10 Best 2023 Car Models To Buy For Under $49,000

This summer, the average price of a new car hit a record high of $48,043, with the average MSRP exceeding $48,000 for the first time in history.

Holiday expenses: Get the best holiday shopping and savings tips
Explore: GOBankingRates’ Best Credit Cards for 2023

But you don’t have to spend that much to get a great new car. Here’s a list of 2023 models that U.S. News and World Report rank at the top of their segments based on consensus opinions from the automotive press.

This list omits 2022 models, as well as large luxury cars, luxury sports cars and luxury vehicles that would drive the base price well above average.

The following 10 highly rated 2023 models start under $49,000 — the most expensive is just above average and eight out of 10 are under $30,000, including one that starts at under $20,000.

If you are looking for a great new car you can actually affordthis list is a good place to start your search.

KIA

KIA

Kia Rio

The Nissan Versa and Hyundai Accent are tied for the top spot in the segment, but those were 2022 models, which leaves the Kia Rio at the top of the subcompact heap. It’s one of the four least expensive vehicles on the road, it’s great on fuel and, despite the disappointing driving dynamics inherent in the segment, it drives well and offers a comfortable ride.

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

Hyundai Elantra

The Hyundai Elantra is one of the top three compact cars and it is in contention for the top spot. It looks soft and sleek inside and out, and its standard tech and other features punch above their price tag. Its peppy engine options are a clear departure from the subcompact segment, and it gets good fuel economy.

JAMES HALFACRE / Mazda

JAMES HALFACRE / Mazda

Mazda3

The Mazda3 takes second place in the small car, compact car and hatchback segments. It’s cramped in terms of cargo space and rear-seat room, but the trade-off is a premium interior and a 191-hp base engine that’s new for 2023. It gets better economy fuel than the 2022 model and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto now come standard.

Honda

Honda

Honda-Civic

The Honda Civic is the flagship of its class, beating the Mazda3 for first place in the same three segments. Its base 158 horsepower engine can’t compete, but it has excellent fuel economy – up to 42 mpg on the highway – and it comes with standard features. It’s fun to drive, handles well and delivers on Honda’s promise of reliability.

Kia Motors America

Kia Motors America

Kia K5

Stepping up to the mid-size class, the Kia K5 takes a back seat to the Honda Accord, which is a 2022 model. Its intuitive infotainment system is just one of many generous standard features – there’s plenty to help driving and technology. The seats are comfortable, it rolls well and, despite modest drawbacks like low headroom, it’s excellent value for money.

Toyota

Toyota

Toyota Camry

The dependable Camry is second only to the K5 in the midsize category. A classic commuter car, the Camry is spacious, fuel efficient and fun to drive with the available V6. Its trunk is undersized, but the comfort and reliability that are synonymous with the model continue to make the Camry America the best-selling car for 20 years. New for 2023 are traffic sign recognition and automatic high beams as standard.

Julius Kielaitis / Shutterstock.com

Julius Kielaitis / Shutterstock.com

Toyota GR86

The Toyota GR86 isn’t the most powerful sports car on the road, but its 228 horsepower boxer engine provides more than enough driving pleasure – and no sports car offers a fuller ride for less than 28 $000. It’s nimble, nimble and light, and the front seats are comfortable, even on the daily commute or around town.

Subaru

Subaru

Subaru BRZ

If you bypass the 2022 Ford Mustang, the Subaru BRZ is the sports car to beat. There aren’t many upgrades for 2023; but, for less than $29,000, few changes are needed. Its 228 horsepower is a joy to drive – especially considering the BRZ’s ultra-light weight – and it turns brilliantly and rides comfortably even on bumpy pavement. As per the segment norm, the rear seats are cramped, but it makes the most of its limited cargo space.

Audi

Audi

Audi A4

The Audi A4 holds the top spot in the small luxury car segment. Its 201-261 horsepower engine options are all fast and fun to drive, but the interior is what seals the deal. With premium materials and luxurious trim that matches much more expensive rivals, the A4 offers plush comfort, excellent handling and good fuel economy.

2016 Volvo V60 T5 Drive-E

2016 Volvo V60 T5 Drive-E

Volvo V60

To finish with the wagon segment, we find the Volvo V60, which is more expensive than the national average, but under $800. Its seats, and the interior in general, are plush, comfortable and attractive. Sleek and luxurious for a family vehicle, its engine delivers 247 horsepower and its all-wheel-drive system can even handle light off-road driving.

More from GOBankingRates

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 10 Best 2023 Car Models To Buy For Under $49,000

Comments are closed.