When it's time for a new car but money is tight, you may feel like you’ll have to make sacrifices. Generally, a smaller budget can mean getting a smaller vehicle with fewer features and no real frills to speak of.
But what are the cheapest new cars in Canada and do they really lack essential features? Below we dive into the six cheapest cars and their features below. For those who prefer an SUV, we also cover the five cheapest new SUVs in Canada to see whether better value really means less performance.
When you need a new car at an affordable price, this list of the most affordable cars in Canada will help get you started.
With a starting price of $25,804, the 2023 Toyota Corolla is one of the cheapest new cars in Canada. In its base L CVT trim, you get a 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine that produces 139 horsepower and pairs with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) at the base level. The six-speed manual transmission is no longer an option in Canada.
The Corolla is the best-equipped on our list so far, with a standard 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system that includes standard wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Other features include a six-speaker audio system, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, 60/40 split-folding rear starts, and bi-LED headlights, to name a few.
Plus, the Corolla comes loaded with safety features, including automatic emergency braking with pedestrian and bicyclist detection, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, high-beam assist, and more.
No affordable car list is complete without the increasingly popular entry-level Hyundai Elantra. This affordable sedan's standard powertrain includes the same 147-horsepower 2.0-litre engine and continuously variable transmission — the base six-speed manual transmission is no longer available — as the Forte.
Inside, the Elantra comes standard with an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth connectivity, power front windows, and more.
Unlike the Forte, the 2023 Elantra has a handful of standard advanced safety features, including automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning, lane-following assist, driver attention warning, high-beam assist, and more.
Another leader of the cheap new vehicles in Canada is the 2023 Mazda Mazda3, which rings in at a starting price of just $21,900 for the sedan and $22,900 for the hatchback. At this affordable price, you get a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine that pushes 155 horsepower through a standard six-speed manual transmission. You can also upgrade to a six-speed automatic transmission if you prefer not to shift.
Inside, this compact car is stylistically clean and clutter-free, but it also has an upscale look and feel most cars in its class lack. Its features are also on point. The headliner is the 8.8-inch infotainment system with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It also includes standard power windows, an eight-speaker audio system, keyless entry, SiriusXM, rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring, push-button start, heated front seats, 7-inch LCD meters, and more.
The Mazda3 does lack standard safety tech, like automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control, but you can add this in higher trims if you can stretch your budget.
If the Hyundai Elantra makes the list, then its $20,395 cousin, the entry-level Kia Forte makes the cut too. In its base setup, you get a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine that pushes 147 horsepower through a continuously variable transmission (CVT) — the standard six-speed manual transmission is no longer available — and out to the front wheels.
Inside, the 2023 Forte comes standard with an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system that boasts Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There's also a six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth connectivity, power front windows, and more.
The Forte does come up short in advanced safety features, though, as you only get things like blind-spot monitoring, lane-following assist, lane-keeping assist, and forwarded collision warning on the EX and higher trims.
The 2023 Nissan Versa rings in at $18,298, making it one of the cheapest new cars you can buy at a Canadian new car dealership. You get a 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine that pushes 122 horsepower through a five-speed manual transmission at the base level.
You also get a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Google Assistant and Bluetooth and a four-speaker AM/FM audio system. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto aren't standard until you reach the pricier SV trim. The Versa also includes power front windows, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, manual-adjust seats, cloth upholstery, and more.
What really makes the Versa stick out at this price point are its advanced safety features. Owners can expect forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning, high-beam assist, a rearview camera, and automatic rear emergency braking.
Another Kia makes the cut as one of the cheapest cars in Canada, and that’s the thrifty $17,445 Kia Rio. The 2023 Kia Rio comes standard with a 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine that delivers 120 hp and 113 lb-ft of torque to a standard six-speed manual transmission and out to the front wheels.
Despite its bargain pricing, the Rio has some impressive standard features. These include an 8-inch colour touchscreen, a six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth connectivity, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated front seats, and much more.
Like the Forte, though, the Rio’s downside is it lacks standard advanced safety features, which are reserved for the EX Premium trim only.
The 2023 Mitsubishi Mirage is the cheapest new car in Canada with its starting price of $14,298. At this price point, you'll get a tiny 1.2-litre three-cylinder engine that produces all of 78 horsepower paired with a five-speed manual transmission.
Inside, the Mirage is equally basic, as it comes standard with a four-speaker AM/FM display audio system but no Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. The latter is reserved for this subcompact hatchback's midrange SE and range-topping GT trims. Rounding out the interior is basic cloth upholstery, manual-adjust seats, power front windows (rears are manual), and other very low-level equipment.
If a subcompact sedan or hatchback won't work, and you need an SUV, these affordable models should be on your radar.
The 2023 Subaru Crosstrek is the priciest SUV on the list at $24,995, but it's also the only one with standard all-wheel drive (AWD). It also features a 152-horsepower 2.0-litre engine and up to 1,565 litres of cargo space.
Inside, this off-road-ready crossover features a 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It does, however, lack standard advanced safety features. To get these, you must move up one trim level and add another $2,200.
The 2023 Kia Seltos makes our list with an MSRP of just $23,695 for the base LX trim. This model comes standard with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine that delivers 146 horsepower. It also has a roomy 1,778-litre cargo area with the rear seats folded.
Inside, the Seltos is very well-equipped for a low-price SUV. Its standard features include heated front seats, cloth upholstery, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth connectivity, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay.
The 2023 Seltos also comes standard with a handful of advanced safety bits. These include safe-exit assist, rear-occupant alert, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and a rearview camera.
Another cheap SUV on our list is the 2023 Nissan Kicks, which checks in at $20,998 and carries a 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine that injects 122 horsepower through a continuously variable transmission (CVT).
Inside, the inexpensive Kicks comes standard with a 7-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, manual-adjust seats, a six-speaker audio system, and three USB ports.
Safety tech is plentiful in the 2021 Kicks, as it comes standard with blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, rear parking sensors, lane-departure warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, automatic reverse braking, and more.
The 2023 Kia Soul is the second-cheapest SUV on our list with a base price of $22,595. It comes powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine that sends 147 horsepower through a CVT in its base LX trim. Cargo room is a little light, though. Cargo room is ample at 1,758 litres with the rear seats folded, but it’s a tight 663 litres with the rear seats upright.
Inside, the 2023 Kia Soul has a range of top-notch standard features, including an 8-inch touchscreen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, cloth upholstery, and more.
The Soul lacks in standard safety tech, as it comes with only a rearview camera and rear occupant alert in the base LX trim. The EX and higher trims include more standard safety gear, such as automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and more.
Another cheap SUV available in Canada is the 2023 Hyundai Venue at a price point of $23,303. This tiny SUV comes standard with a 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine that pushes 121 horsepower through a continuously variable automatic transmission — the six-speed manual is no longer available.
Inside, this affordable SUV comes standard with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, an 8-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, a four-speaker audio system, heated front seats, and much more.
While the wireless smartphone compatibility and large touchscreen stand out, the Venue seals the deal with great standard safety gear. This includes automatic high-beam headlights, driver attention warning, lane-keeping assist, rear occupant alert, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, a rearview camera, and more.
New cars generally depreciate 10% the moment you drive them off the lot and another 10-20% through the first year. That's up to 30% depreciation in just a year. The car will continue to lose 15-25% of its value in subsequent years, totalling upward of 60% depreciation in the first five years.
Why take that initial 30% hit for a cheap new car when you can pick up a quality pre-owned vehicle at Clutch, Canada's leading 100% online auto retailer, that’s just a few model years old. With a pre-owned vehicle from Clutch, you can get additional features or a larger vehicle that's only a few years old for less than the price of a cheap new car.
All our pre-owned vehicles go through a rigorous 210-point inspection and reconditioning process and are backed up with a 90-day or 6,000-km warranty.
Plus, you get a 10-day or 750-km test-own period with your new Clutch vehicle. If you don't love it, simply exchange it for a new one or return it for a full refund.