QOTD: What's Next for Cheap Cars?

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

qotd what s next for cheap cars

There are fewer cheap new cars on the market than ever, it seems, and the picture looks worse with the death of the Mitsubishi Mirage.

These are usually not good cars -- I drove a rented Nissan Versa to upstate New York and back last summer and was quite happy to give the keys back -- but some people can only afford cheap cars. Otherwise, they'd be shut out of the new-car market completely -- and used cars aren't always a good option.

So, what say you, B and B? Is there an opportunity here for OEMs to re-enter this segment? Maybe with crossovers instead of cars? Or is the cheap car dead, at least for a while, because of market forces?

Sound off below.

[Image: Mitsubishi]

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7 of 67 comments
  • Kwik_Shift Kwik_Shift on Aug 17, 2023

    I'd love to see a military based SUV from Chy-nah here. Like a G-Wagon or Land Cruiser. Though I can't imagine it being too cheap.

    • Kwik_Shift Kwik_Shift on Aug 18, 2023

      Alan, its on the right track. I would even want it more bare bones. Like the military spec G-Wagons we have in our military. Do you still have Lada In Aussieland? I love the Niva. Can't get more basic than that with all the features you want for an off-roader.

  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Aug 17, 2023

    Of my current personal vehicles, newest is a 2005. I have started noticing several vehicles of the same make and model as mine roaming around close to home. Ultimate Backup Plan might be to barter for a couple of those, thus yielding 1 daily driver plus 2 parts cars. 😉

    Say this plan gets us to ~2030. At that point shouldn't be too hard to follow the 'pick a vehicle and electrify it' plan. If only I owned a voltmeter...

    • Jeff Jeff on Aug 17, 2023

      I actually bought a parts car for my wife's 77 Accord years ago. Used a lot of parts off that car and it ended up saving me more money than I paid for it plus many of the parts that I used were no longer available from Honda.

  • W Conrad W Conrad on Aug 17, 2023

    I bought a so-called "cheap" car new in 2012, it still serves me well today. Not all of them are terrible. As of now though, I'm priced out of the market. I can't even afford a "cheap" car. Of course it doesn't help I want an electric and they are even more unaffordable at this point.

    • Jeff Jeff on Aug 17, 2023

      That is why a small EV priced in the low 20ks with no other options but power windows, power locks, electric steering, power assist brakes, air conditioning, and a radio that you could connect your phone to play your own music would sell if it had decent enough range for commuting back and forth to work and for running errands.

  • Carson D Carson D on Aug 18, 2023

    People in my hometown are learning a valuable lesson about relying on public transportation. School bus service is now only available to ESL students, learning-challenged students, and a few very wealthy neighborhoods. The working class is an enemy to the state that will be destroyed. Cheap new cars are practically obsolete today.