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Here are the 6 most affordable new vehicles you can buy in Canada in 2021

Here are the 6 most affordable new vehicles you can buy in Canada in 2021
Autos
It’s kind of an oxymoron to put “cheap” and “new vehicle” in the same sentence, if for, no other reason, than the fact the average transaction price of a new car in Canada is north of $40,000.

Things have gotten even more expensive relatively recently. First off, when we last brought you a list of the cheapest cars a year-and-a-half ago , there were a bunch of small cars — ones no longer sold on our continent.

We knew Ford was getting out of sedans, but who would have thought the Hyundai Accent and Honda Fit would be discontinued? The bleeding is not over, with the Toyota Yaris and VW Golf leaving us after the 2021 model year.

These 10 vehicles are the cheapest to insure in Canada

Second, although there are advertisements claiming you can buy a car for only “$50 a week,” it seems we like our vehicles bigger and more well-equipped than those entry-level models. Indeed, says the J.D. Power PIN Network, Canadians who bought a new vehicle last year spent $45,594 on their average automotive transaction.

Want to fork out waaay less money for your new ride? You’re not alone. So, for all you bargain shoppers, here is our list of the cheapest cars, crossovers, three-row SUVs, and even minivans you penny-pinchers can buy. (All prices are before sales taxes and fees.)

It’s still the Chevrolet Spark. While most of the sub-compact competition has now disappeared (think Ford Fiesta, Fiat 500, Nissan Micra and, to some extent, the Chevrolet Sonic) the little Chevy hatchback keeps going on with the lowest price tag of all our market: $12,198 including freight and delivery for the LS manual version. But note that’s $600 more than 18 months ago.

What do you (not) get for that money? For twelve grand, you get 10 airbags, a 7-inch infotainment screen, Bluetooth connectivity and even the 4G LTE Wi-fi hotspot. Plus, you’ll benefit from a semi-generous cargo space (770 litres) for such a small vehicle.

But you don’t get electric power windows. No audio controls on the steering wheel, either. Said steering is not telescopic, it only tilts; if you’re not of average height and girth, better choose another car. The base LS Spark doesn’t feature a basic forward collision alert — even less, there’s no automatic emergency braking, although on all our new vehicles.

2020 Chevrolet Spark

One last thing: The Spark only seats four passengers. But that’s a good thing, because the teeny 98-hp four-cylinder 1.4-litre engine is one of the weakest on the market.

Transport Canada-certified fuel consumption: 8.0 L/100 km (city); 6.2 L/100 km (highway)

Winner here is the Chevrolet Malibu. What, you thought American manufacturers were all abandoning sedans? Well, for now, the Chevrolet Malibu is still alive. And starting at $25,598, it is at least two grand cheaper than any other intermediate sedan.

What do you (not) get for that money? The Malibu is all about comfort and spaciousness, with solid and silent highway manners. Its infotainment system is one of the easiest to navigate, there’s a built-in 4G LTE wifi hotspot standard, and the remote start system is standard (much to environmentalists’ chagrin). And while long denigrated as a “boring fleet car,” the sexagenarian today shows off a good-looking and muscular silhouette.

But because the Malibu is the cheapest offering in its category, it has to forego certain equipment — sadly, heated seats don’t make the cut. Also, only the Malibu’s Premium luxury version gets some driving aids, like forward collision braking, rear cross-traffic alert, and a blind-spot monitoring system. Lastly, the base engine, the 163-hp 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbo is not only one of the weakest performers – the category average is around 190 – but it’s paired to a CVT, not the modern 9-speed transmission found in more upscale Malibus.

Transport Canada-certified fuel consumption: 8.2 L/100 km (city); 6.6 L/100 km (highway)

It’s no longer the Nissan Kicks, not with the arrival of the Hyundai Venue. At $17,599 — plus $1,825 of freight and destination — the sub-sub-compact SUV (is it really an SUV?!) is the only one in Canada under the $20,000 mark.

What do you (not) get for that money? If you read our Duet comparing the Venue with its (slightly) bigger sibling, the Hyundai Kona, you know we were impressed the unpretentious silhouette of the Venue leads to a surprisingly generous interior space. The four-cylinder non-turbocharged 1.6L unit seems weak on paper, with just 121 horsepower.

But then, we found Hyundai’s smallest crossover one of the most fun-to-drive vehicles in the Korean brand’s lineup. And even for as low as $19,425, you get standard heated front seats.

But the Venue’s low price tag comes with the caveat its base Essential trim comes with a 6-speed manual transmission. Also, Venue doesn’t offer all-wheel-drive — for that, you’ll have to turn to models that hurdle the $20,000 mark.

Transport Canada-certified fuel consumption (manual): 8.6 L/100 km (city); 6.8 L/100 km (highway)

Transport Canada-certified fuel consumption (CVT): 7.9 L/100 km (city); 7.0 L/100 km (highway)

Well, not an SUV. Again this year, it’s the Subaru Impreza. For $19,995, plus $1,675 in freight and destination fees, you get a compact sedan boasting one of the most efficient all-wheel-drive systems in — let’s not be shy! — history.

What do you (not) get for that money? Let’s say it again: The four-door sedan (as well as its 5-door hatchback sibling, for $1,000 more) offers, as standard equipment, the symmetrical full-time (i.e. permanent) AWD. It is one of the industry’s best. The Impreza also drives on a rarity: A double-wishbone rear suspension. You won’t notice at first, but after hitting a couple of potholes, you realize how disciplined this architecture is.

Sadly, your base Impreza won’t get you EyeSight, one of the most effective driving aid suites on the market. You’d need to jump on the next trim, conveniently called the Impreza Convenience EyeSight, for $2,000 more.
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