According to the Globe and Mail, nearly 20 percent of the average Canadian’s after-tax income goes to the monthly payment of a new vehicle. That’s more money than what most people spend on groceries. These days, however, it isn’t necessary to break the bank to get a car that suits you. There are, in fact, several compelling new cars under $25K. Choose one, and you can go back to buying your favourite foods instead of eating Kraft Dinner every night. Unless Kraft Dinner is your favourite food, in which case, live your best life and buy more with the money you save.
Below, you’ll find low-priced cars that offer everything from high-tech safety equipment to high-performance driving standards. Some are fuel-efficient commuter cars, while others are flexible SUVs that are perfect for camping adventures. There’s even a sturdy pickup that can perform grunt work with ease.
Here are 2018’s the best new cars under $25K. Drive one, and you’ll be able to save more money for tacos (or KD). Need I say more?
#1 2018 Honda Civic Sedan
MSRP pricing starting from: $16,790
Since the 1990s, the Honda Civic has been Canada’s best-selling car. Year after year, it continues to rank at the top of its class in nearly every category, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down. The 2018 Civic successfully blends together style with practicality, and fuel-efficiency with power. It’s also one of the most reliable cars on the market, and will hold its value long after you buy it. Perhaps the best thing about the 2018 Civic, though, is its incredibly low price: $16,790 (MSRP).
Reasons to Buy:
- Best-in-class fuel economy
- Best-in-class acceleration
- Spacious, well-designed interior
- Fun to drive
The 2018 Civic has two potent engine options. The first is a 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder engine that produces 154 horsepower. Upper trims get a 1.5-litre turbocharged engine that generates a whopping 205 horsepower. You can’t go wrong with either.
Equipment is also generous, as the Civic offers highly sought-after features at bargain rates. Without even venturing past the middling EX trim, drivers have access to such items as:
- One-touch power moonroof with tilt feature
- Dual-zone automatic climate control
- Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- Heated front seats
- Remote engine starter
… and much more.
The 2018 Civic won’t only save your bank account balance with its bargain price, it’ll also keep more gas money in your pocket. At its best, it achieves 7.4 L/100km in the city, 5.6 L/100km on the highway, and 6.6 L/100km combined. That places the Civic among the leaders of its class in terms of fuel economy. With that kind of mileage, you could easily drive from Edmonton to Calgary and back, and still have some gas left in the tank.
Imagine not having to stop for gas every time you drive through Red Deer “just in case”? All that extra time – and money – could be put towards other, more important things… such as tacos.
#2 2018 Hyundai Kona
MSRP pricing starting from: $20,999
The 2018 Hyundai Kona is Hyundai’s first subcompact SUV option, and it sure doesn’t disappoint. It makes an excellent choice for those who enjoy the higher seating position of an SUV but want the maneuverability of a sedan. With the Kona, you can conquer the concrete jungle, climb mountains, and do everything in between. Better yet, you can do it all without spending more than $25,000.
REASONS TO BUY:
- Competitively priced
- Sleek, modern design
- Comfortable seating for five
- Premium infotainment system
- Stellar performance standards
No matter the trim level, the Kona’s intelligently-built interior is easy to enjoy. It has lots of space, premium entertainment equipment, and sculpted seats that can adjust to match your exact preferences. The Kona has optional colour trimming that highlights its modern design too, and other premium features, such as:
- Standard Apple Car Play and Android Auto
- 8-inch colour touchscreen
- Leather seats
- Standard push-button start
Despite being marketed towards people who drive on paved city streets, the Kona still caters to weekend adventurers. You can get the basic 147 horsepower 2.0-litre engine or opt for the 175 horsepower 1.6-litre turbocharged for more fun. There are even three separate drive modes you can choose from: Normal, Sport, and Eco.
In terms of fuel-efficiency, the Kona is one of the best, only slightly trailing behind the class-leading 2018 Mazda CX-3. Specifically, it can get 8.6 L/100km in the city, 7.0 L/100km on the highway, and 7.9 L/100km combined.
In sum, the 2018 Hyundai Kona is one of the best new cars under $25K. It delivers all the best things of its class at a bargain price. It’s capable, attractive, and has all the best entertainment tech. There are tons of subcompact SUVs on the market today, but the Kona makes itself heard above all the noise.
To read our in-depth review of the 2018 Hyundai Kona, click here.
#3 2018 Kia Soul
MSRP pricing starting from: $20,095
The Kia Soul is cooler than you think it is, and it’s one of our favourite new cars under $25K for several reasons. For starters, it has a distinct style that is far from unoriginal. Second, it has a strong set of engine options, and excellent entertainment equipment to go along with them. Oh, and it also has some of the best safety ratings in its class. As far as we’re concerned, there’s nothing lame about all that and a modest price tag.
REASONS TO BUY:
- Roomy interior
- Unique styling
- Top-notch safety ratings
- Solid infotainment options
The 2018 Kia Soul is available with three capable engines:
- 1.6-liter I-4 with 130 horsepower
- 2.0-litre I-4 rated at 161 horsepower
- 1.6-litre turbocharged with 201 horsepower
All three are compelling, but to get the most of your drive, opt for the turbocharged option. Not only is it the fastest, but it’s also the most efficient. With it, the Kona manages 9.1 L/100km in the city, and 7.7 L/100km on the highway
Safety is a non-issue with the Kona. It was named an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ and received a five-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA. On top of that, it has a long list of standard and available driver assists and active safety features:
- Autonomous emergency braking
- Blind spot detection
- Rear cross traffic alert
- Lane departure warning system
… the list goes on.
On top of safety and power, the 2018 Soul also provides next-level connectivity. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available. With these systems you can connect your car to your smartphone and do things like get turn-by-turn navigational instructions, access messages, listen to podcasts, and so much more. Drivers also have access to other advanced features, such as:
- Harman Kardon premium audio system
- Leather-wrapped steering wheel
- Dual USB charge ports
- Push button start
- LED interior lighting
The 2018 Kia Soul is a small SUV, but it certainly doesn’t have a small personality. Give this underdog a chance.
#4 2018 Mazda3
MSRP pricing starting from: $16,000
The 2018 Mazda3 is the perfect fit for students, young professionals, and first-time buyers looking for a low-cost, dependable vehicle. It was named the Best Small Car in Canada for 2018 by AJAC, and it’ll get you where you need to go safely and in style. You’ll buy the 2018 Mazda3 for its excellent fuel economy and affordable pricing. But you’ll come to love its comfortable ride, maneuverability, and premium interior.
REASONS TO BUY:
- Plenty of standard advanced safety features
- First-rate crash test scores
- Excellent fuel economy
- Good value for your dollar
The 2018 Mazda3 is just plain fun. It has sharp, responsive steering and feels incredibly well-balanced going into turns. There’s no way someone could drive this thing down a winding road without a smile on their face. Not convinced? Book your test drive and find out for yourself.
The 2018 Mazda3’s top engine packs one of the strongest punches of its class with 184 horsepower. But it’s with the base engine that the Mazda3 manages its class-leading fuel economy numbers:
- 8.5 L/100km in the city
- 6.2 L/100km on the highway.
While its exterior’s sports-car-like dimensions give the impression of a cramped interior, nothing could be further from the truth. Inside, there’s a surprising amount of space to seat five comfortably, and enough cargo space to hold a couple hockey bags, leaving room to spare.
Finally, the 2018 Mazda3 was a big hit with safety agencies. Both the sedan and the hatchback models were named a Top Safety Pick+ by the IIHS in 2018. On top of that, the NHTSA gave it a five-star overall safety rating (the highest possible rating).
Mazda has also added some new active safety and driver assist technologies, all while making them more available to lower trims. These include:
- Mazda radar cruise control
- Smart brake support
- Forward obstruction warning
- Lane-keep assist
- Traffic sign recognition
- Advanced blind spot monitoring
Fuel-efficient, dependable, and fun to drive, the 2018 Mazda3 is a no-brainer for anyone looking at new cars under $25K.
To read our in-depth review of the 2018 Mazda3, click here.
#5 2018 Nissan Qashqai
MSRP pricing starting from: $19,998
The all-new 2018 Qashqai is the smaller, more affordable model of Nissan’s other SUVs, the Rogue and the Murano. It’s also more fuel-efficient, has plenty of cargo space, and is available with tons of driver assists and entertainment options. Perfect for maneuvering city streets, going to Costco on a Sunday, and carrying you and the kids to the lake on weekends, the Qashqai is a budget-friendly and pragmatic vehicle.
REASONS TO BUY:
- Clever cargo solutions
- Lots of standard features
- Easy-to-use infotainment system
- Good on gas
The Qashqai’s flexible Divide-N-Hide storage system makes loading cargo easy work. It has adjustable panels that you can configure in ways that best suit your load. These allow you to stash delicate items safely without worrying about them rolling around while you drive. Plus, it’s super handy to have when you want to stash valuables out of sight. What’s more, the 60/40 rear-seats fold down completely flat, giving you a total storage space as large as any competitor.
Despite not having Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, the 2018 Qashqai still has a solid entertainment system. There’s a 7-inch colour touchscreen available, and it comes with NissanConnect services. With this, you can get turn-by-turn directions, stream your music, make calls and send texts, and more.
Entertainment and accessibility aren’t the only things on the menu for the Qashqai. It also comes with some of the industry’s most advanced driver assist tech:
- Intelligent cruise control
- Rear cross traffic alert
- Blind sport warning
- Moving object detection
- Intelligent around-view monitor
- Intelligent emergency braking with pedestrian detection
As far as performance goes, the Qashqai doesn’t play around. It has a hard-working 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that produces 141 horsepower, as well as a segment’s best all-wheel drive system: Nissan’s Intelligent All-Wheel Drive. This system reacts quickly to changing road conditions and sends power to the wheels that need it for optimal traction. With it, you won’t be getting stuck in any ruts come winter.
In sum, the 2018 Qashqai is a jack of all trades available at a bargain price. If you want to make the most of your driving experience, and the most of your money at the same time, check out the 2018 Qashqai today.
#6 2018 Ford Focus
MSRP pricing starting from: $17,950
The 2018 Ford Focus is like a soup and sandwich for lunch. It’s always a satisfying lunch, and it doesn’t cost all that much, either. The Focus comes in all kinds of shapes and sizes. There are hatchback models, sedan models, basic commuter models with few frills, and turbocharged performance models. There’s even an electric model (but we aren’t looking at that one here). But for all its variety, the things that remain constant in all Focus models are its agile handling, its bold styling, and its pleasant ride.
REASONS TO BUY:
- Accurate, responsive handling
- Easy-to-understand infotainment system
- Bold styling
- Comfortable ride
In addition to saving you money on upfront and finance costs, the Focus will also save you tons on gas. The Focus, at its best, manages 7.9 L/100km in the city, and 5.9 L/100km on the highway. That’s when it’s built with the 123-horsepower turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder and standard six-speed manual setup.
Inside, you’ll enjoy quality, long-lasting materials – just like you would on any other Ford. As well, there are plenty of entertainment and driver assist technologies available to make your commute safer and more entertaining. Among these, there’s:
- Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility
- Blind spot information system (BLIS) with cross-traffic alert
- Lane-keeping assist
- Active park assist
- Reverse sensing system
… the list goes on.
While the Focus isn’t the most powerful option on the market, it bridges the gap with competitors with its precise handling and comfortable ride. For these we have to thank features like the Focus’ standard Torque Vectoring Control tech, active grill shutters (that decrease drag), and plush leather seats.
If you’re a soup-and-sandwich person, you’re a smart person. And if you’re a smart person, you’re a Ford Focus person. Be a smart person, take the 2018 Ford Focus out for a spin.
#7 2018 Honda HR-V
MSRP pricing starting from: $21,550
With the 2018 Honda HR-V, you can explore the great outdoors, make IKEA trips in a single shot, and take on just about any task. It’s a top-contender in the crossover class, and it’s a great option for people looking for a versatile, low-cost car. With some trappings of a luxury vehicle, the 2018 HR-V is one of the best-valued new cars under $25K.
REASONS TO BUY:
- Excellent fuel economy
- Class-leading cargo capacity
- Handsome, quiet styling
- Carlike handling with SUV versatility
Named one of Edmund’s Best Small SUVs for 2018, the HR-V is a multifaceted machine, perfect for new parents, athletes with lots of gear, or for anyone seeking a fuel-efficient, versatile means of transportation.
Aside from fuel-efficiency (it manages 6.9 L/100km on the highway), the thing the HR-V probably does best is cargo storage. Thanks to Honda’s nifty “Magic Seat”, you can fold the split rear-seats completely flat for tons of extra space. But it doesn’t end there – you can also arrange the seats in various positions to match your packing needs.
For instance, let’s say you wanted to pack your groceries away from your garbage-loving dog. Well, in that case, you could flip both rear seats up to create a divided cargo area. Your dog would. Alternatively, if you wanted to go skiing but you didn’t have a rooftop cargo carrier to carry your gear, you could fold down the front and rear passenger side seats. You and your friends, then, could stow your skis, snowboards, and poles neatly inside the car.
Finally, under the hood of the 2018 HR-V, you’ll find a 141 horsepower 1.8-litre, 16-valve, 4-cylinder engine. It’ll provide you with that extra boost you need to merge seamlessly into highway traffic. Considering the various other perks the HR-V has, such as Real Time All-Wheel Drive with Intelligent Control System and an Eco Assist system that’ll coach you to drive more efficiently, it’s evident why the it’s one of the top-performing vehicles in its class.
#8 2018 Nissan Frontier
MSRP pricing starting from: $23,998
The Nissan Frontier has always been a solid, dependable workhorse for both tradesmen and adventurers. This year’s Frontier is no different. It has a useful configurable cargo box, as well as some off-roading add-ons that’ll have you climbing over large rocks as if they were pebbles. Not only is it a worthy work truck, but it also comes in at an affordable price. So, if you’re in the market for a cheap but dependable pickup to take to the jobsite and use for odd-jobs, you can end your search here.
REASONS TO BUY:
- Affordable work truck
- Versatile cargo box
- Smooth driving dynamics
The 2018 Nissan Frontier’s base engine is a 2.5-litre DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder engine that delivers 152 horsepower. That isn’t anything worth writing home about. But it’s enough power for you if you just need a pickup for the odd moving day.
If your trucking needs are more serious, though, you should opt for the optional 4.0-litre 24-valve V6 engine. This piece of machinery generates an impressive 261 horsepower and 281 lb-ft of torque. With it, you can tow up to 3,043 kg (6,710 lbs), which means you can bring just about anything along with you on your next motoring adventure.
Finally, the Frontier may not have the largest cargo bed, but it certainly makes the most of what it has. With several useful cleats and tie-downs on the floor and the wall of the cargo area, tying down even the most awkward load is made easy.
The 2018 Nissan Frontier is the ideal truck for those seeking simple utility at a price their wallet can handle.
You like One of the New Cars Under $25K You Like, Now What?
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