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. 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
2017 Chevrolet Cruze — MSRP not yet announced
The redesigned 2017 Chevrolet Cruze is a stylish 5-passenger compact sedan that’s one of the more competitive options in the segment, and a hatchback version will be joining the lineup this year. The Cruze offers the choice of two 4-cylinder engines; both produce 138 horsepower, but the more expensive turbocharged option may pay off in the long run with better fuel economy. Lots of features are on offer with the Cruze, and trunk space is good for a compact sedan. The 2016 version of the Chevy Cruze has solid safety scores, and it’s one of the better-looking cheap reliable cars out there.
Photo Credit: Toyota
2017 Toyota Corolla — MSRP not yet announced
The refreshed 2017 Toyota Corolla’s drivetrain remains the same tested and true 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine that has powered the compact sedan for well over a decade. The 132-horsepower unit is matched with either a 6-speed manual, a 4-speed automatic, or a continuously variable transmission, and in terms of features, only the Entune infotainment system complicates what was already a simple design. A couple trim levels and special editions have been added to the lineup for 2017. (2016 model pictured.)
2017 Subaru Impreza — MSRP not yet announced
The 2017 Subaru Impreza is the only cheap reliable car on this list that offers all-wheel drive as a standard feature. The Subaru Impreza, like other cars on this list, is available as both a hatchback and a sedan. The Impreza's 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder engine produces 152 horsepower; past versions of this engine have been known for very competitive fuel mileage ratings, although estimates for 2017 aren’t yet available. (2016 model pictured.)
2016 Hyundai Accent — MSRP $14,745
The 2016 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, 137-horsepower 4-cylinder engine that comes standard with the Hyundai also features a 10-year guarantee against defects.
Photo Credit: Megan Green
2016 Kia Rio — MSRP $14,165
The 2016 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.
Photo Credit: Scion
2016 Scion iA — MSRP $15,700
New for the 2016 model year is the Scion iA. The Scion iA is basically a reskinned Mazda2 sedan (making the iA the first sedan in the brand’s lineup) that’s inexpensive and fun to drive for a car in this class. Further adding to the Scion’s value is its long list of standard equipment, ensuring buyers walk out of the dealership after paying pretty close to the car’s base price. Next year, this car will be rolled into the Toyota lineup, and be renamed the Yaris iA.
Photo Credit: Honda
2016 Honda Fit — MSRP $15,890
The 2016 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 Magic Seat system that can be flipped up, folded forward, and generally moved around to accommodate as much gear as can be stuffed inside the vehicle's 52.7 cubic feet of cargo space. The Fit also features a front passenger seat that can fold forward in order to open up about eight feet of total length inside the diminutive car's cabin.
Photo Credit: FCA Media
2016 Dodge Dart — MSRP $16,995
The 2016 Dodge Dart is offered with a wide variety of different engine options, ranging from naturally aspirated to turbocharged 4-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, although unfortunately, it’s already been chopped from next year’s lineup. Now might be a great time to look for an end-of-lifecycle deal on a 2016 Dart, making this cheap reliable car even cheaper.
2016 Volkswagen Golf — MSRP $18,495
The Volkswagen Golf (due to be refreshed for 2017) 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 1.8-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that is good for 170 horses, and the Volkswagen delivers 52.7 cubic feet of total cargo space.
Photo Credit: Honda
2016 Honda Civic — MSRP $18,640
The redesigned 2016 Honda Civic is the latest iteration of a vehicle that has become a perennial inclusion on any roundup of cheap and reliable cars, and we can expect to see a new hatchback join the lineup for 2017. The Honda Civic is a compact vehicle, and the model to target for those seeking the best deal on an inexpensive, well-built sedan or coupe is the base Civic, which offers 158 horsepower from a 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder motor. Transmission choices for the Civic include a 6-speed manual and a continuously variable automatic.