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Best Affordable and Safest New Cars to Buy Skip to content

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8 New Safe and Affordable Vehicles

These economical cars for grownups cost less than average, perform well in crash tests

A couple looking to buy a car speaks with a salesman

DON MASON/GETTY IMAGES

En español | Are any new cars affordable nowadays?

Yes, if you define affordable as vehicles priced below the current average selling price of about $37,000.

We searched for new models with above-average safety scores, a nice array of features and solid comfort, all for less-than-average prices.

Our picks get the top five-star crash safety rating on most or all the crash tests from the government's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the top “good” rating on most or all tests from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a trade organization. Plus they score well in most categories that the widely read Consumer Reports has tested and typically earn the publication's “recommended” mark.

What's more, they're cheaper than average to insure, according to an analysis for AARP by Penny Gusner, consumer analyst at Insure.com. The U.S. average for our eight picks is $1,479, ranging from $1,306 to $1,685, versus the national average for all vehicles of $1,812.

Gusner cautions that individual policies vary based on the amount of coverage you select and things such as age, gender, driving record and even your credit score.


Use the free AARP Auto Buying Program for a hassle-free purchase experience


Our choices also are based on our own test drives, those of others and interviews with industry experts. We use the manufacturer's suggested retail price, commonly thought of as the sticker price and include destination charge, as our price guide.

Because discounts are common, you might be able to get a fancier version of a vehicle we recommend and keep it under the industrywide average price.

Sizes range from small to big and types from sports cars to SUVs. Hybrid versions of many models, including some of our picks, score as well as or better than models that come only in gas-electric hybrid.

We're also happy to toss in some cars you probably would overlook.

These were the newest available models in early July 2019.

Freelance writer James R. Healey was auto writer and columnist for USA TODAY.

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