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Most Reliable New Cars Under $30,000

May 25, 2023

Affordable and reliable cars do not always belong in the same sentence. However, these 10 reliable new cars are the perfect exception.

With new models of vehicles coming out every year, there are many factors that you should consider before purchasing a new vehicle. By considering cost, durability, maintenance schedules, and fuel economy, you can find the perfect balance between reliable new cars and reliable cheap cars.

You may be under the impression that it costs a pretty penny for a dependable vehicle - this is not always true. Affordable and reliable cars can still be had for under $30,000. Features like smaller, more fuel-efficient engines such as the one featured in the 2023 Honda Civic, can improve gas mileage, which also reduces the cost to own.

If you're in the market for a new vehicle but are unsure of which reliable cheap cars to be on the lookout for, this list will contain all the information needed to choose a new car that will last you for years to come.

By gathering information from Kelley Blue Book, RepairPal, and CarEdge, we've compiled a list of the most reliable cars under $30,000.

Related: The Secrets Behind Toyota's Bullet-Proof Reliability

The 2023 Honda Civic is Kelley Blue Book's highest-rated compact car of 2023. Next time you go for a ride down the highway, pay attention to the surrounding vehicles. Honda's will inevitably remain a frequent sight. This is not only due to the popularity of the brand - Honda has built their reputation over the decades as having some of the cheapest reliable cars on the market.


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LX Sedan


LX Hatchback


Sport Sedan


Sport Hatchback


EX Sedan


EX-L Hatchback


Touring Sedan


Sport Touring Hatchback


With eight models to choose from, you have no shortage when it comes to matching your style. A four-cylinder 2.0-liter non-turbocharged engine option is featured in the following models:

The remainder of the Honda Civic models feature a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. This allows for slightly higher gas mileage on certain models as well as a power increase of roughly 22 horsepower and 39 pound-feet.

Not only is the Toyota Corolla one of the most reliable new cars - but also one of the safest. With features such as Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, a Pre-Collision System, and Lane Departure Alert, you'll be on top of your game regardless of what's going on around you.


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In 2023, Toyota incorporated the 169 horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine into all the Corolla models. While this 2.0-liter engine may not be a monster, it's a huge upgrade from the previous 1.8-liter engine seen in the 2022 Toyota Corolla L, LE, and XLE models. The 2023 Toyota Corolla offers a fuel mileage of 31 MPG city and 40 MPG highway making this one of the top reliable cheap cars that can be had for under $30,000.

Hyundai produces four models of the 2023 Elantra for you to choose from - with all four of these options being well under $30,000. All of these models except for the N line feature a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with a combined fuel economy of 34-37 MPG. A 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbocharged GDI engine is included in the N Line, making 201 horsepower at 6,000 RPM while still easily averaging 31 MPG.


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N Line


The 2023 Hyundai Elantra has an NHTSA Crash Test Rating of 5 out of 5 stars and includes multiple safety features such as Forward Collision Warning, Safe Exit Assist, and Highway Driving Assist.

Related: 2023 2022 Hyundai Elantra N: Serious Thrills In A Small Package

The 2023 Kia Forte features four models to choose from - the LX, LXS, GT-Line, and GT. The first three options feature a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine while the GT has a 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbocharged GDI engine similar to the one in the 2023 Hyundai Elantra N Line.


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With Hyundai being a parent company of Kia Motors, you can expect many of the same features on the 2023 Kia Forte that are also seen on the 2023 Hyundai Elantra, while also paying significantly less. If the aesthetic of a vehicle is a concern, you have no worries with the 2023 Kia Forte. The aerodynamic design flaunts a bold approach to the previous years' styling. On top of this, the Forte also ranks as one of the cheapest reliable cars available in 2023, starting at $19,690.

While the 2023 Nissan Sentra is certainly a contender for this list of affordable and reliable cars - it does lack slightly on customizability due to there only being one option for the engine. Do not let this take away from the value of these reliable new cars however, as the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine puts out a satisfying 149 horsepower and 146 foot-pounds of torque while achieving 33 MPG.


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With the pricing of the 2023 Nissan Sentra sitting comfortably between the Kia Forte and Hyundai Elantra, these are reliable cheap cars that allow you to make a decision without having to worry about the cost. While the 2023 Sentra was essentially a carry-over model from 2022, this car already featured sleek styling and a comfortable interior, to begin with.

The 2022 Honda Insight is an affordable hybrid sedan, with a combined fuel rating of up to 52 MPG. The Insight features EX and Touring models, acting as a replacement for the Honda Civic Hybrid. The hybrid powertrain on the 2022 Honda Insight features a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor for incredible fuel savings.


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These affordable and reliable cars are no slouches either - the gas engine and electric motor combined put out 151 horsepower meaning you'll have no issues merging onto the highway or passing a big truck with limited room. As with all Honda's, you can expect a pleasantly simple interior design with user-friendly features.

Related: New Honda Insight Has Better Fuel Economy than Toyota Prius and Chevrolet Volt

The 2024 MAZDA3 features two models - the sedan and hatchback while offering over 10 submodels ranging in price from $24,170 to $36,650. For the sake of this article, only the models under $30,000 will be mentioned.


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S Sedan


S Select Sport Sedan


S Select Sport Hatchback


S Preferred Sedan


S Preferred Hatchback


S Carbon Edition Sedan


While the 2024 MAZDA3 is one of the more costly reliable new cars, the features make it all worthwhile. Options like all-wheel-drive are seen on the carbon edition and the choice between a hatchback or sedan allows you to still have a stylish ride while staying within your budget. The classy interior gives the MAZDA3 a more luxurious feel and the hatchback model allows for cargo such as bicycles or furniture to be hauled to and from without giving you a hassle.

As you can expect with a German car, the interior of the 2023 Volkswagen Jetta reflects the luxurious styling that you see in other cars such as Audis. You have the choice between a 6.5-inch, 8-inch, or 10.25-inch touchscreen display. Volkswagen included four trims with the 2023 Jetta, with each having the 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine.


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The 2023 Volkswagen Jetta includes the same turbocharged engine previously featured in other reliable new cars such as the Volkswagen Taos. This gives you peace of mind knowing that the kinks and bugs have already been worked out. The 2023 Jetta generates 158 horsepower and 184 foot-pounds of torque and as an added bonus - this car does not require premium gasoline to run properly.

With a starting price of $19,795 - the 2023 Subaru Impreza is nearly the same starting price as the Kia Forte, making it one of the cheapest reliable cars on this list. Unlike the other cars on the list, the 2023 Impreza has a manual transmission. Swapping this out for the automatic transmission adds an extra $1,300 to the cost.


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With a choice between a sedan or a hatchback plus multiple features that set the 2023 Subaru Impreza apart, this car is without a doubt one of the top reliable cheap cars available for under $30,000. The 2023 Impreza comes standard with all-wheel-drive which Subaru has been known for over the years. A Harman Kardon audio system is included to enhance the driving experience plus multiple driver assistance systems such as the EyeSight system and Steering-Responsive Headlights.

Related: Subaru Revives the Impreza RS But Axes The Manual Transmission In All Models

While only featuring one trim under the $30,000 mark, the 2023 Toyota Prius is still very much worth considering. Toyota has evolved this car into a sleek and futuristic green machine.

This year's model features a bigger 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine compared to the previous 1.8-liter four-cylinder, generating 194 horses compared to the previous year's 121.


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Optional all-wheel drive is available, as well as a digital rearview mirror on the XLE and Limited trims. While the interior is absolutely stunning - the low roofline in the rear of the vehicle makes it a bit unfriendly for taller passengers riding in the back. As for gas mileage, you can expect up to 52 MPG.

Ryan has nearly a decade of experience in the automotive field. His love for speed started as a young motocross and flat track racer, transitioning from dirt bikes to cars once he acquired his driving license. While cars and dirt bikes tend to be the focus for Ryan, anything with an engine is usually enough to get his wheels spinning.

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