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New-car inventory rises and best-value cars for 2024 revealed, report

The selection criteria emphasize practicality and long-term usability, featuring cars with modern necessities

According to the most recent report, new-car inventory is on the rise—particularly in the under $30,000 segment—marking a significant recovery. Vehicles now average 65 days on the market, more than double the time compared to the peak pandemic shortage period. Additionally, the report indicates that the average list price for new cars has dropped to its lowest point in over a year.

In response to these trends,’s 2024 list of best-value new cars has been updated to include a wider range of vehicle categories, such as compact cars, various SUV sizes, and pickups, with a new focus on essential features over luxury. This year’s guide no longer mandates all-wheel drive for SUVs and continues highlighting EVs for those seeking to minimize fuel costs. The selection criteria emphasize practicality and long-term usability, featuring cars with modern necessities like automatic transmission, smartphone integration, and advanced safety features like automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning.

Compact cars are highly affordable, with a median price of $26,363. The Kia Forte LXS, Kia Soul LX, and Nissan Sentra S are all great options for 2024, offering excellent fuel economy and comprehensive warranty packages. The Kia Forte LXS costs $21,710 with an annual fuel cost of $1,550, while the Kia Soul LX costs $21,890 with an annual fuel cost of $1,650. The Nissan Sentra S, starting at $22,315, boasts the best fuel economy with annual fuel costs of just $1,450. Compact cars offer a blend of affordability, efficiency, and fun driving experience.

Meanwhile, subcompact SUVs blend the efficiency of a sedan with the height and utility of an SUV. The median price is $29,470. Top picks include the 2024 Nissan Kicks S ($22,597, 33 mpg, 3yr/36k mi warranty), 2024 Chevrolet Trax LS ($22,490, 30 mpg, Driver Confidence Package), and 2024 Hyundai Venue SEL ($23,685, 31 mpg, 5yr/60k mi warranty and 10yr/100k mi drivetrain warranty). They offer affordability, efficiency, and essential features, making them ideal choices in the subcompact SUV market.

Moreover, compact SUVs offer a balanced mix of interior space, maneuverability, and affordability. The price range of this segment is $30,000 to $35,995. Some popular models include the 2024 Chevrolet Equinox LS, starting at $27,995, the 2024 Hyundai Tucson SE, starting at $28,875, and the 2024 Mitsubishi Outlander ES, starting at $30,610. These vehicles have different features and fuel economy, making them suitable for different consumer preferences.

Furthermore, compact pickups such as the Ford Maverick XL and Hyundai Santa Cruz SE offer versatility and affordability, while mid-size options like Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma balance capability and economy. Full-size trucks like Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Silverado cater to those needing more power and space. EVs such as the Hyundai Ioniq 6 and the Kia EV6 are becoming more viable with improved range and affordability.

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Jaelyn Campbell
Jaelyn Campbell
Jaelyn Campbell is a staff writer/reporter for CBT News. She is a recent honors cum laude graduate with a BFA in Mass Media from Valdosta State University. Jaelyn is an enthusiastic creator with more than four years of experience in corporate communications, editing, broadcasting, and writing. Her articles in The Spectator, her hometown newspaper, changed how people perceive virtual reality. She connects her readers to the facts while providing them a voice to understand the challenges of being an entrepreneur in the digital world.

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