NEW CARS FOR UNDER $20K

When car shopping, we all have to decide whether to buy new or used

By Matt Hill

AAA World Article

Most of us are on a budget, particularly when it comes to purchasing a vehicle. When car shopping, we all have to decide whether to buy new or used.  We’re often torn between the financial appeal of a used car and the shininess and reliability of a new car. Is it possible to have the best of both worlds? Are there new cars available that are truly affordable? We’ve explored the question by considering the market availability of new cars with a cost of $20,000 or less.

SUBCOMPACTS
In the subcompact class, you will find models under $20,000 available from most every major car manufacturer.  And not only will you save money on your initial purchase, but gas payments will be comparatively lower as well compared to larger vehicles. 

 

VEHICLE

STARTING MSRP

Nissan Versa

$12,460

Chevrolet Spark

$13,220

Ford Fiesta

$14,260

Mitsubishi Mirage

$13,795

Hyundai Accent

$14,995

Honda Fit

$16,190

Kia Rio

$15,390

Chevrolet Sonic

$15,420

Toyota Yaris

$15,635

Fiat 500

$16,245

Kia Soul

$17,490

Hyundai Kona

$19,990

                    

Many of these vehicles are both affordable and reliable. The Chevrolet Sonic and Kia Soul for instance, were named by JD Power as the most dependable small car and most dependable compact multi-purpose vehicle, respectively.


COMPACT CARS
Defined by the Environmental Protection Agency as having an interior volume index of 100-109 cubic feet, compact cars are often quite affordable as well. 

 

VEHICLE

STARTING MSRP

Kia Forte

$17,790

Ford Focus

$17,950

Nissan Sentra

$17,890

Honda Civic

$19,450

Chevrolet Cruz

$17,995

Hyundai Elantra

$17,200

Hyundai Veloster

$18,500

Subaru Impreza

$18,595

Volkswagen Jetta

$18,745

Toyota Corolla

$19,500

                      


TRUCKS AND SUVS
Although our research found no commercially available SUVs with an MSRP list of below $20,000, a number of the previously listed subcompacts and compacts offer hatchback models, which might offer a bit of the sportiness of an SUV, albeit with less spacious cargo and passenger areas. Those in search for low-cost trucks will be pleased to know that you can in fact find a truck with a list price below $20,000. The Nissan Frontier, listed at $19,090, is also named the most dependable midsize pickup by JD Power, representing another great example of an affordable and reliable vehicle. 


If like me you’re on a budget, it’s encouraging to realize that such a wide range of vehicles are available for purchase right off the lot for less than $20,000. What’s more, many of these vehicles are touted in the industry for their reliability, regardless of their price. With both affordability and reliability, you can have your cake and eat it too.