Top 10 Cars Under $30,000

By , 5/29/2019

With car values skyrocketing, it seems like its impossible to get a car for less than the cost of a kidney anymore. Here is the comprehensive list of what we think are the best ten cars under $30,000.

When searching for your next car, it sometimes seems like the options that are even remotely interesting are out of reach. But oh, you couldn’t be more wrong. There are several vehicles that have an MSRP below $30,000 that are more exciting, reliable, or more applicable than other more expensive models.
Starting your vehicle search with a hard set budget is a responsible way to shop. It is easy to quickly add thousands to your out the door cost when you start making exceptions and staying strong to your budget will ensure you won't end up with a payment and insurance that you can't afford. Keeping below a reasonable budget like $30,000 is a great way to ensure you still end up with an enjoyable, reliable car, but your wallet will be happy too. 

#10. Ford Focus

Base MSRP Range: $25,170-$31,775
2018 Ford Focus

Ford’s small car has been a hit since it was first released back in 1998. The car has been known for cheap and reliable fun at any trim level. The Focus ST, Ford’s performance variant, takes the fun little chassis and makes it even better. A powerful 2.0T engine, stiffer suspension, and attractive looks add to the excitement of the hatchback. The little hot hatch starts at a cool $25,170, making it the perfect vehicle if you are looking for a fun, affordable car that can haul the kids and their toys, or yours!

#9. Jeep Renegade

Base MSRP Range: $22,025-$27,545
2019 Jeep Renegade

If you like adventure on the weekend, but still have to get to work Mon-Fri and not burn through gas the whole way, the Jeep Renegade is for you! Excellent fuel economy (24 city and 32 highway), and the My Sky Removable Panel Roof make for a fun, yet economical drive, even if you are just heading to the grocery store. The Jeep Renegade has plenty of space and a fun engaging drive that entertains every time you step in. For a vehicle that starts way under $30,000 and can take on the famous Moab Trails, the Jeep Renegade is sure to fulfill your adventurous side.

#8. Mazda MX-5

Base MSRP Range: $25,730-$34,995
2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata

On from adventure and onto a different form of fun. The Mazda MX-5 has been the go-to car for enthusiasts since the little Japanese firecracker took over the twisty roads way back in 1989. In today's age, the Mazda Miata MX-5 still stands for affordable, drop-top fun. One of the last true light-weight sports cars, the MX-5 still walks in easily below $30,000. Making it some of the most fun you can have for the money. Bonus, who doesn’t love cruising in the summer with the top down?

#7. Dodge Journey

Base MSRP Range: $22,995-$33,395
2018 Dodge Journey

Sometimes, a two-year-old potty training, a four-year-old in the “why phase”, and another on the way is more than enough adventure. For times like that, the Dodge Journey is the way to go. The Journey starts at $22,995 and comes with a THIRD ROW! The Journey is the lowest priced vehicle with a third row, and it is set up to easily accommodate you and your family. Other cool features include in-floor coolers, a powerful V6, AWD, and rear seat entertainment. The Journey really does it all for an affordable price, the perfect vehicle when you are looking to save a little but still need the space.

#6. Kia Soul

Base MSRP Range: $17,490 - $27,490
2019 Kia Soul

Warranty, funky, and fun. Those are really all you need to know about the Kia Soul. The Kia has been redesigned for the 2019 model year and the new design is even more inspired than the last. A fun, small SUV that provides you with a car that's a little off the beaten path. The styling is interesting and quirky and the interior is a fun place to be. To top it all off, Kia’s 10 year/100,000 mile warranty is the best in the business and is definitely something to keep in mind.

#5. Honda Accord

Base MSRP Range: $23,720 - $35,950
2019 Honda Accord

The all-rounder. The go-to. The perfect sedan. The Honda Accord serves very need when looking for a sedan. Rated as the top mid-size sedan by Edmunds, the Honda Accord is the epitome of reliable. It is roomy, comfortable, and safe while still being full of tech. The best part? It rings in at only $23,720. Even in the lowest trim level, the Accord comes with Honda Sensing, a safety suite that includes things like collision mitigation, automatic braking, lane keep assist, and adaptive cruise control. Truly no other sedan can match the value of the long-standing champ of mid-size reliability.

#4. Volkswagen Golf

Base MSRP Range: $21,845 - $25,245
2018 Volkswagen Golf

When looking for a car that can do it all, the Golf should immediately come to mind. Known for its versatility, the Volkswagen Golf is a true do-anything type car. Taking the kids up to the cabin, toss it all in the back. Heading over to Ikea for a new livingroom set, toss it in the back. Moving out of town, fold down the seats and be on your way. The Golf’s use of space is outstanding and the upscale design to the interior make it a more attractive space to be in. Full of available tech and features, the Golf benefits greatly from being the profit center of the Volkswagen Group. Tech and development trickle down from higher-end vehicles that make the Golf feel like a more expensive car than it is.

#3. Mazda CX-5

Base MSRP Range: $19,345 - $24,945
2018 Mazda CX-5

With an interior and driving dynamics that rival some of the top luxury SUV’s, the Mazda CX-5 is a budget SUV with luxury aspirations. The striking design of the interior and exterior segregate the CX-5 from other small SUV rivals. Up-scale materials and higher-end technologies make the CX-5 feel like an SUV that is far out of its class, and most definitely higher-end than its $19,345 base MSRP implies. Mazda still believes in the driver/vehicle connection and the CX-5 embodies that image. With a driving feel resembles that of high-end luxury sports sedans, the CX-5 performs far above its segment.

#2. Ford Mustang

Base MSRP Range: $26,395 - $46,595
2018 Ford Mustang

Ford Mustang. The name alone is an icon, let alone the entire car. This generation of Mustang is better than ever, focusing not just on straight line speed, but also road handling as well. Starting at only $26,395, the EcoBoost Mustang is the fastest (pun intended) way to get into a 300+ horsepower car at little cost. A comfortable roomy interior sets the Mustang apart from its competition as it is an easily livable vehicle that can be daily driven without having to give up on essentials.

#1. Hyundai Kona

Base MSRP Range: $19,990 - $31,950
2019 Hyundai Kona

New to the scene in the most competitive SUV class, the Hyundai Kona came out with a bang and is already outselling most of its competition. The Kona is not a particularly special vehicle overall, but feels solid, is fun to drive, and comes with a surprising amount of tech. Forward crash mitigation, automatic braking, adaptive cruise control, and lane keep assist are all standard features. That is quite the feat at this price point. The excellent fuel economy and roomy interior make it great for long trips and commuting. For anyone looking for a solid-built, fun to drive SUV, the Hyundai Kona is by far the best choice.


Looking for an engaging car under $30,000 can sometimes seem challenging. However, after you start to break down the options and really look at the vehicles that are available to you, the cars start to come out of the woodwork. Shopping for a new car on a budget does not have to be a challenge, and these are only a few of the options available to you. Remember to keep in mind the discounts section, this will really help to open up the options to you.

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