When you set off to purchase a new car, one of the first steps is setting a budget. And sometimes, that budget isn’t as much as you would like. However, that doesn’t have to stop you from getting a great car and taking advantage of Carvana’s unique car-buying experience. Even if you’re shopping in the sub-$12,000 price range, you can still find a great vehicle.
When shopping on a budget, it’s important to define your priorities, since you’re unlikely to find a car that has everything you’d like at this price-point. Here are five of the most affordable vehicles Carvana has to offer, along with their advantages and drawbacks.
Smart Fortwo: Sometimes, operating on a budget causes you to get creative and think outside the status quo. If you’re willing to do that, you might find a quality car in the Fortwo. This tiny hatchback is perfect for city drivers who don’t put on too many miles. As its name suggest, the car only fits two passengers. The advantages are obvious: The Fortwo has great fuel economy, dynamite maneuverability and will get into any parking space. For such a small car, it has a surprisingly high safety rating. In addition, the Fortwo is very budget friendly — you can get a fairly recent model for under $10,000 and the cost of ownership is low. However, you’re majorly compromising on space, and the ride in the Fortwo is fairly loud.
Kia Soul: The boxy Kia Soul doesn’t look like any other compact cars, making it a excellent choice for drivers who want to stand out. In addition, it’s one of the top-rated compact cars with much more cargo space and legroom than the competition, making it a good fit for budget-conscious buyers with families. The Soul is safe and has above-average reliability ratings. However, at this price point, many Kias are too old to qualify for the manufacturer’s 10-year warranty, so be sure to understand whether the warranty applies before you purchase.
Ford Fiesta: The Ford Fiesta is a great budget commuter car. The Fiesta, which comes as a sedan or a hatchback, offers great fuel economy, achieving up to 31 MPG city and 41 MPG highway. The Fiesta is comfortable and fun to drive with agile handling, but its cramped back seat, small cargo space, and average safety rating might give some buyers reason to pause. Buyers should be aware that certain 2014-2015 Ford Fiestas are subject to recall because a fuel pump malfunction causes them to stall unexpectedly. Consumers should check the VIN before purchase, although you’ll likely be able to find a newer Ford Fiesta in this price bracket to avoid the recall issues.
Chevy Spark: With seating for four, the Spark is small but feels comfortable. The Spark has great fuel economy and handling, and some up-scale options like a Wi-Fi hotspot. The car was redesigned in 2016, so purchasing that model year or later will ensure that your vehicle looks current for years to come. The Spark is fairly loud inside despite its small engine, but its decent reliability and low ownership costs make it a good choice for bargain shoppers. Some 2016 Chevy Sparks are subject to recall because of airbag malfunctions, so buyers should be sure this has been addressed before purchase.
Nissan Versa: The Versa fills a gap in the budget car market, offering a roomy interior and plenty of storage space despite the fact that it’s a compact car. Because of this, the Versa is a good choice for people who regularly cart kids or equipment around. The Versa is safe and reliable, but the interior can feel cheap and be a bit loud, since the focus for this car is on space rather than finish.