Common sense says that if you have $15,000 to spend on a car, you’re looking for a used car around 3-4 years old that has depreciated a bit. Some people prefer the piece of mind of a new car though. Here’s the thing: there are actually great cars you can buy for under $15,000. These cars don’t get much advertising because they’re priced so low, and dealers would rather buy the more expensive trim lines, but if you’re willing to look a bit more, you can find great new cars for under $15,000 (even after the destination fee).
5. 2015 Mitsubishi Mirage – $12,995
You might remember the Mitsubishi Mirage as Mitsubishi’s subcompact car available sold up until 2001 as a coupe and sedan. The new Mirage is only available as a 4 door hatchback, so if you were planning to cruise for babes in a tiny coupe you’ll be disappointed, but with 44-mpg you’ll be able to cruise by way more babes, so you’ll have more chances to polish your pickup lines.
4. 2015 Nissan Versa Sedan – $11,900
It’s not a GT-R, more of a gecko to the big brother Godzilla, but the Versa actually has more interior space than the $100,000 GT-R (90 cubic feet of passenger space and 14.9 cubic feet of trunk space, the GT-R has just 79 and 9). The Versa also gets 36-mpg highway, which isn’t as impressive as the Mirage, but definitely won’t break the bank.
3. 2015 Smart Fortwo – $13,270
The Smart Fortwo brought the idea of personal transportation to a new level. There’s room for one passenger and… that’s it. The Smart Fortwo gets 38mpg highway and an impressive 34-mpg city (you weren’t going to take it on the highway anyway, were you?). If you like the idea of parking nose first into parallel spots and don’t mind driving a car that look like it should have an oversized backpack on and be chasing after its big brother to school, the Smart is perfect.
2. 2015 Kia Rio – $13,900
Kia has a reputation for hitting above its weight class, with cars that pack more punch than anything else in their price range. The 37-mpg 2015 Kia Rio is no exception. If you’ve ever had to roll up your rear right window by hand while driving when it suddenly starts raining, you’ll appreciate that the Kia is one of the two cars on this list (with the Spark) that has front and rear power windows standard.
1. Chevy Spark – $12,270
The Chevy Spark isn’t quite as unique as the Smart car, but its interior is almost SUV-like, with a low floor and lots of space, and that separates it from the subcompact crowd. The surprisingly spacious Spark is well appointed and gets 39-mpg highway.