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Buying a Car: What to Expect for $25,000

If you’re like some shoppers who are buying a car, you may worry that you’re getting ripped off. Are you paying too much? Are you not getting enough features? We’re helping shoppers by listing what to expect for $25,000 — and what not to expect. That will help you determine if your money is being well spent, or if you can get a better value elsewhere. 

The Basics 

If you’re buying a car that costs around $25,000, you should expect power accessories. That means the mirrors, door locks and windows should all be electronic. And the car should include remote entry, if not a keyless entry system that allows you to unlock the car and start it without removing the key from your pocket. We’d also expect cruise control, an auxiliary plug for an iPod and a USB port for music.


Beyond the basics, there are a few features all $25,000 cars should come with — even though many don’t. 

One is Bluetooth. It’s true that some cars may not have it, but at that price, so many do that you’ll be missing out without the feature. We would also expect an infotainment system such as Toyota Entune or Chevrolet MyLink, which offers apps for music and other services.

While some cars may not include it, a power driver’s seat would also be nice to have for $25,000. The same goes for alloy wheels and automatic headlights, though we wouldn’t consider those items crucial.

What You Can’t Expect

Of course, many shoppers have high expectations — and some are just too high. That’s why we’ve listed a few features you shouldn’t expect to have for $25,000.

One is a navigation system. Yes, some models may offer navigation for $25,000, but most would require drivers to pay more for the feature. We feel the same way about leather upholstery and heated front seats. Both items would be nice, but neither is likely if you’re spending $25,000. 

Finally, drivers shouldn’t expect the latest active safety technology for $25,000. That means systems such as rear cross-traffic alert, a blind spot monitor, a forward-collision alert system and others probably shouldn’t be on your “must-have” list with a $25,000 budget. 

That’s our list of features you should — and shouldn’t — expect for $25,000. If you get them all, consider yourself lucky. If not, be sure you have the basics and at least a few extras before buying a car and driving off the lot.

Doug Demuro
Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More about Doug Demuro

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