Best new cars for about $20,000

James Raia

The 2014 Fiat 500 C is among the best cars in the U.S. for $20,000.

The average price of a new car in the United States is about $30,000. Doesn’t that still seem like a lot? What if the average car buyer can only afford around $20,000 on a new car?

Are there new cars with price tags of $20,000 that are worthy purchases? In a word, yes.

Family sedans to entry-level sports cars to manufacturers whose iconic cars are among the best-selling cars in history all have models available for about $20,000. And they’re, without doubt, some worthy automobiles.

Here’s a list and a synopsis of two of out favorite cars among the 10 Best New Cars with price tags of about $20,000.

To reiterate, that’s about two-thirds of the average cost of a new car in the United States.

The Fiat 500 Pop model has a lot to offer for $18,000.
The Fiat 500 Pop model has a lot to offer for $18,000.


The 2015 Honda Fit is among the top best cars in the U.S. for less than $20,000.
The 2015 Honda Fit is among the top 10 best new cars in the U.S. for less than $20,000.

TheWeeklyDriver.com’s two favorite new cars for about $20,000:

2014 Fiat 500C, Pop ($16,195)
For sheer driving fun, the Fiat 500C is hard to beat. It’s a hip-looking subcompact with some funky color combinations. The standard five-speed transmission is smooth, including the sweet-shifting reverse.

The 500 has several trims, including the top-line, sporty Abarth. The Pop trim is nimble around town and OK on the freeway after taking some time to get up to speed. If it’s nimble efficiency you’re seeking, the 500C is a fine option.

You may not be driving on cobblestoned streets in a small city in Italy, but what’s wrong with dreaming? Gas mileage for the Pop Hatchback with a five-speed manual is 34 mpg city, 40 mpg highway.

2015 Honda Fit ($16,485-$21,895)
How did Honda’s engineers squeeze in so much interior space in a sub-compact? It’s a sub-compact? Really? There’s just an abundance cargo space, and a roomy back seat.

The ride is comfortable in city and freeway driving and it’s nimble and fun. But Fit is more sedan than wannabe sports car. Equipped with a six-speed manual transmission, the Fit is more fun to drive. For the most economic-minded, the optional continuously variable transmission (CVT) is the most efficient with gas mileage estimated of 33 mpg city an 41 mpg on the highway.

The top-10 best new cars in the United States for about $20,000:

2015 Chevrolet Sonic ($14,245-$20,545)
2014 Fiat 500C, Pop ($16,195)
2015 Honda Fit ($16,485-$21,895)
2014 Ford Fiesta ($14,100-$21,400)
2014 Hyundai Accent ($14,645-$17,395)
2014 Kia Forte ($15,900-$21,900)
2014 Mazda2 ($16,705)
2015 Nissan Versa Note ($14,180-$17,960)
2015 Scion IQ ($15,665–$17,850)
2015 Toyota Corolla ($16,800–$21,300)

This post is part of my collaboration with eBay.


Article Last Updated: September 15, 2014.

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