If you have less than perfect credit and/or a smaller budget, you may still be able to buy a new car. Recently, U.S. News handed out their Best Car for the Money awards for 2017. And all of the vehicles chosen for these awards offer a lot of value.

In their respective classes, the winning cars were chosen for their affordable price tags, high quality and useful features. To make it even easier for budget-conscious buyers, only the most affordable vehicles from the original list are described below.

The 2017 Best Cars for the Money Offer Quality and Value

For a vehicle to be considered for a Best Cars for the Money award, it must offer the consumer an exceptional amount of quality and value. In order to measure quality and value in potential vehicle candidates, U.S. News uses a very specific formula.


  • U.S. News refers to data from their own car rankings.
  • These car rankings are partially based on a variety of credible reviews.
  • Information from published reviews is combined with hard data to produce final data for rankings.


  • U.S. News consults TrueCar to find out what, on average, car buyers are paying for their vehicles right now.
  • Car prices are compared against cost of ownership data. This data is based on factors like fuel costs, insurance rates and repair/maintenance expenses.

Finally, all of this information is put together in order to come up with the best new cars that can be purchased for the least amount of money.

Best Compact Car

Kia Soul

Those famous singing hamsters haven't lied to you. The Kia Soul has been named as the Best Compact Car for the Money for 2017. And the best news is that a fully loaded Soul can be purchased for well under $25,000. Due to its distinctive boxy shape, this small car comes with a surprisingly large amount of cargo space. The Soul also features a high-quality interior, tons of standard and available features and a turbocharged engine option.

If, however, you're looking for something that's a little more fun to drive, The Mazda Mazda3, which was chosen as a finalist in this category, is a great option. Or, if you're in the market for a reliable, everyday driver, the other finalist, the Kia Forte is a very safe choice.

Best Midsize Car

If you need a little more room than even a spacious compact car can offer, the Hyundai Sonata won top honors in the midsize car category. According to test drivers, the Sonata gets "excellent" EPA-estimated gas mileage. It also comes with an impressive amount of cargo space and a long list of standard features. Adding to the qualities that make the Sonata a good choice for families are its smooth ride and roomy, comfortable seats.

As an alternative option, the Toyota Camry has a lot going for it. Namely, it comes with an excellent predicted reliability rating. So, there's a good chance that the Camry will give you several years of worry-free driving.

Best Subcompact Car

On the other hand, if a very small car will suit your driving needs, you may be interested in the subcompact winner for 2017. The Honda Fit has a tiny starting price, but delivers big in several areas. First of all, it has high safety scores, which is important for drivers who may feel vulnerable in a subcompact car. The Fit is also equipped with a very versatile 52.7 cubic feet of cargo space. This makes it ideal for single drivers who have a lot of stuff to haul around.

For an even more affordably priced subcompact car, look to the Hyundai Accent. It also comes with a lot of cargo space, as well as an extra long warranty. Or, if you want to add more amusement to your daily commute, the almost equally affordable Kia Rio comes with a critically-praised strong engine.

Best Compact SUV

If an SUV is more your speed, the Best Compact SUV award for 2017 has gone to the Honda HR-V. This small but versatile vehicle comes with a lot of cargo room (thanks to its configurable "Magic Seats") and a very spacious backseat. In fact, even adults can be comfortably ferried around in the HR-V, making it a great choice for parents of teenagers. It also offers a comfortable ride and a quiet cabin.

Or, if your top priority is fuel economy, the Mazda CX-3 delivers. And, like most Mazda vehicles, critics have noted that it's a ton of fun to drive. Then again, if you're a driver who likes to spend as much time off-road as possible, the Jeep Renegade might be a better fit. The Renegade, in Trailhawk trim, can take you over the roughest of terrain, and in style with its surprisingly upscale cabin.

Auto Loan Assistance for Buyers with Less than Perfect Credit

Whether you're in the market for a new or used car, truck, van or SUV, it's important to get your financing taken care of first. This is especially true if you have damaged credit. And, luckily, Auto Credit Express can help.

We can match you with a local dealership that specializes in finding auto loans for buyers with credit issues. This service is free, and contacting us places you under no obligation to buy anything. So, go ahead and fill out our simple and secure auto loan request to get started today.