The Cult of Cars, Racing and Everything That Moves You.
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What Cheap Car Do You Wish Was Still on Sale?

Affordable, fun, sporty cars? What were those like, grandpa?

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A photo of an AMC Hornet with the caption "Tell me your cheap car stories, grandpa."
Back in my day, you could get a hatchback for less than a week’s wages.
Image: AMC

The average new car price here in the U.S. topped $47,000 this year, which means we must sadly report that there are no cheap cars anymore. RIP. But this hasn’t always been the case — we once had a bountiful supply of fun, budget-friendly cars to enjoy. Which one do you miss the most?

There are still a handful of budget options in 2022 (provided you can get out of a dealership without paying an arm and a leg in markup). But today we want to celebrate the cheap cars of the good ol’ days, the kind you wish were still on sale here in America.


There are ample budget runabouts that have been canned here in the States, but live on in other countries. Out there, their diminutive dimensions, happy colors and fun driving dynamics keep motorists entertained the world over.

I’m thinking of cars like the Toyota Yaris, which teases us from afar, and the Mazda2, which other countries are left to enjoy while we’re stuck with the heft of its bigger siblings to keep us entertained.


But it isn’t just cars that left these shores that you might find yourself pining for. Instead, you might long for a resurrected nameplate or long-lost brand. One whose budget-friendly vehicles hold a fond place in your heart.

What about the Mitsubishi Eclipse of the 1990s? A great looking coupe that packs in a phenomenal drivetrain is incredibly hard to find new these days, especially on a budget. And looking even further back, what would you give to get your hands on something like the classic AMC Hornet in today’s market? Muscle-car performance and station wagon practicality? Yes please!

So now it’s your turn. What cheap cars from automotive history do you wish were still on sale today? Head to the comment section below to let us know your picks, and we’ll round up some of the top responses tomorrow afternoon.