Best New Cars Under $25,000 From Consumer Reports' Tests

These safe, fuel-efficient, and reliable choices offer good performance at a reasonable price

2021 Hyundai Elantra AMT Test
Hyundai Elantra
Photo: John Powers/Consumer Reports

Despite the rise in the price of the average new car, there are still many safe, reliable, and fuel-efficient models available for $25,000 or less. Though almost every major brand still sells compact sedans, and many seem strikingly similar, once you dig into the data to see how they perform in Consumer Reports’ tests and owner surveys, significant differences emerge.

To help you make a smart and informed purchase decision, we present the best compact cars under $25,000 based on CR’s Overall Scores. Every model is recommended and well-equipped at this price. We based eligibility on their as-tested price, although several can be optioned up to $30,000 and beyond.

Be aware that the Overall Scores change over time as new information, such as reliability data, becomes available. The model pages always reflect our latest ratings.

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All the cars except one come with standard forward collision warning (FCW) and automatic emergency braking (AEB). Blind spot warning (BSW) either comes standard on these models or as an option that doesn’t push the price above $25,000. Some of these models include our new Green Choice designation, which highlights the vehicles with the cleanest emissions. You can read more about Green Choice here.

If you’re a CR member, this article and the list below are already available to you. But if you haven’t signed up, click below and become a member to access the list and all our exclusive ratings and reviews for each vehicle we buy and test. Members can read our highly detailed road tests, which expand on the summaries included here. Joining also gives you full access to exclusive ratings for the other products our experts evaluate in several categories, including electronics and home appliances.

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We investigate, research, and test so you can choose with confidence.