Buying a new car is an expensive process – but if you’re sticking to a strict budget, you still have plenty of options. In fact, some of the top cars of the year are affordably priced, giving you the chance to get behind the wheel of a modern, exciting new model.

Check out these top cars if you’re looking for a fantastic vehicle priced under $25,000.

Honda Civic

Starting Price: $19,450

Everyone knows the Honda Civic, but that’s no reason to ignore this sedan staple. The Civic is a fan favorite for so many reasons, but perhaps its biggest draw is its affordable price tag. Starting at under $20,000, the 2019 Honda Civic is both a great buy and a fantastic car to own.

The 2019 Civic is available in three different body styles: sedan, coupe, or four-door hatchback. Depending on which body style you choose, your Civic is powered by either a 158-hp, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine or a 174-hp, 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine. You can opt for a turbocharged engine on some body styles if you’d a little more power under the hood.

The Civic has gotten quite a few updates and upgrades for the 2019 model year. New styling along the front and rear exterior help this sedan look more modern, while higher-quality insulation and new trim inside the cabin offer a more luxurious feel for passengers. You’ll enjoy a touchscreen infotainment system that’s paired with new tactile buttons including a volume knob and hard keys.

And no matter the trim level you choose, you’ll have Honda Sensing on your 2019 Civic as a standard feature. Honda Sensing is a suite of advanced safety features that includes adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane-keep assist, and automatic high beams. These features make the already adaptable Civic even easier to drive.


Starting Price: $18,990

The Mazda3 may not seem very different from its competition in the sedan space, but it’s a serious standout. Yet reviewers and auto fans alike have been flocking to the Mazda3, especially for 2019 – and its budget-friendly price tag makes the Mazda3 a sure buy. A multiple-time winner of the Car and Driver 10 Best Cars award, what really makes this sedan stand out among the pack is its styling, its capability, and its latest update.

For 2019, the Mazda3 continues its history as a solid, stable sedan. It’s fun to drive thanks to its handling dynamics, and there’s quite a bit of power under the hood. The base level (Sport) comes with a 155-hp, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine of Mazda3s past, but upgraded trim levels (Touring and Grand Touring) give you a bump in power with a 184-hp, 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine standard. Both engines are efficient, picking up speed and shifting smoothly thanks to both the manual and automatic six-speed transmissions.

What really wins drivers over in the 2019 Mazda3, however, isn’t what’s under the hood. It’s what’s inside the interior. Although this sedan is affordably priced, it doesn’t skimp on luxury details – in fact, the cabin feels far more expensive than this car’s price tag. With sleek interior styling and comfortable seating for both the driver and all passengers, the Mazda3 almost feels like a top-tier ride.

And if you’re interested in features, the 2019 Mazda3 packs plenty. All trim levels now come with automatic emergency braking as a standard feature, and you can upgrade your package to include a whole host of safety features as part of the i-Activsense driver assistance suite. Inside the Mazda3, you’ll also find an enjoyable infotainment system that’s easy to use and plenty of passenger comforts. If you’re a driver who hits the road daily, you’ll love how practical yet stylish this car is.

Volkswagen Golf

Starting Price: $22,740

At first glance, the 2019 Volkswagen Golf doesn’t look like it’s a powerhouse on the road – in fact, some drivers might even think it offers nothing special. But in addition to a budget-friendly MSRP, there’s plenty to love about the latest iteration of the Golf. Though this car is compact in its size, it’s a true joy to drive. A frequent winner of the Car and Driver 10 Best Cars award, the Volkswagen Golf is a quality car, especially for those looking to save.

The 2019 Golf is practical without sacrificing any of the driving experience. Powered by a turbocharged 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, the Golf can handle quick turns and steers with ease. Drives enjoy its capabilities on the road, as it’s small enough to put a speedy pep in any commute or on-the-road travels yet offers enough space to carry your gear. And with solid fuel economy, the 2019 Volkswagen Golf is a great choice for any commuter.

Thanks to its hatchback design, the Golf can carry quite a surprising amount of cargo. Inside, the Golf feels more expansive than its exterior appears, giving passengers enough space and offering plenty of room in its trunk. While there aren’t many options on the 2019 Golf, you can opt for the base model or the GTI if you’re looking for more power and additional features.

Lastly, the Volkswagen Golf doesn’t skimp on safety despite its affordable price. This sporty little car packs an entire array of different modern safety features – and plenty of the latest features come standard on every Golf. You’ll enjoy automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, forward collision warning, blind spot monitoring, and a rear camera on even the base model. With an upgraded package, you can add even more exciting options like adaptive cruise control.

Chevrolet Cruze

Starting Price: $18,870

If you’re looking for a car that defies its price tag and your budget, you’ll want to consider the Chevrolet Cruze. This compact car may not take up much space on the road or in your driveway, but it isn’t one to be ruled out. The 2019 Cruze stands out with its very own merit, making for a perfect pick for any drivers seeking a comfortable ride, the latest features, and a more luxury feel despite being on a budget.

The 2019 Chevrolet Cruze meets all of these standards. Drivers can choose between a traditional engine or a diesel engine, which offers even better fuel economy – and while the Cruze may not be the speediest when it comes to acceleration, this compact car does offer savings at the pump regardless of which engine you opt for. The ride is comfortable and gives everyone inside the amenities they need.

Although it’s affordable, little details like added and advanced features will make you feel like it’s a more luxurious vehicle. The infotainment system is highly intuitive, making it easy to learn and use. Additions like 4G LTE, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and advanced safety features all make the Cruze more exciting than it seems at its surface. For more upscale options, you can opt for a higher trim level on your model.

Kia Optima

Starting Price: $23,820

Kia has been taking strides to make its lineup a serious standout in the auto market, and with options like the 2019 Optima, you’ll find affordable and exciting vehicles at your local dealership. The newest iteration of the Kia Optima is a mid-sized sedan that makes for the perfect family car. With some exterior style and plenty to love both inside and out, the Optima offers more than its price in value.

The 2019 Kia Optima isn’t shying away from its duty as an everyday car that’s capable of hauling your family or handling your daily commute. Under the hood, the Optima has a few different powertrains to choose from – a base engine, two different turbocharged options, and two hybrid choices – that make for decent ride, handling, and performance. You can opt for the fuel economy that meets your needs and adjust from there.

Additionally, the Kia Optima is making smart safety standard. This sedan comes with the latest features in driver assistance technology, including automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane-keep assist, and lane departure warnings.

Inside the Optima, you’ll discover new styling, refreshed lighting and trim, and plenty of infotainment features. You can customize your options on the 2019 Optima to satisfy your needs and make your passengers more comfortable, making it a fantastic choice for its price.

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This article was worked on by a variety of people from the Autoversed team, including freelancers, editors, and/or other full-time employees.