When we talk about affordability, the considerations do not just limit to the MSRP; it includes the discount that you get while purchasing, the interest you pay to the bank towards a car loan, insurance, taxes, annual fuel cost maintenance, depreciation are all integral part of affordability of a new or old car. Not to mention the initial payment you make, at the outset to bring home your dream car. These vehicles can be so modest and simple at times, that you might even have to cough out more money just to get an automatic transmission, basic safety amenities like anti-lock, air conditioning and in some cases even a radio system. While you will get safety airbags in most of them, something like stability control might not be on the offer. Here, in this top 10 list, we throw some light on top 10 affordable cars for 2012 and see what’s in stores for the non-business class budget-minded buyers.


Nissan Versa 2012 Edition

Nissan Versa 2012
By IFCAR (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

At a market price of just around $10,992, the 2012 Versa 4 door vehicle is arguably the cheapest of the upcoming models. It offers fantastic gas economy figures of 26mpg on city roads and 34mpg on highways and its 5-year running cost is calculated at around $8,456, which is amazing. Coming to the insurance cost; for five years you need to pay about $4,851. Being a member of entry-level vehicles, it offers spacious interior beating its native rivals Fit and Yaris. Six safety airbags are standard across all the three trim options, but for an optional ABS, you might have to shell out an extra $250. All the trim variants are powered by a modest 1.5-liter engine.


Chevrolet’s Aveo5 2012

Chevrolet 2012 Aveo5

The new 2012 Chevy Aveo5 can be a yet another awesome choice in this category. Its market price is $11,038 but its 5-year fuel cost is lesser than Versa, at $8,085. The cargo room is sufficient at 15 cubic feet and the interior is spacious for both front and rear passengers. Features like OnStar Automatic Crash Response and safety airbags are standard but ABS is not available. The fuel economy is little better than Versa at 27mpg/35mpg on city/highway. On the downside, the crash tests have been nothing more than average and even the drivability is not very impressive. These are something we expect even in the cheapest of cars, don’t we!


Mazda 2 Sport

Mazda 2 Sport 2012

This is one hell of an economic sporty hatchback that is excellent for city dwelling and at the same time offers enjoyable ride quality. Priced at just $14,625, the new 2012 Mazda2 Sport is value for money. One glance at the compact hatchback and you know it is from the house of Mazda, but do not mistake it just for a downsized Mazda3 because there is much more to it. The vehicle is built on the same platform as Ford Fiesta and is one of the safest compact cars in the market with standard safety features like six airbags, traction and stability control, and ABS. As if this much was not enough, it even offers one of the best gas economy figures at 29mpg within city limits and 35mpg on freeways.


2012 Kia Rio 4dr

Kia Rio 4D 2012 Model

When we talk of affordable cars, how can we not mention a Kia. The 2012 Rio 4dr is a very deserving entry in this list. The market price of the vehicle is $11,824 and its 5-year fuel cost is not expected to surpass $8,085. Kia is one auto manufacturers that always offers something good to even the most budget-minded users. Features like USB ports and auxiliary connections for music listening and Sirius Satellite Radio are standard, but you have to pay extra for the subscription of Sirius. Safety airbags are standard on the entry level model but higher trims also get ABS. Rio offers 28mpg on city streets and 34mpg on highways.


Honda Insight Hatchback 2012 Edition

Honda Insight Hatchback 2012
Honda Insight Hatchback 2012

This Japanese hatchback can be slightly on the costlier side at a market price of $18,097 but we still put it here for the kind of value-for-money vehicle it is. This hybrid hatchback proves that hybrids will no more dry you out as the calculated 5-year service cost of the hatchback comes close to just $3,149. 2012 Honda Insight promises 40mpg on city roads and 43mpg on highways. Now isn’t that something we call affordable? There is more to this hybrid than just gas economy figures. Features like ABS, Traction and Stability control, Safety Airbags and an automatic transmission system are all standard.


  1. I think Suzuki Sx4 and Hyundai Accent should’ve also been placed in this list. These are also really affordable and well-designed cars.


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