According to the Experian credit agency, the average price of a new car today is over $34,000. It isn’t surprising that when buying a vehicle many people believe that they have only two options. They can either go deep in debt or buy used and hope they don’t end up broken down on the side of a ditch. Thankfully there are still plenty of nice rides out there available for less than $20K. There are many advantages to buying a lower-priced car even when you can afford to spend more. Cheaper doesn’t necessarily mean lower quality and when you buy at a lower price you have the freedom to add those custom touches that truly make a car your own. You're going to save on insurance and with a little luck even pay it off before you wear it out. Put away those auto mags, and forget that, got to have it all mentality.
Can I really buy a pickup for under $20,000?
Yes, you can. A base model Nissan Frontier has an MSRP of a little over the $19K mark. It may not have all the swag of some of the more expensive models, but with a standard 2.5-liter I-4 producing 152 hp and 171 lb-ft of torque, it will still haul over a thousand pounds of gear and tow your boat or the average camper with ease. Isn’t that what a truck is really for.
What sports car can be bought for less than $19,000?
The 2020 Hyundai Veloster is rated as one of the top ten performance hatchbacks on the road today. It comes stock with 4-Cyl 2.0 Liter Atkinson-cycle engine hooked to a 6-speed manual transmission. It has a full suite of safety and comfort features, as well as outstanding performance and handling. Best of all, its MSRP is a lowly $18,600 making it ideal for tuners who can’t resist pouring aftermarket goodies on their ride.
Is a Volkswagen Jetta worth the money?
Dollar for dollar the Jetta may be one of the best buys on the road today. It comes standard with a turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 147 horsepower. The base model has a standard six-speed manual transmission, but an eight-speed automatic is optional at no extra charge. Surprisingly, both deliver about the same acceleration times. A Jetta starts at $19,815, which for a German-engineered sedan with all the features that implies, is astounding in itself.
Is there a midsized sport utility under $20,000?
For the 2020 model year, you actually have two options for a midsized sport utility the Hyundai Kona and the Kia Soul. The Kona comes with the 4-Cyl 2.0 Liter 147 hp Atkinson-cycle engine that Hyundai is so fond of hooked to a 6-speed automatic mode select transmission. Here is room to seat four comfortably and five in a pinch or haul 46 cubic feet worth of cargo. MSRP is dead on our limit at $19,990. The Kia Soul is a little cheaper with a base price of $17,490, but it has a higher ground clearance and larger, 62 cubic foot cargo capacity. It can also hold five people in greater comfort. The engine size and horsepower are identical, but the Soul comes stock with a manual 6-speed, and the optional automatic takes it over our price limit. Neither car is going to win any drag races, but for the soccer mom crowd, they are both economical to buy and drive delivering above average mileage, north of 30 mpg, which is great for a midsized SUV.
Why should I buy a Honda Civic?
The first reason is that it is a Honda, and the second is that all that quality and performance will only cost you $19,750. When you drop a turbocharged 1.5 Liter 4-Cyl engine producing 205 horses and 162 lb-ft of torque into a car that only weighs 2,600 lbs, what you get is mileage and performance. The Civic delivers both. Its highway mileage numbers brush against the 40-mpg mark, and to say it leaves the line and hugs the curves is like calling Kate Upton mildly attractive.
Are there any American made cars under the 20k mark?
If you mean any cars from the “Big Three” automakers, then yes, there are. Ford has the Fiesta, and Chevrolet has the Sonic; both are subcompacts that easily make the cut price-wise. The Fiesta with a 120 hp 1.6 Liter Duratec 4-Cyl and 5-speed manual transmission retails at only $14,560. Supposedly it will seat five, but that has yet to be seen. This car put the sub in subcompact. It does have some nice features like floor mats and tires but not much else to offer. The Chevy Sonic comes with a 4-Cyl Turbo 1.4 Liter Ecotec engine putting out 138 hp and a Hydra-Matic 6-speed automatic transmission with manual mode. It has a few more creature comforts than the Ford with a 7.0-Inch Multi-Function Display Screen and apps to automatically connect to most smartphones, but these came at a higher price. The MSRP for the Sonic is $19,420, almost $5K more than the Fiesta.