They say that money doesn’t buy happiness, but there’s nothing quite like driving off in a brand new car and knowing you got a good deal. Shopping for a cheap new car often means that the end result will be a compact or subcompact, but there are plenty of perks in the small car market these days. Auto manufacturers are proud of their stylish compact car offerings and have chosen exterior hues to help these models get the attention they deserve. Bright oranges, glossy purples, tart limes and other candy colors are all available on a budget of under $15,000, and bring a sense of whimsy to even the most bare-bones base models.
Let’s take a look at the best cheerful and colorful new cars in the $15,000 range, as well as a few other splurge-worthy compact cars at slightly higher price points.
1) 2015 Mitsubishi Mirage - Plasma Purple
The Mitsubishi Mirage was introduced for the 2014 model year, and at a base MSRP of $12,995, it’s one of the least expensive new cars in the United States. The 2015 Mitsubishi Mirage is a subcompact hatchback with room for five passengers, with a modest 74-horsepower, 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine. The Mirage comes with a five-speed automatic transmission, but opting for the continuously variable automatic gearbox will boost fuel economy to 37 mpg city and 44 mpg. Those ratings are definitely something to smile about for new car shoppers on a tight budget. Even better, the cheap little 2015 Mirage boasts a great paint palette. Plasma Purple (pictured above) is one of the most unique and feminine colors available on the compact market, but Kiwi Green is a good option for the male demographic.
2) 2015 Ford Fiesta - Blue Candy
The 2015 Ford Fiesta proudly represents the brand’s under-$15,000 entry point, and also happens to be one of the best-handling cheap new cars out there, thanks to a smartly tuned suspension system. The five-seat Fiesta is available as a sedan, starting at $13,965, and a hatchback, starting at $14,365. Both models, in base trim, come with a 1.6-liter inline-four, paired to a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. This motor puts out a competitive-for-the-class 120 horsepower and also offers solid fuel economy ratings of 28 mpg in stop-and-go traffic and 36 mpg in highway cruising. The 2015 Ford Fiesta features sporty styling to accentuate its athletic handling characteristics, all the better to show off bright colors like Blue Candy (pictured) and Green Envy.
3) 2015 MINI Cooper - Volcanic Orange
At a starting MSRP of $20,700, the 2015 MINI Cooper is on the premium end of the compact car segment, and perhaps a bit beyond the budget of many new car shoppers. However, the MINI Cooper is practically an ode to happiness on wheels, and since its introduction, it’s been decorating the streets of the United States with enough paint colors to rival a Sherwin-Williams store. Even casual fans of the MINI brand have probably noticed that the color palette is refreshed frequently, so there’s always something to look forward to. This model year is no different, and the brightest options on the 2015 MINI Cooper are Volcanic Orange (pictured) and Electric Blue, both of which become an eye-catching blur when the 134-horsepower, turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine gets up to speed.
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