Looking for a reliable car that won’t put your budget in a downward spiral? These 6 cars are budget-friendly and dependable. While some of the models in the list are familiar favorites, like the Ford Fusion that continues to receive industry kudos for performance and interior upgrades, others might surprise you.
All cars on the list have a base suggested retail price below $25,000. Different trim packages, engine options, and transmission type all impact reliability so, some sections cover upgrades and optional features that might put a buyer over that spending cap. Read on for info about safety, comfort, style and performance.
6. Subaru Legacy
One of the lowest priced all-wheel-drive sedans on the market. Base price: $20, 295; options could put you over the budget, but audio with Bluetooth and features like lane departure warning and driver-assist parking features are definite pluses.
While the 6-cylinder model has stronger acceleration than 4-cylinder models, both offer a consistently smooth ride in almost every environment – performing especially well in inclement weather and harsh road conditions. Opting for more get-up-and-go with the 3.6R has its trade-offs. Most notably, a 20% drop in fuel economy – from 32 mpg to 25 mpg on the open road.
Even though the low carriage makes driving in deep snow challenging, drivers choosing the 2.5i Premium model now enjoy a no-fee All-Weather package with ramped up traction, heated mirrors and seats, and a windshield wiper de-icer that make driving in inclement weather safer and more comfortable.
Base trim packages include upgraded audio systems. Subaru plans to reveal a modified navigation system to overcome some of the sluggish, non-intuitive features of the optional navigation system in the Legacy line-up this summer.
The 2014 Subaru Legacy garnered a 4.5 out of 5 reliability rating from US News Ratings and Reviews based on J.D. Power and Associates Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) data. Major performance issues are infrequent and typically inexpensive to repair, according to True Delta consumer survey responders.
In fact, less than 10% of 2013 owners in the study reported engine problems. Based on limited 2014 data available, this year’s model is performing similarly.
Bottom line: The Subaru Legacy is priced right, delivers a comfortable interior package, and has exceptional features to make driving in inclement weather safer. Soccer moms and frequent travelers will love the humongous trunk storage and roomy back seats.
It’s hard to find an all-wheel drive sedan priced under $25,000 with similar features and a better reliability rating.