By Anthony Santiago - Editor-in-Chief

October 17, 2022

Looking for the best new car for 20k?

Finding a new car is an exciting time. You start imagining all of the memories and places you can travel. This article is a follow up to the best used cars under $10k and is aimed for buyers with a little more cash and want something brand new with a factory warranty.

With $20k, your choices are still very good moving into the compact and mid-size category in the car segment. 

We've narrowed down our list of best cars under $20k.

These are some of the most reliable, safe, and fun cars we could find. They're all priced well within reach of entry-level buyers. One important caveat is that all of the cars that made the list are imports. While we would love to include domestic brands, we will save that for another post. 

If you're looking for a cheap way into the world of driving pleasure, here are 11 affordable options that won't break your wallet.

best new car for $20k

Kia Soul

The 2022 Kia Soul is a great vehicle for those looking for an affordable, yet stylish and reliable ride. Just starting at $19,290, the Soul offers many features that are beneficial to drivers and passengers alike, such as an impressive infotainment system, comfortable seating, and plenty of cargo space.

One of the best things about the Soul is its affordability. It's a great value for the money and is one of the most affordable vehicles on the market. It's also fuel efficient, which is another great benefit for those looking to save money.

The Soul is also packed with features that make it a great choice for drivers and passengers. The infotainment system is top-notch and offers plenty of entertainment and connectivity options. The seats are comfortable and there's plenty of room in the cabin for passengers to stretch out.

best new car for $20k

Kia Forte

Are you looking for a vehicle with excellent fuel economy, a comfortable interior, and plenty of features? If so, the 2022 Kia Forte might be the perfect car for you.

Here are just some of the benefits that this vehicle offers starting at $19,090.

With excellent fuel economy, the Kia Forte gets an estimated 32 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway. This makes it a great option for those who are looking to save money on gas.

Having an all new comfortable interior, the interior of the Kia Forte is very comfortable and spacious. There is plenty of room for passengers to stretch out, and the seats are very supportive.

The Kia Forte comes standard with a touch screen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, Bluetooth connectivity, and more.

best new car for $20k


The new Mazda3 is packed with features that improve both its performance and fuel economy. Here are some of the benefits of owning a 2022 Mazda3:

It has been redesigned for better aerodynamics. The new Mazda3 has been redesigned to be more aerodynamic, which improves its fuel efficiency.

Improved engine performance: The new 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine in the Mazda3 delivers better performance than the previous generation while also improving fuel economy. The 2022 Mazda3 comes standard with a number of features that were previously optional, including LED headlights, adaptive cruise control, and a head-up display.

The new Mazda3 starts at just under $19,500. A Touring trim level adds leather upholstery, a sunroof, a power liftgate, keyless entry/ignition, automatic climate control, and navigation. The Grand Touring package includes everything listed above plus 18-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps, and a rear spoiler.

You can choose from three engines: a 2.0-liter four-cylinder producing 184 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque; a 2.5-liter four-cylinders making 185 hp and 174 lb-ft; and a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder making 201 hp and 207 lb-ft. All models come standard with a six-speed manual transmission.

best new car for $20k

Hyundai Accent

A vehicle's value is important to many people and can hold a lot of weight in the decision-making process when it comes time to buy a new car.

The Hyundai Accent is a great vehicle for those who are looking for an affordable and reliable car. It starts at a very comfortable price of $16,645 and gets great gas mileage.

The Accent has many features that make it a great choice for a first car or a small family car. 

The Hyundai Accent is very fuel efficient. It gets an estimated 41 mpg on the highway, which is great for long trips or commuting to work. The Accent also has a very spacious interior for its class, making it comfortable for both drivers and passengers.

The Accent comes standard with several safety features, including airbags and ABS brakes. These features are important in keeping everyone safe in the event of an accident.

best new car for $20k

Hyundai Venue

A 2022 Hyundai Venue might be the right car for you if you're looking for an efficient and affordable ride. Just starting at a price of $19,000, this cool car ticks all the checkboxes for a fun little ride, which makes it a great option for budget-minded buyers.

Here are a few benefits of owning a Venue:

The first benefit is that the Venue is very fuel-efficient. It gets an EPA-estimated 32 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway, which means you'll save money on gas.

Another benefit of the Venue is its safety features. It comes standard with front and rear cameras, as well as lane keeping assist and adaptive cruise control. This means that you and your passengers will be safe on the road.

Finally, the Venue is affordable for practically anyone. 

best new car for $20k

Mitsubishi Mirage

As gas prices continue to rise, many drivers are looking for more fuel-efficient options. The Mitsubishi Mirage is a great choice for those who want to save money at the pump. The Mirage gets an estimated 41 mpg on the highway, making it one of the most fuel-efficient cars on the market. 

Not only is the Mirage good on gas, it's also affordable. With a starting price of just over $15,975, the Mirage is one of the most budget-friendly cars available. And despite its low price tag, the Mirage comes with a long list of standard features, including large cargo space and a very fuel-sipping 3-cylinder engine producing 78 HP. 

For drivers who want to save money and get great gas mileage, the Mitsubishi Mirage is an excellent choice.

best new car for $20k

Nissan Versa

The Nissan Versa is a great car for anyone looking for an affordable and reliable vehicle. The Versa offers many features that make it a great choice for a first car or a family car.

Here are some of the benefits of choosing a Nissan Versa:

The first benefit of the Nissan Versa is its affordability. The MSRP for the base model starts at just $15,580, making it one of the most affordable cars on the market. Even with all of the standard features, the Versa is still a very budget-friendly option.

Another great benefit of the Nissan Versa is its fuel efficiency. With an EPA-estimated 32 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway,1the Versa can help you save money at the pump.

best new car for $20k

Subaru Impreza

The Subaru Impreza has long been a popular choice for many car buyers, and for good reason. The Impreza is known for its excellent safety features, comfortable interior, and affordable price tag starting at $19,295. The 2022 model is set to continue this tradition with even more impressive features and specs. 

First and foremost, the Impreza is an incredibly safe vehicle. It earned top marks in crash tests conducted by both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. This means that you can feel confident knowing that your family is safe when they're in the car.

In addition to being safe, the Impreza is equipped with AWD standard, making it ready for any condition.

best new car for $20k

Toyota Corolla / Corolla Hatchback

The Toyota Corolla Hatchback was first introduced in 2018 as a way to bring more excitement and style to the popular Corolla nameplate. The hatchback design not only looks good, but it's also functional, offering more space for cargo than the sedan.

And for 2022, Toyota is making some significant improvements to the Corolla Hatchback that will make it even better. While just over a hair, the Corolla still meets our criteria at $20,425.

One of the biggest changes for 2022 is that the Corolla Hatchback will now be available with all-wheel drive. This is a big deal because it's something that has been lacking in previous models and it's something that many buyers have been asking for.

best new car for $20k

Volkswagen Jetta

When it comes to choosing a compact sedan, the options are seemingly endless.

However, for those who are looking for German engineering and quality craftsmanship, the Volkswagen Jetta is the clear choice. The 2022 Jetta comes with a variety of features and benefits that make it a stand-out option in its class. Additionally, the Jetta has a spacious interior with plenty of room for five passengers.

Plus, it is considered in the mid-size class with pricing starting at $20,365.

The Jetta comes with standard LED headlights and taillights. This not only results in better visibility for the driver, but also makes the Jetta more visible to other drivers on the road. 

The trunk is also larger than most in its class, making it perfect for carrying cargo or luggage.

Final Word on the Best New Car for $20k

In conclusion, finding the right car for you doesn't have to break the bank and if you want to save some cash, you won't have to sacrifice style either. 

The trick is finding the right model. There are plenty of options out there.

Now that you've got a list of vehicles that meet your requirements in the $20k range, it's time to visit a dealership.

 For cars with the best warranties, check out our other articles to learn more. 

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Anthony Santiago - Editor-in-Chief

About the author

I am a passionate car enthusiast who likes to help people save money and avoid headaches when it comes to cars. I believe that everyone can find the right car at the right price. I share my tips and experience so you can learn quickly and maximize your next SUV, truck or car purchase.

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