10 of the Best New Cars Under $25k
Paying less than $25,000 for a car no longer means accepting compromise as one of the vehicle's biggest features. So many competent new cars for under $25,000 are out there that it seems like no matter what category you are looking in, you will be able to find something that doesn't just fit your budget but also your lifestyle and your personal driving preferences. Compacts, family cars, crossovers, and even sports cars are all available for under that magic $25k price point.
Let's take a quick look at 10 of the best new cars under $25,000.
Best New Cars Under $25,000 - 01 - 2013 Scion FR-S - MSRP $24,200
The 2013 Scion FR-S has attracted a ton of attention in the sports car community, and a big part of that is due to its affordable starting price. Not only is the Scion FR-S one of the most exciting new cars under $25,000, it's actually a bit less expensive than its Subaru BRZ counterpart. The FR-S features a lightweight, rear-wheel drive design that is perfect for tackling twisty roads, and the small coupe also boasts eye-catching styling. Under the hood, the FR-S comes with a 2.0-liter, horizontally-opposed four-cylinder engine that generates 200 horsepower and is managed by a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. Combined with the car's low-mass design, this is enough motivation to make the Scion a genuine thrill ride.
Best New Cars Under $25,000 - 02 - 2013 Honda Fit - MSRP $15,325
The 2013 Honda Fit is one of the most unassuming cars to ever develop a cult following. What is it about this little five-passenger hatchback that has charmed so many loyal customers? In a word, practicality. The Honda Fit's 'Magic Seat' system allows owners to configure the car's interior in any number of ways, opening up vast cargo storage possibilities that belie the automobile's small exterior dimensions. With room for up to 57.3 cubic feet of gear underneath its roof, the Fit is a cargo hauling monster in its class. Throw in a 117 horsepower, 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that gets 28-mpg city and 35-mpg highway when paired with its available five-speed automatic transmission (a five-speed manual is also offered) and you have a clear subcompact winner on your hands.
Best New Cars Under $25,000 - 03 - 2013 Ford Focus ST - MSRP $23,700
The 2013 Ford Focus ST is a compact hatchback takes the brand's EcoBoost technology and tunes it for performance rather than fuel economy. The result is a blazing 252 horses and 270 lb-ft of twist from a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine. This output is sent to the front wheels via a six-speed manual transmission, and the vehicle's electronically-controlled limited-slip differential and anti-torque steer feature help it hit 60-mph in roughly six seconds. Underscoring the Ford Focus ST's exceptional acceleration is its equally impressive handling, made possible by a completely returned suspension system when compared against the standard version of the small five-door.
Best New Cars Under $25,000 - 04 - 2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS - MSRP $20,200
The 2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS is a hot hatch that isn't quite as scalding as the Focus ST - but it isn't nearly as expensive, either. The Chevrolet Sonic RS doesn’t mess with the turbocharged drivetrain that is available with the regular Sonic, as that 1.4-liter, four-cylinder unit delivers 138 horsepower, 148 lb-ft of torque, and fuel mileage of 27-mpg city and 34-mpg highway. Instead, the RS focuses on tweaking the suspension of the Sonic, adds bigger brakes, installs an attractive and sporty body kit, and offers a few extra goodies inside the cabin for good measure. Preserved is the Sonic's choice of either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission, plus its 30.9 cubic feet of total cargo space with the rear row of accommodations folded forward.
Best New Cars Under $25,000 - 05 - 2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata - MSRP $23,470
The 2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata is an absolute sports car bargain at its starting MSRP of $23,470. The Mazda MX-5 Miata is a pure roadster that prides itself on providing drivers with a direct connection to the road via unparalleled steering and suspension feedback. The most affordable version of the Miata comes with a cloth top and a five-speed manual transmission, and its 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine delivers 167 horsepower and 140 lb-ft of torque. While that might not sound like a lot, it's more than enough to hustle the extremely lightweight convertible from point A to point B with enough forward thrust to keep a smile on one's face - especially if there happen to be curvy bits of road to traverse along the way.
Best New Cars Under $25,000 - 06 - 2013 Hyundai Sonata - MSRP $20,995
The 2013 Hyundai Sonata proves that spending less than $25k can land you a whole lot of car. The Hyundai Sonata is one of the most stylish mid-size family sedans around, and it also comes with a respectable amount of standard equipment for the price. Fuel efficiency is up in the Sonata, with its 2.4-liter, 198 horsepower engine offering 24-mpg in stop and go driving and 35-mpg on the highway by way of a six-speed automatic transmission. Buyers will also be pleased by the generous amounts of interior room afforded those riding both front and rear inside the sedan.
Best New Cars Under $25,000 - 07 - 2013 Ford Fusion - MSRP $21,700
If one had to pick a family sedan that was even more glamorous-looking than the Sonata, it would have to be the 2013 Ford Fusion. The recently redesigned Ford Fusion is all new inside and out, rides on a completely fresh platform, and sports a host of intriguing drivetrain options. Sticking with the entry-level 2.5-liter, four-cylinder mill keeps us well under our $25k price ceiling, and it makes 175 horsepower and 175 lb-ft of torque available. Fuel mileage for this engine - which is shifted via a six-speed automatic transmission - is listed at 22-mpg around town and 34-mpg on the highway.
Brushing up against our MSRP cap is the 1.6-liter, turbocharged EcoBoost version of the Fusion. The six-speed manual transmission that comes free of charge with this 178 horsepower engine (which also makes 184 lb-ft of torque) helps the motor deliver fuel efficiency figures of 25-mpg city and 37-mpg highway.
Best New Cars Under $25,000 - 08 - 2013 MINI Cooper S - MSRP $23,300
The 2013 MINI Cooper S illustrates that great things can sometimes come in small packages. The MINI Cooper S takes the iconic subcompact hatchback and loads it up with a significant number of performance features, not the least of which is a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that churns out 181 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission can be pressed into handling the gear shifting duties for the diminutive sporty hatchback, and an overboost function allows the turbocharger to deliver up to 192 lb-ft of torque for short, full-throttle bursts. A stiffer suspension system than the base model and wheels at each corner conspire with the MINI's low-mass platform to enhance handling.
Best New Cars Under $25,000 - 09 - 2013 Nissan Cube - MSRP $16,760
The 2013 Nissan cube is a subcompact crossover that looks like, well, the right-angled shape of its namesake. With a few exceptions, of course - most notably, the pane of glass at the right rear pillar of the Nissan Cube that is designed to help improve visibility while reversing the vehicle. Inside, the Cube makes the most of its squared-off shape and comes with five passenger seating and 58 cubic feet of total cargo space. A 1.8-liter, four-cylinder transmission provides 122 horsepower and fuel mileage of 27-mpg in city driving and 31-mpg on the highway when paired with its available continuously-available automatic transmission. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard with the Cube.
Best New Cars Under $25,000 - 10 - 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe - MSRP $24,250
The 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe allows buyers to squeeze into the sports coupe category for just under $25,000. The entry-level version of the Hyundai Genesis Coupe features aggressive styling and a re-tuned 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that comes with 274 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque. This is enough to propel the compact Genesis Coupe to 60-mph in just 5.7 seconds, aided and abetted by the car's six-speed manual transmission. A rear-wheel drive layout and a performance suspension system make the Hyundai an intriguing choice for autocross and track driving enthusiasts.