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Updated by John Huh on Dec 22, 2017
Headline for Ten Best Budget Cars of 2016
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John Huh John Huh
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Ten Best Budget Cars of 2016

Many of the budget cars on this list are the perfect blend of performance and affordability, definitely not to be confused with cheap. If you are in the market for a new car, but don't want to break the bank these ten cars are the best bet for your budget. Most of these new cars have been completely redesigned for the 2016 model year, and all of them check in at under $18,000 dollars. While these cars won't break the bank, they are all fun and stylish choices if you are looking for the ultimate bang for your buck new car.

6

2016 Ford Fiesta

2016 Ford Fiesta

Easily one of the most remarkable budget cars on our list, the Ford Fiesta is a great blend of performance and styling. The new 2016 model will enjoy a slightly changed front fascia and an upgraded SYNC infotainment system.

Then you've got a potent choice of engines to choose from, from the well balanced 3 cylinder Ecoboost engine to the turbo and nonturbo versions of the 1.6 liter. Ecoboost turbo technology has been extremely well received, and noted for their wide torque band and responsiveness to modifications.

3

2016 Fiat 500

2016 Fiat 500

Now in it's seventh year, the Fiat 500 has enjoyed moderate success over the years. Fresh for the 2016 year, the funky hatchback receives a modern makeover, starting from the headlights. While most of the exterior is staying with the retro look, it's definitely a good sign that Fiat is giving the 500 a redesign for 2016.

The all new 500 will have the same 1.3 liter diesel, and the 900cc Twin Air engine has powerplant choices. Coupled with the latest in Fiat infotainment systems, the new Fiat is definitely one of the best affordable cars out there in 2016.

4

2016 Chevy Sonic

2016 Chevy Sonic

Available in the EV, SS and RS trims, the Chevy Sonic has led the charge behind smaller and more affordable domestic vehicles. Chevy brought the Red Line Series to the Sonic at the 2015 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, giving the hatchback a variety of tuner parts and gizmos to give owners a nice way to modify their car.

As one of the cheapest cars on this top ten list of budget cars, the Sonic is getting a slight facelift heading into the 2016 model year.

5

2016 Subaru Impreza

2016 Subaru Impreza

The Impreza has been with us a long time, and Subaru is giving the popular sedan an all new look for 2016. Changing the current platform and increasing the horsepower is a step in the right direction. The base 2.0 liter is bumped up to 148 horsepower, while the 2.5 liter enjoys well over 260 horses.

With AWD and a six speed as options, the Subaru Impreza can range in price points. But if you are looking for a clean sedan on the cheap, you can could do a whole lot worse.

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2016 Honda Fit

2016 Honda Fit

The Honda Fit has been a great performer for the Japanese automaker, and is still celebrated in many aftermarket car shows like the SEMA Show in Las Vegas.

While it hasn't enjoyed quite the performance following as Honda would like, the rumors are still out there about a possible Honda Fit SI.

1

2016 Jeep Renegade

2016 Jeep Renegade

Jeeps have gotten a bad rap among many buyers and whether or not they are justified the all new Renegade looks like a reversal of this companies fortunes. This subcompact is looking to change the trends as it moves towards a subcompact crossover that's capable of top down fun and light offroad duty. Equipped with a 164 horsepower 1.4 liter as a base engine, and a stepped up 180 horsepower 2.4, this four cylinder Renegade just might change a lot of people's minds.

7

2016 Kia Soul

2016 Kia Soul

The South Korean automaker has grown over the past 5 years and taken serious leaps forward in platform design and infotainment implementation.

Kia's Soul is the all new redesigned hatchback / coupe that's looking to stake their ground in the upcoming hatchback wars between Honda and Ford. The all new Soul is very affordable and is great on gas, making it a prime candidate on our Top Ten Budget Cars of 2016 countdown.

2

2016 Volkswagen Golf

2016 Volkswagen Golf

While the dust is still settling from DieselGate and the lawsuits continue to pour in, Volkswagen is attempting to repair their image with the all new 2016 Golf. This spunky hatchback comes standard with VW's popular 1.8 liter powerplant, and the turbocharged model is available as an upgrade.

Remodeled and redesigned for the 2016 year, the Golf is a representation of Volkswagen's incredible following, even through the diesel scandal that has rocked the German automaker to it's core.

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2016 Mazda Mazda 3

2016 Mazda Mazda 3

Freshly redesigned and ready to take on the world, Mazda's 3 is an awesome sedan that's high on style and functional performance. Couple this with their suite of aftermarket upgrades out of the factory, this hatchback / sedan is a remarkable looking machine that's ready to take on all challengers.

Affordable and stylish, the Mazda 3 deserves it's high position on the Ten Best Budget Cars of 2016.

10

2016 Honda Civic

2016 Honda Civic

Whether you are a Honda fan or not, the all new Civic is a revolutionary step forward for high tech performance. Recently unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the new Honda Civic Coupe shares many of the same traits as the 2015 Honda Civic Sedan.

The all new 2016 Honda Civic features the full lineup of Honda's new engines, the Earth Dreams VTEC powerplants. Available in sedan, coupe and much anticipated hatchback versions, the new Civic promises to be the best Honda yet.