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The Best Cars For Drivers on a Budget

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If you’re shopping for a car, you want one that’s reliable, safe and fun to drive. But finding the right vehicle can be a challenge, especially if you’re on a tight budget. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best cars for drivers on a budget.

Here are our top picks for affordable and practical vehicles that offer outstanding performance and features, including an impressive blend of efficiency and luxury. Each of these vehicles comes highly recommended by Consumer Reports, with excellent road tests and solid owner satisfaction ratings.

What’s more, these models are all priced less than $35,000 and have the potential to save you money on fuel costs, maintenance bills and even auto loans. We’ve also included a few other standout options in the $30,000 to $45,000 range that we think are worth considering.

This sleek hatchback can dance down a curvy road or tip-toe through town, and it offers an exciting lineup of potent, refined powertrains. Plus, its interior is a study in tasteful design and high-value luxury. VERDICT: Exceptional driving dynamics, svelte bodywork, well-rounded feature set, and affordable price make the Mazda 3 an outstanding value.

Consumer Reports says the Corolla is a “best buy” that’s easy to live with and has plenty of standard safety features. It also gets great mileage and has plenty of passenger and cargo space for its size.

This nimble sedan can be used as a commuter or family hauler, and it’s packed with useful features for its price point. Its turbo engine is a delight, and it offers sporty handling when you want to spice up your daily drives.

The CX-3 has the pep of a sporty coupe and the cargo capacity of an SUV. Its snappy hybrid powertrain can get you from 0 to 60 in about 5 seconds and provides an electric-only driving range of 41 miles. The cabin is quiet, spacious and comfortable, but it’s missing some desirable features.

With a roaring Hemi V-8 and all-wheel drive, this rugged off-roader is a force to be reckoned with on and off the pavement. It’s also a practical vehicle for commuters, with ample storage and the ability to complete a 20-mile round trip without using a drop of gas.

The redesigned G90 is a finely tuned luxury sedan that’s surprisingly affordable and well-equipped. It’s a smooth rider with precise steering and a roomy, upscale cabin that rivals the BMW 7 Series in terms of quality. However, it lacks some driver-assistance tech and has a hard, unyielding ride at lower speeds. The all-new EV6 is McLaren’s latest hybrid, combining sports-car performance with day-to-day drivability and respectable fuel efficiency. It’s fast, fun to drive on a race track and the highway, and its exterior styling is a riot of angles and curves. Its only drawbacks are its somewhat limited EV-only driving range and its price.

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