Cheap reliable cars are what it's all about to a large number of vehicle shoppers who simply want an automobile that will get them to work or school in the morning without any hassle or problems. Fortunately, the current crop of cheap reliable cars has never been better, and familiar names have been joined by freshly-minted additions to the list of vehicles that you can rely on. Most cheap reliable cars fall into the compact or subcompact category, and you'll also find a mix between sedans and hatches - with a few surprises thrown in, too.
Let's take a quick look at 10 cheap reliable cars.
10 Cheap Reliable Cars - 01 - 2014 Toyota Corolla
The 2014 Toyota Corolla might be redesigned for the current model year, but its drivetrain remains the same tested and true 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that has powered the compact sedan for over a decade. The 132 horsepower unit is now matched with either a six-speed manual transmission or a continuously-variable automatic, and in terms of features, only the Entune system complicates what was already a simple design. It seems certain that the new Corolla will be just as stalwart over time as the previous generation of the car, and that it will also continue to hold its strong resale value.
10 Cheap Reliable Cars - 02 - 2014 Honda Fit
The 2014 Honda Fit isn't just one of the most reliable subcompact hatchbacks, it's also one of the most practical. The Honda Fit features a very configurable cargo area, with a rear 'Magic Seat' that can be flipped up, folded forward, and generally moved around to accommodate as much gear as can be stuffed inside the vehicle's 57.3 cubic feet of cargo space. The Fit also features a front passenger seat that can fold forward in order to open up eight feet of total length inside the diminutive car's cabin.
10 Cheap Reliable Cars - 03 - 2014 Scion xB
The 2014 Scion xB is a bit of an outlier on our list of cheap reliable cars. Parent company Toyota ensures that the Scion xB's mechanical, electrical, and chassis details are as robust as possible, while the boutique brand contributes quirky styling and no-haggle pricing. The xB's boxy shape also lends the compact crossover a great deal of utility, with 70 cubic feet of internal storage space on tap with the rear row of accommodations out of the picture. A 158 horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder motivates the Scion, and buyers can choose between a five-speed manual and a four-speed automatic.
10 Cheap Reliable Cars - 04 - 2014 Mazda MAZDA2
The 2014 Mazda Mazda2 is cheap and reliable because it's basic transportation - but with a twist. The Mazda MAZDA2 might be the least expensive model in the Japanese brand's line-up, but the subcompact hatchback manages to embody the same fun-to-drive character that inhabits all Mazda automobiles. This make the MAZDA2 an inspired choice for buyers on a budget who don't want to turn in their souls when they pick up the keys to their next car. The thrifty Mazda is powered by a 1.5-liter, four-cylinder engine that generates 100 horsepower.
10 Cheap Reliable Cars - 05 - 2014 Dodge Dart
The 2014 Dodge Dart might seem like an unusual choice for a cheap, reliable car given just how new the compact sedan is, but over the course of the past year owners have reported surprisingly few complaints about the vehicle. The Dodge Dart is offered with a wide variety of different engine options, ranging from naturally-aspirated to turbocharged four-cylinder units, but most buyers are initially drawn in by its styling and its very affordable pricing. The Dart is the first genuine entry-level compact car from the domestic brand in a number of years, replacing the now-departed Nitro.
10 Cheap Reliable Cars - 06 - 2014 Hyundai Accent
The 2014 Hyundai Accent has slowly gained in popularity since the automaker's quality turnaround in the middle of the last decade. The Hyundai Accent presents subcompact hatchback shoppers with an appealing overall package (and 47.5 cubic feet of total cargo space), while the sedan offers a more traditional body style. The Accent adds further incentive by way of its phenomenal drivetrain warranty: the 1.6-liter, 138 horsepower four-cylinder engine that comes standard with the Hyundai also features a 10 year guarantee against defects. No other car company (with one exception - see #10) comes close to providing the same level of protection.
10 Cheap Reliable Cars - 07 - 2014 Subaru Impreza
The 2014 Subaru Impreza is the only cheap reliable car on this list that offers all-wheel drive as a standard feature. The Subaru Impreza, like the Accent, is available as both a hatchback and a sedan, but unlike the Hyundai it checks in as a compact car, which means more overall interior room (even if the hatch presents a very similar 52.4 cubic feet of total cargo space). The Impreza's 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine produces 148 horsepower, and when paired with its optional continuously-variable automatic transmission it offers a very competitive fuel mileage rating of 27-mpg city and 36-mpg highway.
10 Cheap Reliable Cars - 08 - 2014 Honda Civic
The 2014 Honda Civic is the latest iteration of a vehicle that has become a perennial inclusion on any roundup of cheap and reliable cars. The Honda Civic is a compact vehicle, and its available in a wide variety of models, including the sporty Si and the efficiency-focused Hybrid. The model to target, however, for those seeking the best deal on an inexpensive, well-built sedan or coupe is the base Civic, which offers 143 horsepower from a 1.8-liter, four-cylinder motor. Transmission choices for the Civic include a five-speed manual and a five-speed automatic.
10 Cheap Reliable Cars - 09 - 2014 Volkswagen Golf
The 2014 Volkswagen Golf is another unusual car on our list, given that past VWs had a reputation for less-than-stellar reliability. The automaker has worked hard to rectify the issues that plagued older versions of the Volkswagen Golf, and it seems that as long as buyers stick with the base model, the hatchback provides better than average performance over the long term. The entry-level Golf comes standard with a 2.5-liter, five-cylinder engine that is good for 170 horses, and the four-door Volkswagen delivers 46 cubic feet of total cargo space.
10 Cheap Reliable Cars - 10 - 2014 Kia Rio
The 2014 Kia Rio is, under its flashier body work, essentially the same car as the Hyundai Accent. The Kia Rio's corporate partner is known as a reliable daily driver, and by default, the Rio also benefits from the same spotlight. Even better is the Rio's warranty: like the Accent, it comes with a powertrain guarantee that is good for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Keep in mind that you can't transfer this particular warranty - you have to own the car during that entire period in order to benefit from its protections.