The VARIETY File

For the first time in nearly two years, the new car average sale prices fell below the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP). The average transaction price paid for a new vehicle in the United States declined in March 2023 to $48,008, according to Kelley Blue Book data. That’s a month-over-month decrease of 1.1%. This means that consumers paid less than the sticker price displayed on the window.

“Right now, in-market consumers are finding more inventory, more choice and dealers more willing to deal, at least with some brands,” said Rebecca Rydzewski, auto-industry researcher at Kelley Blue Book’s parent firm Cox Automotive.

According to their data, non-luxury buyers paid an average of $44,182. Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, Hyundai, Kia, Nissan, and Volkswagen all saw their average price decline in March. Honda and Kia dealers still charged an average of 3% to 6% over sticker price. Their research also found that luxury buyers saw less of an improvement. They paid an average of $65,202.

New cars now average over $48,000 before taxes and fees. There are still new cars available for less than the average cost. As of May 2023, there are only three new vehicles that would cost $20,000 or less.

However, all three of these cars are small sedans with minimal cargo space and efficient gas mileage.

Take a look at the only 3 new cars under $20,000 or less.

  • Kia Rio: starting at $17,875

    The Kia Rio subcompact sedan starts at $17,875 and the Rio5 hatchback at $18,515. Both front-wheel-drive models come standard with a 120 hp four-cylinder engine, automatic transmission, air conditioning, and a highway fuel economy rating of 41 mpg.

  • Mitsubishi Mirage/ Mirage G4: starting at $17,340

    The Mitsubishi Mirage hatchback starts at $17,340 and the Mirage G4 sedan is just $1,000 more. its three-cylinder engine rated at just 76 horsepower — and the most-efficient non-hybrid vehicle, with the hatchback getting an EPA combined rating of 39 mpg.

  • Nissan Versa starting at $16,925

    The Nissan Versa sedan is priced at $16,925. It is roomy for the price and has a 122 hp four-cylinder under the hood, a standard 5-speed manual transmission, automatic emergency brakes, and a five-star NHTSA crash test rating. Models equipped with an automatic transmission start at $18,595 and have a 40 mpg highway fuel economy rating. A fully loaded version with adaptive cruise control, heated seats, and a wireless charging pad tops out at $20,215.

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