Smart Spending

What Are the Best Cars Under $25,000?

Finding your next car by category is easy if you have a starting place – such as how much you want to spend. You can get a lot of cars for under $25,000, and you can get a lot of good features, too. Choosing the best cars under $25,000 is a good starting place, but in order to get the best car, you will also need to look at some other features, too, such as gas mileage.

For the sake of uniformity, all cars listed here will have similar features, such as air conditioning, anti-lock brakes, an automatic transmission, cruise control, a CD player, and power windows, mirrors and locks.

Ford Fusion SE

The best car under $25,000 on the Consumer Reports website is the Ford Fusion SE. This car is a sedan offered in several styles and buyers can choose either a 4- or 6-cylinder engine. It also comes with either a 6-speed automatic or manual transmission. On average, it gets about 26 mpg. Cost is around $23,600 for the 4-cylinder version.

Honda Accord LX-P

This car is a well-known favorite and it comes with a lot of different styles and options. It is available as a two- or four-door coupe or sedan. It comes with either a four- or six-cylinder engine, and you can choose between a five-speed automatic or manual, or a six-speed manual transmission. It has a front-wheel drive. The cost is about $23,700.

Honda Civic Si

The Honda Civic is another well-known car and it comes with many options to choose from. This sedan is powered with a 201-hp engine, according to the ShopHonda website, and has a 6-speed manual transmission. The car gets 25mpg average, and has 17-inch wheels. The starting cost is around $22,500.

2012 Ford Mustang

When you want a sports car, the best car under $25,000 is the Ford Mustang, according to AutoTrader. This well-known sports car has a V-6 under the hood, which gives you a lot of powewr – 305 horsepower! It has a six-speed manual transmission, and it can take you up to 60mph in just over five seconds. It gets around 31mpg on the highway, and costs about $22,300.

Mazda Miata

Another sports car that costs under $25,000 is the Mazda Miata. While this car does not come with a lot of options, except air conditioning and airbags, it is lightweight and a lot of fun to drive. This two-seater car comes in either hardtop or soft and is convertible. It has an inline four-cylinder engine, and will cost just over $23,000. According to, the MX-5 Miata is one of the 10 Best Cars chosen by Car and Driver.

Hyundai Elantra

Another car rated as one of the best cars under $25,000 by Consumer Reports is the Hyundai Elantra. This is a sedan and it comes with a 1.8 liter engine and a choice of 6-speed transmissions. It is a front-wheel drive, and gets 40mpg on the highway, and an average of about 35mpg. It uses regular fuel and costs about $18,400.

Two other cars that were recommended by Edmunds in this category are the Volkswagen Passat and the Subaru Legacy, both of which will cost about $20,000. Both of these cars are mid-size sedans. The Passat comes with a turbo diesel engine, and the Subaru will give you a few choices in both engines and transmissions. The Passat has a 27mpg average, and the Subaru has an average of 23mpg.

Looking at the best cars $25,000 shows how quality has improved and how much selection you have to suit your personal style. For the best deal, though, be sure to shop around.