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Interested in a specific brand of car? Here’s the entry level car offering for each major manufacturer for an introduction.

Just for Starters

Entry level cars have to both be affordable and make a strong impression on what are often either first time car buyers or buyers new to the brand. With some brands, like FIAT and Mitsubishi, it’s easy to identify the entry-level car because their lineups are so sparse. But other brands, like Mercedes-Benz for instance, offer a dizzying number of nameplates and it can be hard to know where to begin. To help, we’re listing the best entry-level vehicle for each manufacturer. That means not simply the cheapest thing in a given lineup but perhaps the best introduction to a given brand.

Acura

2021 Acura ILX - acuranews.com
2021 Acura ILX - acuranews.com

Acura’s entry level sedan, the ILX, starts at just $26,100. For that price you’ll find a stylish cabin full of modern features and great fuel economy.

Alfa Romeo

2021 Alfa Romeo Giulia - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com
2021 Alfa Romeo Giulia - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com

You can buy into the Alfa Romeo life with the Giulia which starts at $39,400. It’s got power and style in equal measure and offers scalpel sharp handling for a great introduction to the brand.

Aston Martin

2021 Aston Martin Vantage - media.astonmartin.com
2021 Aston Martin Vantage - media.astonmartin.com

Aston Martins don’t come cheap. Their entry level car is the Aston Martin Vantage which starts at $139,000. For that money you get one of the most beautiful sports cars in the world. That and a 503 horsepower V8 and a new convertible option for 2021.

Audi

2020 Audi A3 - audiusa.com
2020 Audi A3 - audiusa.com

Like it’s German competitors, Audi runs a vague alphanumeric naming convention so you’re not at fault for not knowing its entry level vehicle is the Audi A3, a respectable small luxury sedan starting at $33,300. If you’re more into crossovers there’s also the Audi Q3 starting at $34,000.

BMW

2021 BMW X1 - bmwusa.com
2021 BMW X1 - bmwusa.com

The BMW X1 starts at $35,400. The compact crossover serves as a sporty introduction to the brand for those who don’t want to sacrifice utility for something like the 2-Series.

Buick

2021 Buick Encore - media.buick.com
2021 Buick Encore - media.buick.com

Buick may be out of the sedan business, but the Encore, starting at $24,600, is good replacement. Among its subcompact crossover cohort, the Encore is a cut above with a comfortable, quiet ride and a high-quality interior.

Cadillac

2021 Cadillac CT4 - media.cadillac.com
2021 Cadillac CT4 - media.cadillac.com

“Small” and “affordable” aren’t historically how one describes Cadillacs, but the Cadillac CT4, starting at $33,395, is both of those things and yet retains what makes the brand special, classic American luxury.

Chevrolet

2021 Chevrolet Spark - media.chevrolet.com
2021 Chevrolet Spark - media.chevrolet.com

Most of the cars on this list are small, practical, and affordable. The Chevrolet Spark takes that last part to the extreme with an initial price of just $13,400. The tiny two-door hatch offers perks like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard features.

Chrysler

2021 Chrysler Pacifica - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com
2021 Chrysler Pacifica - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com

While the Chrysler 300, at $30,445 is the company’s most affordable model we’d recommend their impressive minivan, the Pacifica as the better introduction to the brand. It starts at $35,195.

Dodge

2020 Dodge Journey - dodge.com
2020 Dodge Journey - dodge.com

Similar to the Chrysler example, the Dodge Journey, starting at $23,675, is the most affordable Dodge out there. But the better introduction to the Dodge brand is certainly the muscle-bound Challenger at $28,095.

Ferrari

2021 Ferrari Roma - corporate.ferrari.com
2021 Ferrari Roma - corporate.ferrari.com

“Affordable” isn’t in the Ferrari vocabulary and the Ferrari Roma, starting at $222,620, won’t be affordable for most, but it is the lowest price point for getting into a brand-new Ferrari.

FIAT

2020 Fiat 124 Spider - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com
2020 Fiat 124 Spider - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com

The FIAT 500L starts at $22,500, which is good but not great compared to other compact crossovers and hatchbacks. We recommend the 124 Spider at $25,390 as a much more unique and fun alternative.

Ford

2021 Ford Bronco Sport - media.ford.com
2021 Ford Bronco Sport - media.ford.com

Ford ditched the likes of the feisty Fiesta in favor of the bland EcoSport, which starts at $19,995. And while the Escape starts at $24,900, it too is unremarkable. For a taste of the Ford of old, consider the new Bronco Sport which starts at $26,820.

Genesis

2021 Genesis G70 - genesis.com
2021 Genesis G70 - genesis.com

The Genesis G70 starts at $36,000. Not only is it affordable, it’s a great introduction to the brand and on the short list for best small luxury cars on the market.

GMC

2021 GMC Canyon - media.gmc.com
2021 GMC Canyon - media.gmc.com

Best known for the likes of the Sierra and the Yukon, GMC’s mid-size truck, the Canyon, showcases what defines the brand, high-quality wedded to rugged utility. It starts at $26,700.

Honda

2021 Honda Civic - hondanews.com
2021 Honda Civic - hondanews.com

For as often as automotive writers joke that “the answer is always a Miata,” the actual answer is usually a Honda Civic. Long a champion of quality and affordability. the Civic starts at just $21,250. But for a real value there are still 2020 Honda Fit models on lots for only $16,190.

Hyundai

2021 Hyundai Accent - hyundaiusa.com
2021 Hyundai Accent - hyundaiusa.com

Hyundai has done well replicating the Toyota/Honda formula of affordability and durability, and recently they’ve been upping their game with fashion-forward styling and flashy interiors. The Hyundai Accent is a great representation of the brand with generous options, good looks, and efficient powertrains. It starts at $15,395.

Infiniti

2021 Infiniti Q50 - usa.infinitinews.com
2021 Infiniti Q50 - usa.infinitinews.com

The Infiniti Q50 comes with a punchy V6, sleek styling, and a comfortable ride. The Q50 starts at $36,700.

Jaguar

2021 Jaguar E-Pace - media.jaguar.com
2021 Jaguar E-Pace - media.jaguar.com

Jaguar lineup begins with the E-Pace, a compact crossover that starts at $39,950. The E-Pace is notable for its sharp handling, sharper looks, and potent powertrains.

Jeep

2021 Jeep Wrangler - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com
2021 Jeep Wrangler - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com

Yes, the Jeep lineup’s most affordable option is the Jeep Renegade, starting at $22,850. However, the Renegade is a run-of-the-mill compact crossover, and there are plenty of great alternatives at that price. For a real taste of what Jeep is all about look toward the classic Wrangler which starts at $28,475.

Kia

2021 Kia Soul - kia.com
2021 Kia Soul - kia.com

Similarly, Kia’s compact car, the Rio, starting at $16,050, might be the most affordable model on the lot, but the Kia Soul, starting at $17,590, is even more compelling. The Soul offers tight handling, loads of unique style, and the most cargo and passenger room in the subcompact segment.

Lamborghini

2021 Lamborghini Huracan - media.lamborghini.com
2021 Lamborghini Huracan - media.lamborghini.com

If you’ve recently made a fortune Bitcoin farming or become the latest viral video sensation, there’s the Lamborghini Huracán, starting at $214,866, to help ease your transition into the fast lane lifestyle. For your first supercar, we recommend the Arancio Xanto (orange) paint job.

Land Rover

2021 Land Rover Discovery Sport - media.landrover.com
2021 Land Rover Discovery Sport - media.landrover.com

Land Rover has been making luxury SUVs long before they were cool. Now that global tastes have caught up with them, there’s the Land Rover Discovery Sport at $37,800 to whet your palate.

Lexus

2021 Lexus UX - pressroom.lexus.com
2021 Lexus UX - pressroom.lexus.com

Subcompact crossovers have largely supplanted small cars, but with the likes of the Lexus UX, starting at $33,000, we hardly missed them. The UX is an excellent introduction to the Lexus brand with unique styling, gleaming interior, and impressive reliability.

Lincoln

2021 Lincoln Corsair - lincoln.com
2021 Lincoln Corsair - lincoln.com

The smallest of Lincoln’s offerings, the Corsair starts at just $36,105. This compact crossover promises all the refinement of the gigantic Navigator in miniature form.

Maserati

2021 Maserati Ghibli - media.maserati.com
2021 Maserati Ghibli - media.maserati.com

As Maserati says on its website, the Ghibli ($74,740), is for those who “aren’t like everybody else”. Sure, it’s fast and has a properly aggressive exhaust note, but it’s the flashy Italian design that really sets it apart from other luxury sports cars.

Mazda

2021 Mazda CX-3 - news.mazdausa.com
2021 Mazda CX-3 - news.mazdausa.com

The smallest in Mazda’s lineup, the CX-3 starts at $20,790. And like the rest of their lineup, the CX-3 features engaging driving dynamics and a chic design both inside and out. It’s a great ambassador for the brand.

Mercedes-Benz

2021 Mercedes-Benz A-Class - mbusa.com
2021 Mercedes-Benz A-Class - mbusa.com

Great things can come in small packages, so proves the Mercedes-Benz A-Class starting at $33,650. It’s all the refinement and class of the rest of the Mercedes lineup in a bitesize package.

MINI

2021 MINI Hardtop 2-door - miniusanews.com
2021 MINI Hardtop 2-door - miniusanews.com

Fun and affordable had been MINI’s MO from the beginning. And that still holds true today with the Mini Hardtop 2-door starting at just $19,750.

Mitsubishi

2021 Mitsubishi Mirage - media.mitsubishicars.com
2021 Mitsubishi Mirage - media.mitsubishicars.com

The Mitsubishi Mirage, starting at just $14,295, is one of the most affordable compact cars on the market.

Nissan

2021 Nissan Versa - usa.nissannews.com
2021 Nissan Versa - usa.nissannews.com

The Nissan Versa, starting at $14,980, is a neat little compact that packs a ton of value into its diminutive frame with great fuel economy and loads of safety tech.

Porsche

2021 Porsche Macan - porsche.com
2021 Porsche Macan - porsche.com

It was the Porsche Cayenne that proved the theory that you could build a crossover that didn’t drive like a crossover. The smaller Porsche Macan, starting at $52,100, offers that signature Porsche handling in a neat, compact crossover package.

RAM

2021 RAM 1500 - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com
2021 RAM 1500 - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com

RAM doesn’t have the biggest lineup in the auto industry, but it doesn’t have to when it makes something as good (and profitable) as the RAM 1500, starting at $32,595.

Subaru

2021 Subaru Impreza - subaru.com
2021 Subaru Impreza - subaru.com

In hatch or sedan, the AWD Subaru Impreza offers great value and plenty of fun for just $18,795 starting out.

Tesla

Tesla Model 3 - tesla.com
Tesla Model 3 - tesla.com

Your inauguration into an all-electric future can begin with the Tesla Model 3 for just $38,490. The minimalist interior design contrasts with a blistering 0-60 time in the 3 second range.

Toyota

2021 Toyota Corolla - pressroom.toyota.com
2021 Toyota Corolla - pressroom.toyota.com

The Toyota Corolla is a classic of the affordable, entry-level car genre for a reason. For just $20,025 starting out, the Corolla pack on style, safety, and that signature Toyota reliability. Few cars can match the value proposition of the stalwart Corolla.

Volkswagen

2021 Volkswagen Jetta - media.vw.com
2021 Volkswagen Jetta - media.vw.com

No stranger to small, fun, affordable cars, Volkswagen is still at it with the Jetta, starting at $18,995.

Volvo

2021 Volvo XC40 - media.volvocars.com
2021 Volvo XC40 - media.volvocars.com

Scandinavian simplicity never felt so right as from behind the wheel of the Volvo XC40, starting at $33,700. This compact crossover maybe at the low end their lineup it’s also a big seller and a great representation of the brand thanks to it’s refined ride and regal interior.

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Chris Kaiser

With two decades of writing experience and five years of creating advertising materials for car dealerships across the U.S., Chris Kaiser explores and documents the car world’s latest innovations, unique subcultures, and era-defining classics. Armed with a Master's Degree in English from the University of South Dakota, Chris left an academic career to return to writing full-time. He is passionate about covering all aspects of the continuing evolution of personal transportation, but he specializes in automotive history, industry news, and car buying advice.

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