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    Best New Cars and SUVs for Under $30,000

    These top performers cost less than the average new car

    grey 2024 Mazda3 with blurred grey storage crates and mist in the background

    It feels like forever, but after three years, automakers and their dealers have finally returned to “normal” levels of inventories. According to Kelley Blue Book, the average car dealership has a 72-day supply of vehicles at the start of April, which is higher than they usually like to have. That means you have a very good chance of going to a car dealer and driving home that day in a car, minivan, SUV, or truck of your choice. But that doesn’t mean they’re all affordable models, because automakers continue to build more expensive (i.e., profitable) vehicles at the expense of cheaper ones. Still, while prices remain stubbornly high, the average price of a new vehicle was $47,218 in March 2024, according to Kelley Blue Book.

    But there are many excellent vehicles that sell for far less than that. To assist bargain hunters, we’ve assembled a list of the best new cars and SUVs under $30,000 based on their Overall Score, factoring in road-test performance, owner satisfaction, predicted reliability, and safety.

    More on Cars & SUVs

    All come with standard automatic emergency braking (AEB). In addition, AEB that works at highway speeds, blind spot warning (BSW), and rear cross traffic warning (RCTW) are standard unless noted. If they are optional or only on specific trims, they don’t push the price above $30,000 before adding in the destination charge, taxes, and fees. That’s why a few models, such as the Honda Accord Hybrid and most compact SUVs, aren’t on this list. Others, such as the Kia K5 and Toyota Camry, are redesigned for 2025.

    Some of these models have our Green Choice designation, which highlights the vehicles with the cleanest emissions.

    All of the vehicles below have met the stringent performance, reliability, and safety requirements necessary to earn CR’s recommendation. The best in the class is highlighted with a photo and profile, with the other top performers listed in alphabetical order.

    Click on the model names for road-test results, information on reliability and pricing, and much more.

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    We investigate, research, and test so you can choose with confidence.