The Best Affordable New Cars of 2017

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Here are critics' favorite low-cost new cars that offer plenty of punch.

Sometimes you just want to buy a new low-cost, reliable car. But all the advertisements for cars with high-end audio systems, comfort packages with heated seats and baby-soft leather trim make you wonder if such cars are even available anymore. Yes, they are, promise reviewers at Car and Driver, USA Today, Forbes and beyond. Here are 10 of the top budget-friendly cars reviewers call the best values of 2017.

10. 2017 Chevrolet Sonic ($16,020)

Hyundai / Money Talks News

Car and Driver chose the 2017 Chevrolet Sonic LS Sedan for its handsome look mixed with an array of extras including 10 air bags, a review camera and OnStar — a subscription-based automotive communications system. Its roomy interior and standard features including air conditioning, a tilting/telescoping steering wheel and a touchscreen infotainment center are among the extras that caught Car and Driver’s attention.

9. 2017 Kia Forte LX ($15,990)

Kia / Money Talks News

The Kia Forte LX makes the Autobytel list for its 6-speed manual transmission with overdrive, 15-inch steel wheels and array of safety features including myriad air bags.

8. 2017 Hyundai Accent SE ($15,580)

Hyundai / Money Talks News

Car and Driver chose the 2017 Hyundai Accent SE (calling it the Kia Rio’s “brother from another mother”) for what it calls its “surprisingly upscale” look, an excellent warranty and host of powertrain options.

7. 2017 Kia Soul ($15,175)

Kia / Money Talks News

USA Today chose the 2017 Kia Soul for its list of cheapest new cars and myriad reviewers note it packs a lot of punch for a low-cost car. A round-up of reviews from U.S. News & World Report notes that critics hail the Soul for its funky exterior style, extra cargo room and optional turbo-charged engine.

6. 2017 Toyota Yaris ($15,165)

Toyota / Money Talks News

USA Today adds the 2017 Toyota Yaris to its list. MotorTrend gave the subcompact four out of five stars, calling out its fun-to-drive performance thanks to its peppy powertrain.

5. Nissan Versa Note ($15,095)

Nissan / Money Talks News

Car and Driver gives kudos to the Versa Note for its sharp looks and good fuel economy. Edmunds is more effusive, noting its roomy interior, large cargo space and high fuel economy.

4. Kia Rio Sedan ($15,015)

Kia/Money Talks News

Car and Driver called out the Kia Rio Sedan for its “smooth and powerful direct-injected four-cylinder engine with … a muscular 138 hp mated to a six-speed manual transmission.” The reviewer also calls it “a cut above most cars in this group in the powertrain department.”

 3. 2017 Ford Fiesta S Sedan ($15,005)

Ford / Money Talks News

The Ford Fiesta, a car introduced in 2010 with styling that suggests Europe more than Main Street America, consistently receives high marks including from Car and Driver for its power, fun drive and smooth ride.

2. 2017 Chevrolet Sonic LS ($14,345)

Chevrolet/Money Talks News

Autobytel praises the 2017 Chevrolet Sonic for its array of safety technology, 15-inch steel wheels and more. The Car Connection praises its fun drive and high fuel economy.

1. 2017 Chevrolet Spark ($13,875)

Chevrolet / Money Talks News

Car and Driver calls the 2017 Chevrolet Spark “one of the surprise stand outs.” Its small size and plentiful amenities (rearview camera, multiple airbags and touchscreen interface) are among its highlights.

Are you in the market for an affordable car? What are you looking at? Share with us in comments below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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