10 Fuel Efficient New Cars for Under $15,000

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Under $15K

Fuel costs, maintenance costs, insurance costs, and tire costs continue to rise. It seems as though the only thing that is not rising these days is my income.

So, what is a guy to do for transportation? This time of year begets all types of possibilities with automakers offering special financing and cash back on 2013 models, you can get some really great deals on a new automobile. There is another possibility, though. Several major automakers are now offering economical and fuel efficient models for those of us who can do without such luxurious amenities as leather seating and dual-zone climate control.

Here are ten brand-new automobiles, which can be purchased for under $15,000.


10. 2013 Chevrolet Sonic

This sporty Chevy is available as either a sedan or hatchback and despite its frugality the Sonic is pretty fun to drive. Engine choices include a 1.8-liter four-cylinder or a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. Both engines produce 138-horsepower and the standard transmission is a five-speed manual. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) is $14,998 and EPA fuel efficiency is rated at 27mpg city/34 mpg hwy.

9. 2013 Chevrolet Spark Hatchback

Surprisingly agile and marginally attractive, the Spark is powered by a 1.2-liter four-cylinder engine which produces 84-horsepower. The MSRP is only $12,730, with the standard equipment five-speed manual front-wheel drive gearbox. An excellent fuel efficiency rating of 32mpg city/38 mpg hwy. makes the Spark a truly great deal.

8. 2013 Ford Fiesta

The Ford Motor Company offers the Fiesta, available in sedan and hatchback variations, both nicely designed with driver comfort in mind. Powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, which makes 120-horsepower, and fitted with a five-speed manual transmission, the Fiesta is upbeat and fun to drive. Fuel efficiency is terrific at 29mpg city/39 mpg hwy. The Fiesta has an MSRP of $13,995.

7. 2013 Hyundai Accent

The Koreans are here and they are great on fuel. The Accent is time tested reliable and comfortable. The Accent is offered as either a sedan or a hatchback, 1.6-liter engine with direct-injection, and a six-speed manual transmission are standard equipment. MSRP is $14,997 and the EPA fuel efficiency rating is 28mpg city/37mpg hwy.

6. 2013 Kia Rio

The Rio offers a sporty driving experience and extraordinary fuel efficiency. It is available as a sedan or hatchback and gets 29mpg city/37mpg hwy. The Rio is outfitted with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 138-horsepower and the MSRP is $14,350.

5. 2013 Kia Soul Wagon

The Kia Soul Wagon offers, by far, the most spacious interior. It is fairly loaded with features for the class and has a very unique style. Its 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine manufactures 138-horsepower, but the Soul Wagon’s fuel efficiency numbers flounder in comparison to its counterparts, rated at 25mpg city/30mpg hwy. The MSRP is $14,996.

4. 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage Hatchback

Finally, a Japanese auto, the Mirage Hatchback is offered by Mitsubishi for an MSRP of only $13,790. This year’s model is equipped with a miserly 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine that produces 74-horsepower. Standard equipment is a front-wheel drive five-sped manual transmission. Fuel efficiency numbers are fantastic at 34mpg city/42 mpg hwy.

3. 2014 Nissan Versa Note Hatchback

The Versa Note Hatchback offers one of the more appealing exteriors in this segment, though the interior has been criticized for its blandness. For this driver’s money, blandness is great as long as there is spaciousness. The Versa Note Hatchback is equipped with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine which pumps out 109-horsepower and has an EPA fuel efficiency rating of 31mpg city/40mpg hwy. when equipped with the optional continuously variable automatic transmission. The MSRP is $13,770, as equipped.

2. 2013 smart fortwo Hatchback

The smart fortwo is the smallest vehicle of this segment. A viable option for city dwellers, horrifying on the interstate; it is powered by a 70-horsepower 1.0-liter three-cylinder working in conjunction with a five-speed manual gearbox. The EPA fuel efficiency rating is 34mpg city/38mpg hwy. and the MSRP is just $13,420.

1. 2014 Toyota Yaris Hatchback

An MSRP of $14,906 and an EPA fuel efficiency rating of 30mpg city/37mpg hwy. combine to make the Yaris an attention-getter. Standard equipment includes a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine and five-speed manual transmission. The Yaris is comfortable to drive, has a reasonably spacious interior, and agreeable handling.

S.M. Darby

S.M. Darby

I am a freelance author with over 25 years of experience as a professional, ASE certified automotive technician and shop owner, muscle car enthusiast, avid street racer, and classic car restoration specialist.