gets 39 miles.

Hyundai Elantra

Courtesy of Hyundai hyundai elantra

The Hyundai Elantra is a great option if you’re looking for something both affordable and compact.

The Elantra gets up to 42 miles per gallon in the city. You can pick one up with a starting MSRP of $20,950, making it one of the more affordable car options.

Ford Maverick

Courtesy of Ford ford maverick

You might be surprised to see a truck under $30,000, but Ford delivers with the compact Ford Maverick pickup.

The Ford Maverick has an electric outlet in its truck bed to help when you’re far from electricity, as well as space for your outdoor gear or room for a tailgate party. You can get one with an MSRP starting at $23,400.

Ford Mustang

Courtesy of Ford ford mustang

The Ford Mustang is a legendary car, and you can pick one up for less than $30,000.

The sporty Mustang comes in a wide variety of options, with the top-line Mustang Mach 1 Premium starting at $58,665. But on the lower end, a Mustang Ecoboost Fastback will only set you back $27,770.

You may want to hurry, as Ford is introducing a 2024 model. So, there may be bargains as dealers try to get rid of their 2023 models to make room for the new ones.

Volkswagen Taos

Courtesy of Volkswagen volkswagen taos

The Volkswagen Taos is a compact SUV that is perfect for city driving. Its compact design makes it easy to get around and gives you plenty of space for grocery shopping, other errands, and pleasure trips.

You can pick up a Taos with a starting MSRP of $24,155. Additional features cost extra depending on your choices.

Mazda CX-50

Courtesy of Mazda mazda-cx-50

Another SUV you might want to consider is the Mazda CX-50, which was named a top safety pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

You can pick up a CX-50 with a base price of $30,300, just a touch above the $30,000 budget mark.

Honda Accord

Courtesy of Honda honda accord

The popular Honda Accord features a large touchscreen and stylish features that are perfect if you’re looking for a great-looking car.

Check out Accord options at your local dealer. It starts with an MSRP of $27,295. You can also choose a hybrid version, but the base price for the Accord Sport Hybrid starts at $31,345.

Chevrolet Bolt

Courtesy of Chevrolet chevrolet bolt

You don’t have to pay a high price to get an electric vehicle. The Chevy Bolt is an all-electric option that you can plug in to charge up instead of paying for gas.

The Bolt has a starting MSRP of $26,500. Check with your dealer about tax incentives that could get you up to $7,500 in tax credits for buying an electric car.

Kia K5

Courtesy of Kia kia k5

The Kia K5 is a great sedan option that includes a warranty covering 10 years or 100,000 miles should you have issues with the powertrain.

You can pick up a Kia K5 sedan for a starting price of $25,290 in one of five different exterior colors.

Buick Encore

Courtesy of Buick buick encore

The Buick Encore gives you options you might not expect from an affordable SUV, such as a wide infotainment display screen and cutting-edge safety features.

Check out the small SUV (which seats up to five) at a local dealer for an MSRP of $25,600.

Chevrolet Colorado

Courtesy of Chevrolet chevrolet colorado

The Chevrolet Colorado is another compact pickup truck option you may want to check out. It has a starting price of $29,200.

The Colorado has extra tie-downs for your truck bed and cameras to keep you safe whether you’re on the road or off the beaten path.

Subaru Outback

Courtesy of Subaru subaru outback

The midsize SUV Subaru Outback gives you the option to take the vehicle off paved roads so you can head into nature.

Back on asphalt, you can expect the Outback to get 26 miles per gallon in the city or 32 miles per gallon on the highway. And you get it all for a starting retail price of $28,895.

Honda Civic

Courtesy of Honda honda civic

The Honda Civic should be on your list if you’re looking for a sedan that fits your $30,000 budget.

The Civic’s high-tech, stylish interior and cool exterior come in three different model options — the LX, Sport, and EX — under $30,000. And if you want to upgrade to the Honda Civic Touring, you can expect to pay $30,550.

Chevrolet Equinox

Courtesy of Chevrolet chevrolet equinox

Check out the Chevy Equinox if you’re looking for an affordable crossover SUV. It starts at $26,600 and includes additional features that you can add on, such as a hands-free power liftgate.

Check with your local dealer to see which options are available and what you can add while staying under your $30,000 limit.

Toyota RAV4

Courtesy of Toyota toyota-rav4

The Toyota RAV4 is a crossover SUV that gets 35 miles per gallon on the highway and 27 city miles per gallon in the city. The MSRP is $28,275.

The RAV4 also comes in a hybrid version that checks in above the $30,000 cutoff with an MSRP of $31,225. However, it might be worth paying the extra money when you consider the gas you can save with this hybrid.

Bottom line

prostooleh/Adobe african american woman excited after buying new car

These affordable vehicles can help you stress less about money by not saddling you with an enormous car payment each month.

Just remember to factor in all expenses — including car insurance, gas, and average repair costs — before settling on your next car.

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Author Details

Jenny Cohen Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.

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