Highlights:

  • The Mitsubishi Mirage’s extremely low $18,991 starting price and 172,784-mile average lifespan make it the best new car for value-conscious buyers
  • Compact cars make up six of the top 10 rankings, with the Mirage, Toyota Corolla, Subaru Impreza, Honda Accord and Honda Civic taking the first five slots
  • The most prominent brand in the top 25 cars is Toyota, with seven models, followed by Honda and Subaru, each with four models
  • Only five of the top 25 cars come from non-Japanese brands, represented by the Volkswagen Jetta, Chevrolet Malibu, Hyundai Elantra, Ford Escape, and Hyundai Tucson 
  • On average, a new car costs $2,779 for every 10,000 miles of lifespan it provides, but all top 10 best new cars for the money cost less than $1,700 per 10,000 miles of lifespan

Automotive value can be defined in a number of ways, but for buyers seeking the longest vehicle lifespan at the lowest price, the Mitsubishi Mirage offers the best new car value. The average new car costs $2,779 for every 10,000 miles of lifespan it provides, but the Mirage only costs $1,099 for each 10,000 miles it offers. The Toyota Corolla ranks second best at $1,374, followed by the Subaru Impreza at $1,409, the Honda Accord at $1,432, and the Honda Civic at $1,531. 

iSeeCars analyzed the prices of over 8.3 million new cars sold in September - December 2023 and the odometer readings of over 181 million used cars from its Longest Lasting Cars Study to determine the rankings for the best new cars for the money for 2024.

“New car prices keep climbing, which makes finding the highest value models more important than ever for buyers,” said iSeeCars Executive Analyst Karl Brauer. “By identifying cars that combine the lowest purchase price with the longest lifespan, we’re helping consumers who want to maximize their car-buying budget.”

 

The 25 best new cars for the money for 2024

Toyota makes a strong showing, with seven of the top 25 best cars for the money. Honda and Subaru each offer four models, while Hyundai, Mazda, and Nissan all have two models in the top 25. Chevrolet, Ford, Mitsubishi and Volkswagen make the list with one model each, though Mitsubishi does hold the number one spot. 
Best New Cars for the Money - iSeeCars Study
Rank Model Price per 10k Miles Average New Car Price Average Lifespan in Miles
1 Mitsubishi Mirage $1,099 $18,991 172,784
2 Toyota Corolla $1,374 $25,017 182,133
3 Subaru Impreza $1,409 $27,830 197,562
4 Honda Accord $1,432 $30,321 211,772
5 Honda Civic $1,531 $28,594 186,824
6 Toyota Camry $1,585 $31,960 201,644
7 Nissan Versa $1,588 $20,601 129,696
8 Honda CR-V $1,617 $35,490 219,509
9 Mazda MAZDA3 $1,644 $30,253 184,069
10 Toyota Prius $1,683 $35,313 209,839
11 Subaru Legacy $1,735 $32,889 189,603
12 Volkswagen Jetta $1,737 $25,778 148,410
13 Toyota Tacoma $1,746 $41,727 239,028
14 Toyota Camry Hybrid $1,767 $35,631 201,644
15 Nissan Sentra $1,784 $23,969 134,335
16 Honda Ridgeline $1,817 $44,225 243,431
17 Subaru Forester $1,850 $36,018 194,651
18 Chevrolet Malibu $1,944 $27,667 142,332
19 Subaru Outback $1,970 $39,809 202,033
20 Toyota RAV4 $1,983 $35,359 178,320
21 Mazda CX-9 $2,009 $43,448 216,227
22 Hyundai Elantra $2,021 $25,634 126,863
23 Ford Escape $2,031 $34,071 167,744
24 Hyundai Tucson $2,088 $34,216 163,902
25 Toyota 4Runner $2,163 $49,955 230,922
Overall Average $2,779 $47,885 172,331
“With the mix of brands and vehicle types ranking in the top 25, there’s really something for everyone searching for strong new-car value,” said Brauer. “The tiny subcompact Mirage and Versa are counterbalanced by the three-row Mazda CX-9 crossover, with plenty of midsize SUVs, and even two trucks in between.”

 

Best small SUVs for the money

The average small SUV costs $2,100 for every 10,000 miles of lifespan, but six models cost less, reflecting better-than-average value. Honda’s CR-V leads the segment, with the Subaru Forester and Outback making the top three.
Best Small SUVs for the Money - iSeeCars Study
Rank Model Price per 10k Miles Average New Car Price Average Lifespan in Miles
1 Honda CR-V $1,617 $35,490 219,509
2 Subaru Forester $1,850 $36,018 194,651
3 Subaru Outback $1,970 $39,809 202,033
4 Toyota RAV4 $1,983 $35,359 178,320
5 Ford Escape $2,031 $34,071 167,744
6 Hyundai Tucson $2,088 $34,216 163,902
Small SUV Average $2,100 $36,530 173,927
“These six SUVs are among the best-selling models in the U.S., suggesting consumers have recognized their excellent value proposition,” said Brauer.

 

Best midsize SUVs for the money

In the popular midsize SUV category, 10 brands contribute to the 14 models boasting better-than-average value. Toyota leads with three models, followed by Lexus with two, then Acura, Ford, GMC, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, and Nissan with one each.
Best Midsize SUVs for the Money - iSeeCars Study
Rank Model Price per 10k Miles Average New Car Price Average Lifespan in Miles
1 Mazda CX-9 $2,009 $43,448 216,227
2 Toyota 4Runner $2,163 $49,955 230,922
3 Honda Pilot $2,203 $48,754 221,320
4 Hyundai Santa Fe $2,203 $37,882 171,934
5 Ford Edge $2,233 $43,571 195,147
6 Toyota Highlander Hybrid $2,339 $50,822 217,325
7 Toyota HIghlander $2,562 $46,345 180,861
8 Kia Sorento $2,683 $39,581 147,529
9 Nissan Pathfinder $2,685 $47,017 175,138
10 Acura MDX $2,746 $60,498 220,343
11 Ford Explorer $2,835 $51,070 180,153
12 GMC Acadia $2,853 $46,643 163,500
13 Lexus GX460 $2,979 $65,455 219,727
14 Lexus RX350 $2,986 $60,080 201,179
Midsize SUV Average $3,021 $54,290 179,695
"Both luxury and mainstream brands offer strong value in the midsize SUV category,” said Brauer. “If you’ve got a favorite SUV brand it’s probably represented in this segment.”

 

Best full-size SUVs for the money

Large SUVs experience some of the most demanding use cases of any vehicle type, which makes durability even more important when shopping in this category.
Best Full-Size SUVs for the Money - iSeeCars Study
Rank Model Price per 10k Miles Average New Car Price Average Lifespan in Miles
1 Buick Enclave $3,443 $52,417 152,234
2 Nissan Armada $3,450 $62,648 181,600
3 Toyota Sequoia $3,550 $80,424 226,531
4 Ford Expedition $3,717 $75,674 203,589
5 Chevrolet Tahoe $3,722 $72,190 193,938
6 Chevrolet Suburban $4,242 $76,465 180,237
Large SUV Average $4,421 $78,525 177,631
“Large SUVs require a large budget, with the average model costing over $4,400 for every 10,000 miles of lifespan,” said Brauer. “But these are also some of the longest-lasting vehicles you can buy, so if you can afford the upfront cost they should provide between 150,000 and 200,000 miles of service.”

 

Best small cars for the money

Compact cars offer the lowest starting price for new-car shoppers, yet all of these cars have an average lifespan of more than 125,000 miles, with more than a few approaching 200,000 miles.
Best Small Cars for the Money - iSeeCars Study
Rank Model Price per 10k Miles Average New Car Price Average Lifespan in Miles
1 Mitsubishi Mirage $1,099 $18,991 172,784
2 Toyota Corolla $1,374 $25,017 182,133
3 Subaru Impreza $1,409 $27,830 197,562
4 Honda Civic $1,531 $28,594 186,824
5 Nissan Versa $1,588 $20,601 129,696
6 Mazda MAZDA3 $1,644 $30,253 184,069
7 Toyota Prius $1,683 $35,313 209,839
8 Volkswagen Jetta $1,737 $25,778 148,410
9 Nissan Sentra $1,784 $23,969 134,335
10 Hyundai Elantra $2,021 $25,634 126,863
11 Audi A3 $2,359 $42,228 179,006
Small Car Average $2,387 $34,801 145,816
“With their low prices and relatively long lifespans, small cars are excellent candidates for shoppers seeking value,” said Brauer. “These aren’t the most spacious or luxurious cars on the market, but their long list of standard equipment makes them a compelling option, especially for new-car buyers on a limited budget.”

 

Best midsize cars for the money

Five midsize models offer better-than-average cost for each 10,000 miles of life. Toyota makes the list twice with both the standard and hybrid version of its Camry.
Best Midsize Cars for the Money - iSeeCars Study
Rank Model Price per 10k Miles Average New Car Price Average Lifespan in Miles
1 Honda Accord $1,432 $30,321 211,772
2 Toyota Camry $1,585 $31,960 201,644
3 Subaru Legacy $1,735 $32,889 189,603
4 Toyota Camry Hybrid $1,767 $35,631 201,644
5 Chevrolet Malibu $1,944 $27,667 142,332
Midsize Car Average $2,058 $36,102 175,433
“Midsize sedans aren’t as popular as they used to be, but they still provide a strong combination of passenger comfort and useful cargo space,” said Brauer. “And the models on this list also deliver excellent value.”

 

Best midsize trucks for the money

Only the Toyota Tacoma and Honda Ridgeline offer better than average value in the midsize truck category. The Colorado, Canyon and Frontier are below average.
Best Midsize Trucks for the Money - iSeeCars Study
Rank Model Price per 10k Miles Average New Car Price Average Lifespan in Miles
1 Toyota Tacoma $1,746 $41,727 239,028
2 Honda Ridgeline $1,817 $44,225 243,431
Midsize Truck Average $2,056 $42,406 206,219
3 Chevrolet Colorado $2,312 $42,022 181,745
4 GMC Canyon $2,912 $50,193 172,381
5 Nissan Frontier $2,936 $42,490 144,722
“Toyota’s Tacoma has been the best-selling midsize truck for a long time,” said Brauer. “Truck buyers know it’s among the most durable vehicles on the market, making it one of the best values in the new car world.”

 

Best full-size trucks for the money

The Chevrolet Silverado is the best truck for the money, followed closely by the Toyota Tundra. Both models beat the segment average of $3,272 for every 10,000 miles of lifespan, which is among the most expensive segment averages for vehicles with some of the longest lifespans.
Best Full-Size Trucks for the Money - iSeeCars Study
Rank Model Price per 10k Miles Average New Car Price Average Lifespan in Miles
1 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 $2,863 $57,129 199,544
2 Toyota Tundra $2,868 $64,824 226,032
Full-Size Truck Average $3,272 $61,353 187,490
3 Ram 1500 $3,352 $61,212 182,593
4 Ford F-150 $3,469 $61,554 177,465
5 GMC Sierra 1500 $3,598 $66,086 183,652
6 Nissan Titan $4,008 $57,758 144,115
“Today’s full-size trucks offer long lifespans and plenty of capability,” said Brauer. “But they don’t come cheap, so buyers should only purchase one if they have genuine truck needs.”

Best minivans for the money

Honda’s Odyssey and Toyota’s Sienna represent two of the best-selling models in the minivan segment, and their above-average value confirms why they are so popular.
Best Minivans for the Money - iSeeCars Study
Rank Model Price per 10k Miles Average New Car Price Average Lifespan in Miles
1 Honda Odyssey $2,541 $45,179 177,830
2 Toyota Sienna $2,844 $51,655 181,628
Minivan Average $2,856 $49,445 173,151
3 Chrysler Pacifica $3,309 $49,728 150,289
4 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid $3,634 $54,620 150,289
“Minivan shoppers have a pretty limited range of choices,” said Brauer. “But Honda and Toyota have a well-earned reputation of building family haulers that go the distance, and at a price that makes them a compelling value proposition.”

 

Best sports cars for the money

Sports cars aren’t typically associated with value, but five models offer better-than-average cost, with four of these also offering at least 100,000 miles of average lifespan.
Best Sports Cars for the Money - iSeeCars Study
Rank Model Price per 10k Miles Average New Car Price Average Lifespan in Miles
1 Mazda MX-5 Miata $3,331 $34,825 104,542
2 Ford Mustang $3,558 $49,974 140,443
3 Audi TT $4,073 $61,355 150,640
4 Dodge Challenger $4,611 $54,023 117,160
5 Chevrolet Camaro $5,899 $50,236 85,162
Sports Car Average $6,248 $63,430 101,525
“The Mazda Miata is one of the best-selling sports cars in history due to its trifecta of low cost, high engagement, and long lifespan,” said Brauer. “Enthusiast drivers seeking the most bang for their sports cars buck know this, which is why the Miata has such a large and loyal following.”

With inflation and higher labor costs driving up pricing, consumers should carefully weigh their next new vehicle purchase. There’s still value to be found if buyers buy one of the best cars for the money identified in this study.

 

Methodology

iSeeCars analyzed the prices of over 8.3 million new cars sold in September - December 2023 and the odometer readings of over 181 million used cars from its Longest Lasting Cars Study. The average list price of each model was compared to its average lifespan (in miles) to calculate the purchase price per 10,000 miles. Heavy-duty vehicles, low-volume vehicles, and vehicles not continuously in production over the last decade were excluded from further analysis.

 

About iSeeCars.com

iSeeCars.com is a data-driven car search and research company that helps shoppers find the best car deals by providing key insights and valuable resources, including the iSeeCars VIN Check report and Best Cars Rankings. iSeeCars has saved users over $410 million so far by applying big data analytics powered by over 25 billion (and growing) data points and using proprietary algorithms to objectively analyze, score and rank millions of new cars and used cars.