The Best New Cars Under $25,000 According to Consumer Reports

by Gabrielle DeSantis

Buying a new car can be expensive. In fact, according to Kelley Blue Book, the average new vehicle cost buyers $40,857 in January 2021. Those numbers are up 5.45% from January 2020 too. The good news is that there are plenty of affordable new cars under $25,000. And, according to Consumer Reports, the following options are among the best new cars under $25,000. Let’s find out what they are.

Honda dealership. | David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

The 2021 Honda Insight is the best new car under $25,000

Pictured is a gray 2021 Honda Insight, one of the best new cars under $25,000
2021 Honda Insight | Honda

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Now, the 2021 Honda Insight isn’t the most popular vehicle on the list but, according to Consumer Reports, it is the best new car under $25,000. A base model will cost you approximately $23,130. Upgrade to the Honda Insight EX, and you’ll be spending just over $25,000 on this new car. 

Of course, an affordable price tag isn’t all the Honda Insight has going for it. According to Consumer Reports, “The ride is comfortable, the rear seat is relatively roomy, and its handling is secure—though mundane.” Consumer Reports gave this year’s model some impressive ratings, too, including a five out of five predicted reliability rating.

No surprises here, the 2021 Toyota Corolla is among the best new cars under $25,000

A 2021 Toyota Corolla driving down a sunlit road
2021 Toyota Corolla | Toyota

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The Toyota Corolla is well-known for being an affordable car. It should come as no surprise then that Consumer Reports tapped it as one of the best new cars under $25,000. It boasts a base price of $20,025 and is available in multiple trim levels that cost less than $25,000.

That’s not all either. Consumer Reports added, “The Corolla sedan is extremely reliable, and both the conventional and hybrid versions get very good fuel economy.” The IIHS also recognized the Corolla as an IIHS Top Safety Pick, making it not only an affordable car but also a safe one.

The 2021 Nissan Sentra is an affordable car under $25,000

A red 2021 Nissan Sentra, an affordable new car
2021 Nissan Sentra | Nissan

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For another affordable car under $25,000, Consumer Reports recommends the 2021 Nissan Sentra. This year’s Sentra is among the most affordable new cars and will only have you spending $19,460 on a base model. Even at its most expensive, this year’s Sentra will have you spending significantly less than $25,000.

An affordable price tag isn’t the only reason to consider the 2021 Nissan Sentra. For a compact car, Consumer Reports claims the interior of this year’s model is relatively upscale. Opt for the range-topping Sentra SR, which benefits from features like a power seat, leather upholstery, and heated seats.

The 2021 Subaru Impreza is one of the best new cars under $25,000 

A silver 2021 Subaru Impreza
2021 Subaru Impreza | Subaru

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Say you need all-wheel drive but don’t want to spend more than $25,000 on a new car. If that’s the case, the 2021 Subaru Impreza could be a fit for you. It comes standard with all-wheel drive and only costs $18,795 when you opt for a base model.

Consumer Reports added, “The Impreza wows us most with its quiet cabin, roominess, and user-friendly controls, and its ride comfort puts some luxury cars to shame.” The IIHS recognized this year’s model as a Top Safety Pick, too, making it an even more attractive option if you’re shopping for the best cars under $25,000.

Consumer Reports says the 2021 Mazda3 won’t break the bank

A parked 2021 Mazda3
2021 Mazda3 | Mazda

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For another affordable new car, consider the 2021 Mazda3. This year’s model starts at $20,650, which isn’t all that bad if you’re shopping for a new car under $25,000. Much like other cars on the list, the 2021 Mazda3 is available in several additional trim levels, too, many of which won’t cost you more than $25,000.

Perhaps what’s most impressive about the Mazda3 is its owner satisfaction rating. Consumer Reports gave this year’s model a four out of five predicted owner satisfaction rating, adding that buyers will likely be most satisfied with the car’s styling, driving experience, and overall comfort. 

The 2021 Hyundai Elantra is affordable and fuel-efficient

A 2021 Hyundai Elantra parked
2021 Hyundai Elantra | Hyundai

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Consumer Reports also included the 2021 Hyundai Elantra in its picks for the Best New Cars Under $25,000. This year’s model starts at $19,650. Upgrade to the Elantra SEL for a few additional features, and this year’s model will run you approximately $20,900. 

A low price tag isn’t the only thing that makes the 2021 Hyundai Elantra one of the best cars under $25,000. According to Consumer Reports, this affordable new car also benefits from nimble handling, quick acceleration, and impressive fuel economy ratings.

Consumer Reports says you can’t go wrong with the 2021 Honda Civic

2021 Honda Civic in red
2021 Honda Civic | Honda

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Last but certainly not least is the 2021 Honda Civic. According to Consumer Reports, “The ride is comfortable, handling is responsive, and the interior has a lot of storage space.” That’s not the only reason to consider this affordable new car either. In fact, much like other vehicles on the list, opting for a base model Civic will only cost you $21,250. If you’re shopping for a new car under $25,000, that price is pretty hard to argue against.

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