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10 Best Used Subcompact Cars Under $15,000


Small enough to squeeze into a tight parking spot and usually boasting terrific fuel economy, subcompact cars are ideal for shoppers on a budget — or simply those looking to dial back a bit.

Here’s a look at 10 of the best for $15,000 or less.

1. 2017 Chevrolet Sonic

2017 Chevrolet Sonic in red.

Expressive styling and a great infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility set the Chevy Sonic apart from many other small cars. For $20,000 or less, you should have no problem finding a well-equipped hatchback model, too. See Chevrolet Sonic models for sale

2. 2018 Fiat 500

2018 Fiat 500 in white.

With its cheeky Italian personality and a wide range of models, including some with zesty turbocharged engines, the Fiat 500 is a good choice for drivers who don’t need loads of interior space. They’re simple, affordable, and fun. See Fiat 500 models for sale

3. 2017 Ford Fiesta

2017 Ford Fiesta in blue.

Ford’s Euro-style Fiesta boasts exceptional handling and a balanced chassis, plus its interior came with a good array of convenience tech when new. While the automatic transmission can be troublesome, these small cars are at their best with the standard manual gearbox. See Ford Fiesta models for sale

4. 2016 Honda Fit

2016 Honda Fit in charcoal.

The Honda Fit is a class act among small cars thanks to its good handling and exceptionally configurable interior. Its rear seat tumbles forward to create a flat, huge cargo space, making it an excellent choice for drivers looking for more utility. See Honda Fit models for sale

5. 2018 Hyundai Accent

2018 Hyundai Accent in blue.

Hyundai’s most miniature model has slick styling and a nice interior, offering a vast array of features for a small car. Shop carefully, and you might be able to find one with the remainder of its factory warranty. See Hyundai Accent models for sale

6. 2018 Kia Rio

2018 Kia Rio in blue.

This close relative to the Hyundai Accent has its own styling and feature set. It’s worth looking closely at these two models and comparing their trim levels to find what’s the best one for you. See Kia Rio models for sale

7. 2017 Kia Soul

2017 Kia Soul in orange.

With its SUV-grade cargo space and high seating position, the Kia Soul is an excellent choice for drivers looking to maximize utility without making the full jump to a gas-guzzling SUV. See Kia Soul models for sale

8. 2013 Mazda2

2013 Mazda2 in green.

Coming in well below our $15,000 budget, the Mazda2 was a short-lived (for our market) 5-door hatchback with fun styling, great handling, and terrific fuel economy. These models work best with the standard manual transmission. If you want to save money without giving up driving fun, seek one of these models out. See Mazda2 models for sale

9. 2018 Nissan Versa

2018 Nissan Versa in silver.

It may be light on frills, but the Nissan Versa delivers with its great value. You may still be able to find a model with the remainder of its factory warranty. The Versa Note hatchback offers more cargo space than the Versa sedan. See Nissan Versa models for sale

10. 2018 Toyota Yaris iA 

2017 Toyota Yaris iA in charcoal.

While we’re usually partial to hatchbacks, we lean toward the 2018 Yaris iA sedan in this case. This 4-door model was designed and engineered by Mazda (it was sold overseas as the Mazda2), and as a result, it delivers willing handling and has a tidy, well-organized interior. Standard active safety tech adds to its appeal. See Toyota Yaris models for sale

Best Used Subcompact Cars Under $15,000

  1. 2017 Chevrolet Sonic
  2. 2018 Fiat 500
  3. 2017 Ford Fiesta
  4. 2016 Honda Fit
  5. 2018 Hyundai Accent
  6. 2018 Kia Rio
  7. 2017 Kia Soul
  8. 2013 Mazda2
  9. 2018 Nissan Versa
  10. 2018 Toyota Yaris iA

Jason Fogelson
Jason Fogelson is a freelance automotive journalist and editor. He has covered cars, trucks, SUVs and motorcycles for a variety of print, web and broadcast mediaHis first book, “100 Things for Every Gearhead to Do Before They Die,” came out in 2015. He also writes music, theater and film criticism, in addition to the occasional screenplay. Jason lives near Detroit, Michigan, with his wife,... Read More about Jason Fogelson

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