Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to 2016! I know we’re entering the last week of March – the third month of the year – but still, I can’t seem to let 2015 go just yet. However, I should, because you gotta look forward, always. Now, when a new year starts, people usually love to make big-time plans: drop weight, fall in love, save more, pay less, et cetera, et cetera. The economy today is shaky at best, wobbly, like my friend’s 5 year-old daughter would say. We’ve got the inflation rising ever-strongly, the commodities market crashing, the industrial revolution falling behind the predicted course…That doesn’t mean we’re all going to die soon, but while we constantly hear or read all kinds of stories about supercars that cost hundreds and thousands of bucks, 28 million-worth Ferraris at auctions, rich people buying mansions, the simple folks are struggling. On the other hand, the current economy here in the United States does have its privileges: for example, mass production, high demand and smart politics made it possible for you and me to purchase a good, solid, brand-new car for less that 1 year of minimum wage, which is 14.5K US dollars (7.25 per hour, forty hours a week, fifty weeks per year). Ok, let’s see what we can do with that kind of money.
One Of The Most Profitable Markets In The Industry
Note: taxes and/or delivery fees are usually not included in the prices you see on the web-sites, so, the final cost might be a bit higher. Anyway, the market is there, and today we’ll talk about the best cars you can buy on a minimum wage in 2016. There’s a lot of fish in the sea, and I’ve picked the greatest of them all. Several major manufacturers are focused on building cars specifically intended for this segment, including the domestic Chevy, Ford, the Japanese Nissan and the South-Korean Kia, among others. From a commercial standpoint the low-budget cars are a pretty big piece of that tasty pie, and that’s why you’ve got all the giants in the game paying extra attention to it. By the way, minimum wage doesn’t mean outdated, poorly-executed, non-reliable, with a bad exterior/interior design and poor performance – not at all! Forget about the 80s and the cheapest cars from the era. This is 2016, the market is crowded with big-time competition, and every company is trying to win over the customers with better offers, not worse. So, let’s take a look at the best cars you can buy on a minimum wage in 2016.
#1 – The Chevrolet Sonic
The Sonic from Chevy is constantly being mentioned as one of the best picks under that magical 15K mark and people praise it for being all-around solid, without any ups and downs. So, if you’re looking for a minimum wage car (I would assume so, given the fact that you’re still reading), this could be your best pick. The Sonic offers steering wheel-mounted audio controls, an auxiliary music jack and keyless entry – that’s about it, folks. As for handling, it’s pretty nimble and fun to drive, none of that boring compact car stuff, but it’s a bit “fat”, meaning the curb weight of about 1.5tons is a bit too much for the engine and you’ll feel that in acceleration. However, I don’t think you’ll be taking this cutie to a drag race or anything, so, it’s all good. The entry-level price-tag is 14.3K MSRP, and with the company’s love for new tech you can count on the next editions of the Sonic to get constantly updated. All that makes it one of the best cars you can buy on a minimum wage in 2016. Remember, we’re going down in price, not up, so, expect it to drop down the list.
#2 – The Kia Rio
The Koreans have been taking roots on the American soil for a while now (no, I don’t mean the North Koreans with missiles and stuff; I mean the South folks, the peaceful kind). Kia is well-known and pretty popular among middle-class folks, with the Rio appealing to a wide range of minimal wagers. So, if you’re in the market for a more traditional compact car, as compared to the Sonic, this could be a good option for you. True, you’ll have to forget about luxury and advanced technological features, but the car still offers an adjustable driver’s seat, air conditioning, steering wheel-mounted audio controls (just like in the Chevy model) and even Sirius XM radio. Obviously, there are several optional packages available, but if you wanna keep the price close to that 14.5K, you’ll have to forget about them. The price-tag on the entry-level Kia Rio is 14.1K MSPR. The interior quality is pretty high for a car in this segment and you’ll even get impressive acceleration (Rio jumps from zero to 60 miles per hour in 8.5 seconds). Besides, even though handling is not ideal, the engine is still good for 138 Horsepower and boasts nice exterior looks.
The Best Cars You Can Buy On A Minimum Wage In 2016 – #3, The Ford Fiesta
Ford wouldn’t be one of the world’s biggest and wealthiest automobile manufacturers if they didn’t have a strong contestant in every segment of the ever-growing market. And the current-gen Fiesta is quite an enjoyable car that makes folks believe that a giant like the Blue Oval Brand can build a small, affordable and fun car. You’ve got nimble handling, a high-quality interior (better than in the Rio) and an engine that’s good for 120HP. All that makes you think that you’re driving an 18K car, not a 14K car (that’s the price on the entry-level trim). Ford even provides a few nice technical features, like the SYNC tech, touchscreen LCD controls and blind-spot monitoring. So, as far as the best cars you can buy on a minimum wage in 2016 go, the Ford Fiesta is a no-brainer: I know the ST edition will get your adrenaline rushing with a mighty powertrain and all the latest techy equipment, but if you want to keep your spending in check, go with the S trim. As we just learned, it’s more than enough to keep you and your family happy and entertained on the road.
#4 – The Chevrolet Spark
Man, Chevy practically monopolized the minimum wage market, huh? The Spark is like the ultimate city car for a young couple looking for a decent car under 14.5K. The exterior design is already quite attractive, because it’s got tons of personality, and that’s usually what grabs the young shoppers’ attention first. I mean, just look at some of the available color options: Grape Ice, Lemonade, Salsa…get it? By the way, it’s got as much as TEN airbags, and that’s partially why it earned a prestigious Top Safety Pick rating from the IIHS (the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety). In terms of performance this Chevy baby is a miss: it’s got only 98 Horsepower under that playful hood, but it’s enough to take you from point A to point B, and that’s usually what the customers want from a car like that. The starting price-tag on the entry-level trim is 12,6K, so, for that kind of money this is a bargain, my friends. I’ll even go ahead and say that if I was a newly-wed and wanted a car for me and my lovely wife, I’d go with the Chevrolet Spark – without second-guessing my pick.
The Best Cars You Can Buy On A Minimum Wage In 2016 – #5, The Nissan Versa
Yep, you knew it from the get-go: no list of affordable-yet-decent cars without at least one Japanese brand. This time it’s Nissan and it wins the golden medal. No, I still love the Spark more, but that is a personal, a subjective choice, not an objective one. From a practical point of view the Versa IS the best offer on the market of minimum wage vehicles. It comes with the least-expensive price-tag of 12K and offers Bluetooth and speed-sensitive steering. I’ll say it upfront, so that you don’t have any illusions: for a price like that you won’t get great material quality or all the latest technological features and safety equipment, let alone any luxury elements. However, if you were looking for the cheapest brand-new model on the market, you should stop right there and welcome the Nissan Versa, the most low-budget pick in my list of the best cars you can buy on a minimum wage in 2016.
Watch this video: Can I Afford a Car on Minimum Wage?