10 Cheapest Cars To Drive

Hybrids are all the rage right now but fuel costs aren’t the only thing you should be thinking about. After taking into account repairs, maintenance, and financing, these 10 cars offer great deals.

10. Suzuki SX4
9. Kia Rio
8. Toyota Corolla
7. Pontiac Vibe
6. Scion xB
5. Nissan Versa
4. Toyota Yaris
3. Hyundai Accent
2. Chevrolet Aveo
1. Honda Fit

10 Cheapest Cars To Drive [Bankrate] (Photo: yarnzombie)


Edit Your Comment

  1. MissTicklebritches says:

    Honda Fit? Never heard of that one. When did it come out? What kind of name is that for a car, anyway?

  2. Whtthfgg says:

    never seen the ads “The Fit is go!”?

    been around bout two years….nice for a little car

  3. ShabazOSU says:

    10 cheapest cars to drive, aka, the 10 most aesthetically unappealing cars..

  4. triplehelix1919 says:

    @MissTicklebritches: A guy at my work has a honda fit and he is pretty happy with it. He’s a delivery driver and uses it for his work. He has to pay for his own gas, maintenance etc, so it is a good ‘fit’ (haha).

  5. Kishi says:

    @MissTicklebritches: At least it isn’t a made-up word, like Aveo or Yaris.

  6. EarlNowak says:

    I own a civic. I love my civic.

  7. Segador says:

    Bought a Fit a year ago – love it. I’m always amazed at how versatile it is.

  8. Mfalconieri says:

    @ShabazOSU: Yeah I agree. Why are Hybrid so fugly?

  9. taking_this_easy says:

    @Segador: true… i believe the brochures highlight the 5 different settings that the back seats can be put in, and that the cargo space in Honda Fit is actually the same as the cargo space in a 2006 Honda CR-V…..

  10. purplesun says:

    @ShabazOSU: *frowns* I happen to think my Toyota Corolla is five kinds of adorable.

  11. Dyscord says:

    @ShabazOSU: That’s your opinion. Personally, I don’t see a damn thing wrong with any of those cars…well I think the scion is too boxy but eh, that’s just me.

  12. lukobe says:

    Current-model Hyundai Accents are really not bad at all.

  13. Darklighter says:

    @Mfalconieri: None of the aforementioned cars are hybrids.

    I have two friends with Fits, and they both love them.

  14. tmbg47 says:

    My wife and I just bought a Fit in April and we love it! It’s actually much more roomy inside than it looks from the outside.

    We were actually largely influenced by this post last year:
    Thanks Consumerist! :)

  15. Lizard_King says:

    You’ll never see me at a new car lot. Last car I bought was 4 years ago for $2200, 80K later, I’ve had to put less than $1K miles into it. The backup car was purchased 6 years ago and has needed less than $500 of parts, but it has only been driven 50K miles since purchase.

    I honestly do not know why people buy new cars. Are people buying new cars just from fear that something will happen within the lifespan and they need to have the feeling that there is a better chance of no failure with a car with lower mileage, or do they feel that new cars are better than old cars? Anyone with half a brain can maintain a car to run for a long time.

  16. Lizard_King says:

    @Lizard_King: uhhg… $1K miles does not make sense. $1K in parts. The car has 175K miles. Bad cut and paste job.

  17. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    I’m surrounded by SUVs. Safety and size are upper most in my mind. I don’t like small cars that are 100% crumple zone.
    Which is the safest, roomiest & heaviest?

  18. balthisar says:

    Wow, every one of those cars is a tiny little thing with a short wheel base and not very wide at that.

    Can’t put a price on comfort, I guess.

    Now I realize lots of little young’uns are going to say how comfortable they are, but I’d wager they’ve not spent significant amounts of time in something that really is comfortable.

    I’m not picking on small car buyers — I’m waiting for a Fiesta myself — just emphasizing what the article said: “[F]uel costs aren’t the only thing you should be thinking about.”

    If you can afford two cars, make sure your other car is something comfortable.

    Heck, if you can afford three cars, keep an SUV or pickup in the driveway, although the latter two aren’t for comfort (they have “comforts” but aren’t comfortable), but for occassional utility.

    Man, I can keep going: if you want comfort and utility and can afford a fourth car, keep a Kenworth or Volvo-Penworth or something in your driveway.

    And on the opposite extreme, if you don’t care a whit about comfort and only fuel economy and operating costs, you should use a Honda Spree as your daily driver.

    Okay, I got a little silly. But seriously, it’s hard to fit a price on comfort.

  19. socalrob of the 24 and a half century says:

    I wonder what they are considering for some of these cars maintenance wise. Are they including dealer warranty’s? I can speak from family experience that the Kia does come with a 10 year warranty but it doesn’t transfer between owners.

    My grandfather bought my aunt a kia rio before his passing, and the dealer wouldn’t put it in her name, so it was in his for a few weeks. When she put it in her name they denied the warranty. While she hasn’t had alot of issues with it, there were some minor problems not associated with the engine or drive train. It was mainly power window problems and lights.

  20. snowlock says:

    i’m with you; i don’t see the logic in a new car with a payment.

    maybe if it were brand-spankin-new and something i was in love with already,
    then i’d consider making the ridiculous financial commitment.

    getting a truly affordable monthly payment, however,
    often means the car won’t be a really new low-mileage vehicle.
    this leads to paying payments for months or years on something far too old.

    then again, some people have no idea how the mechanics of an automobile work.

  21. linkura says:

    My boyfriend has a Fit and it’s AMAZING. Awesome mileage and has TONS of room, both for cargo and people (up to 5 fit very comfortably). DON’T judge it by the pictures of the exterior, which some of the posters in this post have already done…

  22. TechnoDestructo says:


    It came out in the mid 80s in Japan. And what kind of name is ANYTHING for a car? (Would you rather they used the name they use in the UK, the Jazz?)


    I kinda like the Fit, and while the SX4 isn’t as pretty as its (in most quantifiable ways superior) platform mate which we STILL don’t get, the Swift, it doesn’t look bad in hatchback form. (The sedan is awkward as hell)

    I’m also a fan of the Yaris hatch and the new Accent looks great (I just don’t trust it, what with the reports of fuel economy in the teens and low twenties on some examples, with no diagnosis).

    The only car on that list that isn’t either kind of good looking, or just mundane…the only one that BELONGS on a list of “ugly cars” is the xB. Look at the line of the rear door, the line of the upper edge of the side windows, and the “gaping maw” effect on the front bumper, if you want to know EXACTLY what makes it so ugly. Also, the previous xB was in a class by itself, the new one is a blatant attempt to imitate the Element.

  23. goodkitty says:

    I think part of the ‘new car’ thing is fear, yes. Every one of the used cars I’ve driven has had a major, catastrophic breakdown (e.g. the kind where only a tow-truck is getting you home). Now to be fair, we’re talking about cars that cost $1-2k, but that put me off used cars enough to where I really don’t feel comfortable buying a $5-7k used car.

    In addition, I don’t have the space (as an apartment dweller) to work on cars. If the car dies, it goes to the shop and I am at the mercy of the mechanic. That is why I bought new the last time. It cost a lot more yes, but it only needed to go back to the stealership once, and that was for something that didn’t require an extended stay. In terms of dollars and sense, I lost out versus used. In terms of peace of mind and convenience, it’s been the best car experience I’ve had.

    That does not of course reflect any of the additional values of buying new, such as prestige and potentially higher resale value. I figure it’s a wash in the end, pay more now or pay more later. And the tie-breaker is that I’m not willing to be alone and abandoned in the middle of nowhere at the mercy of some sketchy tow-truck driver because I wanted to chance that water pump with 65k miles on it not self-destructing tonight. What is the value of that, in dollars?

  24. farker says:


    Talk about epic fail. None of the vehicles listed are hybrids.

  25. Wubbytoes says:

    The Aveo might be cheap, but that doesn’t mean you should drive one.

  26. MyPetFly says:


    “At least it isn’t a made-up word, like Aveo or Yaris.”

    I heard a guy yesterday ask his significant other if the multiple of Yaris is Yarii. Got a chuckle out of my wife and myself.

  27. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    @linkura: I’ve ridden in a friend’s Fit…I thought it was an amazing car for $16K…lots of room and was pretty comfortable. It felt pretty solid, too..not at all “chintzy.”

    Come on, folks..we’re talking cheap cars, not Ferraris. Of course they’re not going to look and handle like a $45,000 sports car.

    Some of us just need something cheap to get back and forth to work in (and maybe have a *little* fun).

  28. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    I like Honda’s truth in advertising. It looks like a tight *FIT* in that back row. One guy has to put his arm back to make shoulder room while the other has to lean forward and clutch the driver’s head rest for support.

  29. KatieO, yo. says:

    I have a Yaris and I can drive from PA to NC on a tank and a half. In a year and a half, Ive never had a problem more than a flat tire. All that, and I paid less new than my parents did for a used KIA (seriously, those cars were buy-one-get-one a few years ago…)

  30. @Mfalconieri: Aerodynamics. However, there’s not a single hybrid on that list.

    Honda’s planning on making a hybrid Fit, however.

  31. Fly Girl says:

    Woo hoo Kia! I already waxed poetic about my Kia in another post, so I’ll refrain from hijacking this post as well. But: KIA FTW!

  32. TechnoDestructo says:

    I would just like to point out that nothing is more fun on snow and ice than an underpowered econobox. The lighter the better (on that list, only the Fit, Yaris, Rio/Accent (same car, different bodywork, different factories), and Aveo really qualify). And studded snow tires help.

    An empty parking lot or a wide, deserted road covered in about 6 or 8 inches of snow, and the good luck to have the cops not show up, and you can have a LOT of fun. It’s easy to whip that low mass and short wheelbase around, and hard to get yourself into anything you can’t get out of.

  33. aishel says:

    I have a Fit, and I love it! I’ve had it for 8 months now and only put 4500 miles on it.

  34. MitchV says:

    Why is a Pontiac Vibe on that list while the Toyota Matrix is missing? It’s the SAME car.

  35. kabuk1 says:

    Dude… where’s the Dodge Neon???

    I have a little 99 neon coupe and it is the most econimical car I have EVER had. I bought it in April with 91k miles for $2200, and it is now at 103k and I’ve had no major issues. Plus I only have 3 more payments, which is the best part. I have NEVER owned a car that I paid off completely. I had one repair that cost about $70, which was the valve cover gasket. Even at $3.60 a gallon it still only takes about $35 to fill my tank completely up, and depending on how I drive, I get anywhere from 35 to 45 mpg. Before this car I also had an 05 Neon and it was a great car too. I bought that one brand new in 05 and had zero issues up until I traded it in for a flashy sports car(which I later wrecked, hence why I have the 99 Neon now) at 40k miles.

    w00t for Neons.

  36. Thrashy says:

    @balthisar: Now I realize lots of little young’uns are going to say how comfortable they are, but I’d wager they’ve not spent significant amounts of time in something that really is comfortable.

    I suppose I’d be considered a young’n. As a college student on a budget I couldn’t be happier with my 17-year-old Honda CRX, but I don’t have any delusions about its “comfort.” It’s low and much more hardly sprung than other cars, and there’s very little sound-deadening in it. Engine noise at highway speeds muffles the radio and the A/C is broken so you have to have a window down or bake (and most didn’t even come with it anyway!) But I’m also a car guy, so my priorities are different. It’s got crisp handling (harsh ride), supportive (constricting) seats, and communicative controls (no power steering). Do I love it? Absolutely. Would my grandfather? Hell no.

    He’d much prefer a luxobarge like his old Towncar, which I got as a hand-me-down. It rode like a cruise liner and handled like one too. A bomb could go off a block over and you’d never know inside the cabin. Turning the steering wheel gave you only the vague sense that something might be happening with the wheels somewhere. But that’s not for me.

    I can see why not everybody drives an econobox or a sportscar, but I still don’t understand (and won’t accept any excuses from) the people who feel like they need an SUV for some fictional safety advantage. Sure, you’re more likely to kill the other guy when you drive over him without noticing, but you’re still more likely to get pancaked in a rollover, and you’ve made the road less safe for everyone else just by driving one. There’s gotta be some kind of compromise.

  37. KSPRAYDAD says:

    Did they take safety into account? Out of the tests done many of these cars do not get high marks all round (They might get a 5/5 on front crash but lack safety elsewhere)…I’ve noted the lowest score for each out of 5.

    10. Suzuki SX4 4 star
    9. Kia Rio 3 star
    8. Toyota Corolla 4 star
    7. Pontiac Vibe 3 star
    6. Scion xB 4 star
    5. Nissan Versa 4 star
    4. Toyota Yaris 3 star
    3. Hyundai Accent 3 star
    2. Chevrolet Aveo 3 star
    1. Honda Fit 3 star

    • hapless says:

      @KSPRAYDAD: The NHTSA ‘star’ system is only valid for comparisons within a class. That is to say, if your SX4 crashes into a Rio, its passengers will probably fare better than the Rio’s do.

      Don’t fool yourselves: all of these cars are deathtraps. There’s just no substitute for crumple zones.

  38. Thrashy says:

    Forgot to mention, just about any of the Toyotas you can find short of one their old sports cars, and maybe a Tercel, will be horrifyingly comfortable and un-sporty. Toyota doesn’t make drivers’ cars anymore; it’s all about comfort at any cost. Let no one say that a soft ride and quiet cabin are expensive.

  39. Randomeis says:

    Put me in the have ’em and love ’em Fit owners pile.

  40. GearheadGeek says:

    @MitchV: Really they should’ve put both on the list. Perhaps they’re thinking about the “real” price you can get including manufacturers’ incentives and transaction prices. The Vibe bases about $800 less than the Matrix, and I’m sure you can beat up Pontiac dealers more on price than you can Toyota dealers. If they ARE taking such detailed numbers into account, though, they would probably have to put more depreciation on the Vibe, since irrational people would assume that the identical used Toyota Matrix is “worth more” in the same condition. Either vehicle would be high on my list if I needed something new right now, along with the Fit. In the end I think I’d be more likely to buy the more entertaining, less efficient Mazda3.

  41. TechnoDestructo says:


    The Neon was discontinued 3 or 4 years ago, that’s where it is. Everything on that list is available new.

  42. dumblonde says:

    I own a Fit. Best purchasing decision I’ve ever made. I love it.

  43. toolverine says:

    Just got a Fit a few months ago. I love it. I can fit my bike in the back and the roominess has already come in handy more than I expected.

  44. Joafu says:

    My Corolla has not given me a single problem in all its years, except that dragging against the other ricers is kinda difficult. Plus, it has a spacious backseat, perfect for when my lady and I want to Monopoly! Corolla- it’s the right choice.

  45. @goodkitty: same here. I like how people seem to think we all have garages with tool sets for when that 10 year old alternator located somewhere inconvenient on your car needs replacing.

    I’ll just, um, do it in the dining room or something.

    New cars, shmew cars, you end up paying something.

  46. punksmurph says:

    I have a SX4 and I can fit 3 6’+ friends and my tiny wife in the car, and then their luggage. The SX4 and Fit have the best handling of the bunch, and the SX4 has AWD for those winter wonderland folks who need it for the snow. I bought mine fresh the first day they where available in the states, only because it is based of the Swift which I can not buy here. That car would be top of the list if sold here, no question about it.

  47. Lordstrom says:

    Have and love Fit. Like everyone else says, surprisingly roomy and comfortable. I had driven an Element before that and figured it would be a problem. It wasn’t at all.

  48. veronykah says:

    @Lizard_King: From everyone I know who has bought a new car [they all regret it by the way] they buy them for “reliability”.
    I have to say in 2001 I bought a 1991 Toyota Celica GTS for $4200. It had 150,000 miles on it and I thought “wow, its like new!”
    The only things that have EVER happened to it were basic maintenance. New radiator, new clutch, fan, tires etc. WAY less than a new car would have ever cost me.
    I think most people have had bad experiences with BAD cars. I drove plenty of crappy used cars my parents owned that left me stranded and then a mechanic couldn’t figure out what was wrong with them. These cars were Fords, Pontiacs, Oldsmobiles, and Chrylsers…see a trend?
    This is my 2nd Toyota, I could only get rid of the first [an ’87 celica] when an 18 year old hit me and totaled it. His insurance paid me more for the car than I had paid for it a year and a half before! So not only are they reliable, they hold their value!

  49. modelchick8806 says:

    Yay! Chevy Aveo that’s my car! I never put more than $20 in my tank and I’m always fine.

  50. Optimistic Prime says:

    @MitchV: I’m guessing they took into account the warranty period. When the wife and I were shopping around, we were looking into the Vibe/ Matrix. We would’ve bought the Pontiac over Toyota solely on the warranty being longer by a few years through GM.

    As a side note, I see many people are happy with their Fit, we looked into that one too. My only problem was that it felt cheaply made, almost like a toy car. Especially the very light doors. Then again, that could be from all the Detroit steel I’ve driven in my life…

  51. weave says:

    Wow, lots of Fit owners!

    I also bought a Fit last year. Love the car. The ability to reconfigure the storage space by folding seats down OR UP was a big selling point for me.

    It’s also a surprisingly fun car to drive.

  52. majortom1029 says:

    Well with cars like corollas why by used when for $1000 more or so you can buy a new one. Some cars like corollas are almost the same price used as they are new.

  53. balthisar says:

    @Thrashy: Funny… I’ve owned two Honda Civics — an Si and an EX, and they were fun cars. My main car now isn’t a Town Car like your grandpa has… but a Continental. Suitably comfortable, and just to show that everything is relative, your grandfather would probably use my same argument against me: “That’s no comfortable car.” But it’s a good compromise between total comfort and performance; it’s actually quite a sleeper until you’re up against one with a driver who’s still too young to wear a fedora and consider moving to Florida. Oh, yeah, it’s also on Consumer Reports list of 10 best used cars to have!

  54. Hobz says:

    My wife just traded in a Dodge mini-van for a Vibe. We were some what hesitant at first, but were pleasantly surprised with the utility and room of the vehicle. I would venture to say that the Vibe might be the largest of all the vehicles on the list.

  55. kidincredible says:

    How is the xB on here? Wasn’t there some feature on here or Jalopnik like a month ago that was the 10 most expensive cars to insure and all the Scions were on it because of their heavy under 25 driving population?

  56. Ilovemygeek says:

    I picked my Fit up the first day they were released in the U.S. I’ve got about 30K miles on mine and I swear it never needs oil changes. I think I went for an oil change in November of 2007 and when I took it in for an oil change in July 2008, the oil percentage was at 30% which is 20% higher than a required oil change. I’ve owned a lot of cars and this has been my favorite one hands down. As for comfort level, I used to have a 2 hour commute each way and it was much more comfortable to drive then my 2001 Suburu Forester. When the seats fold down its amazing what you can put in it. My husband and I were even able to get a full Johnny G Spinning bike in there with no trouble.

  57. GreatWhiteNorth says:

    … again my favourite car is excluded from the list… getting approximately 60 mpg highway/city… the VW Beatle TDI… Economical, fun, fast, well appointed and spacious (if you doubt me I know you haven’t sat in one)… And the best feature of all is watching people play punchbuggy with their unsuspecting friends.

  58. TheoboldCachu says:

    my girlfriend just bought a honda fit, and i have a 2006 chevy aveo.
    The aveo has been the most reliable car I’ve ever owned, absolutely
    zero problems in the last 2-3 years owning it.

  59. EndlessMike says:

    I’m glad to see the Fit getting more recognition. It really is a great car that would fit well within the needs of most people. Seriously, you don’t need an enormous SUV to go to the grocery store half a mile away. Or a car at all, for that matter, but that’s neither here nor there.

  60. nerdette314159 says:

    Another Fit owner. Love it! I love the fact that other then oil changes, there’s no maintenance required until the 100K mile mark (no spark plugs, etc). Great gas mileage and a roomy trunk. I can fit the dogs’ crates in there no problem without having to break them down.

  61. Brunette Bookworm says:

    @MissTicklebritches: It’s an awesome car. I love mine. I just bought it about three weeks ago. It’s been getting increasingly good gas mileage. Last tank was 34 mpg combined.

  62. econobiker says:

    @kabuk1: yeah, a 1995 4dr, 2.0 5sp sohc neon here and it gets 34-39 mpg.

    As for the new car deal, this car had been in the family since new. Problem with most “have to drive new” goofballs is that they buy a car and then succumb to the new car advertising when they get it paid off. I, however figure on keeping a car a minimum of 10 years, 5 years on payments/ 5 years clear and then anything after the 10 is gravy (plus being easier to repair since junkyard parts abound after 10 years). This figures on my own (or cheap garage) repairs though, as most cars are junked because the owners can’t afford dealership priced repair costs…

  63. Optimistic Prime says:

    @GreatWhiteNorth: The TDI no longer meets emission standards, so it was canned in ’06.

  64. pearfreak says:

    I drive a scion xb and I get ridiculous gas mileage. After 3 years people still stop and ask me about my car and regardless of the three years of name calling (tophat on wheels, mini-minivan, toaster, etc.) I wouldnt trade it in for anything especially when its so cheap to fill it.

  65. shimsham says:

    I bought a ’97 Toyota Tacoma (4 cylinder, 2WD, regular cab) in 2003 for $6000. Five years later and I have put less than $500 into it and driven it 61k miles.

    We have had excellent luck buying Toyotas and Hondas in similar mileage/price ranges and driving them for 4-5 years. I think this Tacoma might last me a decade though.

    New cars are for suckers.

  66. Apeweek says:

    Most people won’t even consider this, but I drive an electric car I bought used from eBay. Converted EVs are the ultimate cheap driving secret. Used or converted electric vehicles are cheap – often just a few thousand dollars.

    This kind of car is not for long trips, but I can still do 90% of my driving in my EV.

    My cost per mile, considering both electricity and periodic battery replacements, is just 6 cents. That’s about half of what gasoline alone costs.

    And EV maintenance is also lots cheaper – no oil changes, coolant, tuneups, or engine maintenance of any kind. In fact, my EV is 27 years old, but still has all the original motor and electronic parts. Electric motors have just one moving part, and are nearly unbreakable.

    Google search for cheap electric cars. You’ll be surprised at what you find.

  67. theutopian says:

    I have a FIT as well. Great car. Gets great mileage. Just wish it wasn’t sitting in my driveway with a busted transmission at 2,000 over the powertrain warranty. :(

  68. tinmanx says:

    Fit FTW!

  69. GeoffinAround says:

    I went shopping for an efficient, affordable hatchback last year. Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris, Scion xD were all on my list, each at the top at different points.

    However, after talking about it with my friends, I decided that I wanted a car, not a roller skate. So I bought a VW Rabbit for ~$20,5 & haven’t looked back. What you get for your money in VW versus those other cars? It’s honestly no contest.

    PS, noticed a lot of Fit love on the board. Easily the 2nd best (to the Rabbit) but have you driven that thing fast than 55? While loaded up on a move across state? It’s sounds like a bee’s nest replaced your engine. Grating how puny the engine is, ugh.

  70. GeoffinAround says:

    I wasn’t going to post specs, but what the hell? Just a taste.

    VW Rabbit: $20,650, I-5 2.5L, 31-38mpg. My only regret is buying new, but this car will hold its value much longer & more strongly in the next several years than a Fit or definitely a Scion would.

  71. dopplerd says:

    Way to represent Detroit! The only two entries on the list are a Japanese and Korean rebrand. I also have a sneaking suspicion that if one was to make a list of the most expensive cars to own Detroit’s big 2.5 would capture a majority of that list.

  72. opsomath says:

    Even with mechanic and self-maintenance time/money costs included, I guarantee my ’92 Accord beats every one of these guys by, like, an order of magnitude.

    Plus it’s pretty peppy and I get the satisfaction (which you can’t fit a price to) of beating yuppies in SUVs out at the light, every time.

    I’m a little disappointed in the Consumerist’s recent trend to just repost top-ten type lists from other sources recently; like the lists in product rags like Men’s Health, they seem to mostly exist to sell you stuff.

  73. Hogan1 says:

    I’ve had an Aveo since the first month they were available. Still getting around 31-34 mpg in mixed highway/city. It’s been in the shop once and has 70,000 miles. Best car I’ve ever had. Too bad the newer ones don’t get the higher mpg of the 04’s.

  74. Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

    I just bought a new 2009 xB and I love it to bits already, but I’ve only had it for 6 days.

    I tried like hell to get a Fit in Automatic but no dealership in town (or even out of town, as the dealers tried to “get one in” for me) had one to sell me.

    Anyway.. my insurance is incredibly cheap as me and my husband are both under 25. The full coverage is under 100 a month. Before we settled on the xB I got a quote from the same company for the Fit and it was 45 dollars more a month to insure.

    I love the new lines on the 2008/9.. hated the old boxy style.

    And it comes with way more standard features than the Fit.. so I think I came out ahead. Even came out ahead on purchase price because all the honda dealers wanted to add 1000+ worth of worthless dealership add-ons, and the Scion was flat priced.

    So I’m very pleased with my xB!

  75. The_Atomic_Pod says:

    Strange, considering my Yaris was 5 grand less than the fit, and gets 2 more miles to the gallon.

    I think this list is a little inaccurate.

  76. nerdette314159 says:

    @The_Atomic_Pod: How much did you get quoted for the Fit ??
    The invoice for it is only 13 I think…

  77. balthisar says:

    @dopplerd: More than likely the Germans and Italians would make that list and you wouldn’t see an American car on it.

  78. majin_chichi says:

    @balthisar: I would have to disagree on the comfort issue. I have Kia Rio, and a commute that is 1 hour each way, so I spend a minimum of two hours each day in my car. My car is comfortable. The driver’s seat has a nice lumbar support, plenty of room (I am 5’11” tall, so it’s not like I am some wee little thing that can sqeeze into any car). Bigger does not necessarily equal more comfortable – lord knows our 1975 Ford Ranchero (car/truck we keep for hauling stuff) certainly is not.

  79. scamps says:

    @ShabazOSU: Well, some people actually care more about whether their car can get them from point A to point B for a decent price than whether they can get a boner from looking at it.

  80. booksy says:

    @Lizard_King: Good for you, you don’t bye new cars.

    Question though, when you bought your “used car” it was new at one point in time yes?

    Some of us like buying new cars because in fact yes reliability is an issue. Let’s say in the first 6 months of owning a used car a CV joint goes, your probably out $300 to $500. With a new car it would be highly unlikely in the first place it would go but you would be covered under warranty anyway.

  81. The_Atomic_Pod says:

    @nerdette314159: All told, the Fit rounded out to almost $20, since I went for the power package.

    Check the websites. Unless the price went down, sticker price is still higher on the Fit.

  82. lulfas says:

    If you’re looking at a Honda Fit, go look at a VW Rabbit. Good chunk bigger, about the same gas mileage, not a huge difference in price. A million times more fun to drive.

  83. Joshua says:

    I’m no Fit owner, but I did purchase a Fit-esque-but-larger Mazda5, and I love it. It has a 3rd row of seating, so you can fit six people in a pinch, which is invaluable for parents with a passel of kids or friends. Granted, I tried to put five adults and a kid in there recently, and it was a little snuggly, but for a couple of adults and their progeny, that third row of seating in a two-row-size car is invaluable.

  84. BrianneG78 says:

    I love my Matrix and it’s really not the same car as the Pontiac Vibe; they just have the same body. I’d much rather have a Toyota engine than a Pontiac engine.

    I’m always sad when the Matrix doesn’t show up on lists like this because the Yaris has slightly better gas mileage. But I was able to buy mine used last year when the Yaris was new and I much prefer four doors on my hatchback.

  85. Orv says:

    @Apeweek: Where’d you find a good EV for $3000? All the ones I’ve seen have been $5000 and up, and many of them were older vehicles that would soon need thousands of dollars in replacement batteries to stay drivable. I came to the conclusion that it just didn’t pay — I wouldn’t make back the purchase cost in gas savings in any reasonable amount of time.

    It’s a moot point anyway, though. EVs are only for people who own their own houses. Us apartment dwellers don’t have anywhere to plug one in.

  86. chanh55 says:

    Honda Fit FTW!

  87. Lizard_King says:

    @booksy: My car (Jeep Cherokee)doesn’t have CV joints, so that’s a problem I will not have with my used car! In all seriousness, the illusion of security is a great marketing tool.

    Yes, my car was “new” at one point. I don’t understand why someone paid what they did for it, but because they did, I now have my car. I just don’t understand the mentality – it seems like the default choice for SOOO many people, as if it is the only option. I have the means to afford a new car, I just don’t see why so much importance is placed on having a younger car.

  88. james says:

    Honda Fit isn’t bad, I had one as a rental car. Only issue I had was it was a bit noisy at highway speeds. Rattling and such. Drove nicely though.

  89. Apeweek says:


    Here’s a bunch of cheap used EVS:


    I see several on those pages for around $6000.

    If you want a new conversion that already has some good batteries, here are some converted Saturns and Toyotas for about $12,000:


    Old technology batteries (flooded lead-acid) are not as expensive as you may think. The battery pack for my Electra Van costs just $800 (I get a good price direct from US Battery), and lasts about 20,000 miles (that’s 4 cents/mile, and electricity is another 1 to 2 cents per mile.) Here’s a picture of mine:


    Here’s a page I maintain with more info on cheap EVs:


  90. lpranal says:

    Going to put in my usual comment about yet another “cheapest cars __________ post” that ignores the saturn s-series. I realize they don’t make them anymore, but it just goes to show you that even with the recession/downturn/whatever, companies don’t necessarily have making cars as affordable and reliable as possible.

    2002 SL2. 36-40mpg, maintenance – oil changes, spark plugs and serpentine belts. 1 coolant flush. I changed out the trans fluid once, took about 30 mins, about 10 minutes for the plugs. Coolant flush took an hour or 2 because I was very thorough and just used a hose (ultimately filling it with 50 / 50 antifreeze and distilled of course). 115,000 miles so far and 0 repairs. bought it for 13k with 0% financing. I really don’t know how you can get a more economical car.

  91. tracilyns says:

    i <3 my yaris hatchback. the great thing about 2-doors is that i get out of driving in carpools ’cause nobody wants to climb in and out of my tiny tiny car.

  92. Sortafast says:

    @BrianneG78: The Pontiac Vibe IS the same car as the Toyota Matrix. GM licensed the car from Toyota and they change a few minor details to make it look like a Pontiac.

    @lulfas: The Rabbit is only slightly larger (an inch or two here and there) by interior volume than the Fit, and it gets 5mpg worse fuel economy. It is slightly bigger and more “substantial” feeling, but that feeling comes at a cost of higher weight and lowered fuel economy.

    Fit: 27 City / 33Hwy Combined: 29 / Annual Fuel Cost: $1935

    Rabbit: 21 City / 29 Hwy Combined: 24 / Annual Fuel Cost: $2339

    from fueleconomy.gov

    Maybe that’s worth $400/year to you. If gas goes back up to $4.00 a gallon that price difference jumps to $600/year.

    Food for thought.

  93. Sortafast says:

    P.S. The Rabbit is also a few thousand dollars more expensive when comparably equipped.

    I’ll grant that it’s sort of the “luxury” hatchback of economy cars, however.

  94. Orv says:

    Also, VW does not exactly have Honda’s good reputation when it comes to reliability.

  95. Orv says:

    @Apeweek: Good info, thanks. But you have to understand that $6000 is two to three times what I normally spend on a car. It would be hard to justify spending that for a vehicle that was limited to short-range commuting.

  96. CajunGuy says:

    @ShabazOSU: Proud owner of an ’07 Accent SE here. I get compliments all the time from auto enthusiasts and average Joes about how sporty and slick my little car looks. Beauty is in the eye of the buyer.

  97. SinisterMatt says:


    At the risk of sounding elitist, someone has to buy the new ones so that folks like us can buy the slightly used ones.


  98. Lizard_King says:

    @SinisterMatt: Oh, no doubt. And furthermore, what happens if people did avoid new and go to the used market? Supply and demand says id be paying more for my used car.

  99. balthisar says:

    @majin_chichi: But it’s not just the seats, but the suspension, wheel base, sprung vs unsprung weight. I’m not trying to be a snob (look at my other posts in this thread), but physically without multi-thousand dollar active suspension systems, it’s not possible to provide the same comfort in a small car that just comes naturally in a large car. I’m not saying that you don’t think you’re uncomfortable; I’m saying, try that commute in a Lincoln Town Car for a month (and I’d like that same test!).

  100. Amry says:

    Love my Vibe! I can fit so much crap in it, it’s totally amazing. Also, as far as space goes, it’s one of the few smallish cars that my 6’2 stepfather can drive comfortably, and even with 4 people loaded it feels roomy – not Town Car roomy, obviously – but bigger than my old Civic. I think it’s the height that makes the difference? And cost wise, yes, I got an amazing deal, have had few issues, and when I’ve had issues, it’s been as cheap as or cheaper than my old Civic to fix.

  101. Buckus says:

    Yet another person with the “Why does anyone buy new?” question. It’s a decent question, but first of all, some truths:

    Every used car started as a new car. So you should be thanking people for buying new cars so there is a ready supply of used cars. Want to see what happens when new cars aren’t available? Take a look at Cuba. I’m sure you’d be happy driving a 1955 Chevy converted to run on propane.

    Not everybody has the time or patience for auto repairs. One used vehicle I had required more $$ in repairs than it cost to buy it. The fact is an auto repair costs $$ and is an unexpected expense. Car payments are regular and usually lower than auto repairs.

    Fact: New cars are more reliable than old cars.

    Fact: Some people have so much money that buying used vs. new isn’t even about the money part.

    That being over with, I think we can all agree that in used vs. new, it all depends on the driver/owner. New is not for everyone, and used is not for everyone. If used works for you, great. If you prefer to drive a new car knowing that you’re the only one who will drive it, good for you, too. Quite frankly, with used cars you never know what happened to it before you got it. There’s peace of mind in knowing the full history of the vehicle.

  102. SinisterMatt says:


    Quite So. I think that if that ever happened, the world would end and the sky would turn red or something silly like that.


  103. Saboth says:

    One thing to consider that wasn’t taken into account. Even though the Aveo is #2, it will have about 1/3 the resale value of the Honda Fit.

  104. Saboth says:

    I’m not a prude that is worried about safety, forcing myself to blow thousands of extra dollars a year to drive a gargantuan SUV for no purpose.

    A Fit will fare better than most SUV’s in a crash, and the handling of these smaller cars can prevent a crash in the first place that an SUV could not avoid due to extreme weight, and poor traction/cornering.

  105. Julia9999999 says:

    I say, buy what you need, and can afford. If you can afford a new car that you need, buy it. If you can’t afford a new car, buy used. Sometimes though, you can afford to pay a little more a month for a new car than a huge one-time payment for repairs that are usually associated with used cars. Plus, who doesn’t like new car smell? It’s all what you can spend, some can and do spend more, and some can’t and don’t. Neither group is stupid for doing so.

  106. Roeroica says:

    Add me to have it and love it for the FIT.

    I consistently get mileage above 40MPG highway. If I do a lot of mixed
    driving, it’s around 34-38MPG. I have the Base AT model and paid about 14K
    for it new in March, great deal. I picked it since it had more standard
    features than the Yaris and was also more comfortable to me. I wasn’t even
    considering it in my new car search until I saw the “magic seats”. I
    definitely dont regret buying this car – it’s ZIPPY!