Study: The 10 Best New Cars for the Money

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When it comes to buying a vehicle, money expert Clark Howard wants you to focus on used cars, but sometimes, buying new makes more financial sense.

The evidence comes from a recent report from automotive research site, which lists cars according to “the longest vehicle lifespan at the lowest price.”

Looking for the Best New Car for the Money? Read This

Here are some key findings from the report:

  • Mitsubishi Mirage takes the #1 spot priced at $18,991 with a 172,784-mile average lifespan.
  • The top 10 vehicles on the list cost less than $1,700 per 10,000 miles of lifespan — which is about $1,079 cheaper than the average.
  • Toyota has the most models on the full list followed by Honda and Subaru.
ModelPrice Per 10k MilesAverage New Car PriceAverage Lifespan in Miles
Mitsubishi Mirage$1,099$18,991172,784
Toyota Corolla$1,374$25,017182,133
Subaru Impreza$1,409$27,830197,562
Honda Accord$1,432$30,321211,772
Honda Civic$1,531$28,594186,824
Toyota Camry$1,585$31,960201,644
Nissan Versa$1,588$20,601129,696
Honda CR-V$1,617$35,490219,509
Mazda MAZDA3$1,644$30,253184,069
Toyota Prius$1,683$35,313209,839

Read the full report from iSeeCars.

To arrive at its findings, iSeeCars analyzed the prices of more than 8.3 million new cars sold from September to December 2023. The site also ranked the models based on the odometer readings of more than 181 million used cars from its study on the longest-lasting vehicles.

Are you in the market for a vehicle? Clark recommends as a first step that you find out how much car you can afford. 

“This is not the greatest era to buy a new or used car, but it’s more normalized, and the conditions are getting better and I’m so excited to be able to report the decline in used car prices which have been so stubbornly high for so long, so good news for your wallet,” he says.

Before you make the #1 mistake that car owners make, Clark wants to make sure that when it comes to auto financing, you don’t lock yourself into anything that locks you in for more than 3.5 years or 42 months

“The longest auto loan you should ever take out is 42 months,” Clark says. “If you can’t afford the payment on a 42-month loan, then you should buy a cheaper car.”

You may be wondering why Clark would say that. Read Clark’s guide on the maximum car loan length.