Skip to main content

For cash-strapped Canadians on a budget, here are six new and used vehicles that won’t break the bank – theyʼre all under $15,500.

2020 Hyundai Accent hatchback

Courtesy of manufacturer

Hats off to Hyundai. The South Korean automaker has come a long way since its Pony days. Across the lineup, the quality, craftsmanship and reliability has improved significantly over the years. You’ll even notice it on entry-level models such as the new Hyundai Accent hatchback. The interior is spacious and the dashboard layout intuitive and smart. At $14,949, the 2020 Accent is practical and more fuel-efficient than the 2019 version, thanks to a new 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed manual or a new continuously variable automatic transmission. And itʼs fun to drive. It’s peppy, refined and even somewhat sporty.

2020 Kia Rio hatchback

Courtesy of manufacturer

Another South Korean car to consider comes from Hyundai’s sister company, Kia. Even the base model Kia Rio five-door hatchback won’t disappoint. At $15,495, itʼs value-packed with standard features such as air conditioning, power windows, power door locks, a rear-view camera and remote keyless entry. And get this: A heated steering wheel and heated front seats are also standard on the base model. Inside, itʼs cozy and comfy with plenty of cargo space, too – 493 litres, to be exact. Its compact size also makes it a great little runabout that’s easy to park in crowded areas.

2019 Nissan Micra

Courtesy of manufacturer

This is your last chance to snag a deal on what was one of the cheapest cars in the Canadian market – the Nissan Micra. Discontinued for 2020, you can still get a 2019 model for only $10,488. Sure, at that price, the Micra is pretty bare bones, with old-school, roll-up windows, but it’s a refreshing change from the technology-filled cars of today. And don’t let its 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine with only 109 horsepower and 107 lb.-ft. of torque fool you – mated to a five-speed stick shift, it’s a blast to drive. But if you insist on the extras, such as a four-speed automatic transmission, air conditioning and cruise control, move up the ladder to the next trim, which is still affordable at $14,298.

2015 Honda Civic

Courtesy of manufacturer

The Honda Civic has been Canada’s best-selling car for 22 straight years and counting. But if a new Civic, which starts at $20,160 for the sedan, is out of your budget, consider a used one. According to Car Help Canada, itʼs one of the country’s most popular used cars. The average selling price of a 2015 Civic is between $12,000 and $13,000 – but it could be less or more, depending on mileage, trim level and condition. The Civic is a reliable, safe and composed ride that delivers excellent fuel economy. And don’t forget, it’s also made in Canada, rolling off the line at Honda’s manufacturing plant in Alliston, Ont.

2016 Mazda3

Courtesy of manufacturer

If a new Mazda3 is out of the question, consider a used one. The 2016 Mazda3 is one of the most popular used cars in Canada, according to data collected by Cox Automotive Canada’s Dealertrack portal. With an average cash price of $13,308, it’s a steal. Plus, it’s a blast to drive with quick acceleration, nice handling, pleasant road manners and a quiet cabin. The interior has withstood the test of time, and the exterior is smart and stylish in both the sedan and hatchback versions.

2018 Chevrolet Cruze

Courtesy of manufacturer

Even though General Motors discontinued the Chevrolet Cruze last year, it’s still a car worth considering. The 2018 Cruze, with an average selling price of $13,731, is another popular used vehicle, according to Cox Automotive Canada’s Dealertrack portal. The Cruze also has a unique twist; you can get a diesel-powered engine for better fuel economy. The 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel puts out 137 horsepower and a hefty 240 lb.-ft. of torque. And since itʼs only two years old, it still has many modern safety and technology features, such as 10 airbags, a start/stop feature that kills the engine when stopped to improve fuel efficiency, a rear backup camera, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Plus, it can still be serviced at GM dealerships across Canada.

Shopping for a new car? Check out the Globe Drive Build and Price Tool to see the latest discounts, rebates and rates on new cars, trucks and SUVs. Click here to get your price.

Stay on top of all our Drive stories. We have a Drive newsletter covering car reviews, innovative new cars and the ups and downs of everyday driving. Sign up for the weekly Drive newsletter, delivered to your inbox for free. Follow us on Instagram, @globedrive.