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A photo of an AMC Hornet with the caption "Tell me your cheap car stories, Grandpa."

In my day, you could get a hatchback for less than a week’s pay.
Picture: CMA

the the average price of new cars here in the United States has exceeded $47,000 this year, which means that we unfortunately have to point out that there are no more cheap cars. TO TEAR. But that wasn’t always the case – we once had a plentiful supply of fun and economical cars to enjoy. Which one do you miss the most?

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

There are many budget runabouts that have been canned here in the United States, but live in other countries. There, their reduced dimensions, cheerful colors and fun driving dynamics entertain motorists from all over the world.

I think of cars like the Toyota Yaris, which teases us from afarand the Mazda2, which other countries can enjoy while we’re stuck with the weight of its bigger siblings to keep us entertained.

But it’s not just the cars that have left these shores that you might yearn for. Instead, you might yearn for a resurrected nameplate or a long-lost brand. The one whose economical vehicles hold a special place in your heart.

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

So now it’s your turn. Which inexpensive cars from automotive history would you like to still be on sale today? Head to the comments section below to let us know your picks, and we’ll round up some of the best answers tomorrow afternoon.

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