The 10 Best Affordable New Cars Under $20,000 According to TrueCar

Shopping for a new car can get expensive, especially these days. The good news is that buying a new car doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, according to TrueCar, these are some of the best affordable new cars under $20,000.

2021 Nissan Versa

A blue 2021 Nissan Versa parked in front of a tree, the Versa is one of the best affordable new cars under $20,000
2021 Nissan Versa | Nissan

Price: $14,980

The 2021 Nissan Versa is one of the cheapest new cars on the market right now. It’s also one of very few new cars with a manual transmission. Of course, opting for its available continuously variable transmission does bring its base price up to the tune of $16,650.

That being said, the Versa’s low price isn’t the only reason TrueCar highlighted it as one of the best new cars under $20,000 either. TrueCar reports that this new subcompact car offers “superb efficiency and nimble handling for getting around town.” 

Despite its bargain price, TrueCar added that the 2021 Nissan Versa comes well-stocked with sought-after driver-assist features, including intelligent forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, and high beam assist.

2021 Kia Forte 

A red 2021 Kia Forte driving
2021 Kia Forte | Kia

RELATED: You Can Now Lease a 2021 Kia Forte For an Insanely Low Monthly Price

Price: $17,890

The 2021 Kia Forte also found itself among TrueCar’s picks for the best new cars under $20,000. This year’s model starts at $17,890. At its most expensive, the 2021 Kia Forte will have you spending upwards of $23,000. 

Much like the Nissan Versa, the Kia Forte has more going for it than its bargain price tag. In fact, TrueCar reports that this cheap new car comes pretty well-stocked. Standard features include an 8-inch touchscreen display with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

The 2021 Kia Forte is also standard with driver-assist features like auto emergency braking technology, lane departure warning, lane-keeping assist, and driver attention warning. Upgrade to a higher trim level, and additional driver-assist features become available.

2021 Volkswagen Jetta

A silver 2021 Volkswagen Jetta driving
2021 Volkswagen Jetta | Volkswagen

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Price: $18,995

“The Volkswagen crams the benefits of a large sedan into a compact, budget-minded car,” TrueCar reports. Opt for a base model, and this year’s model will cost you approximately $18,995. At its most expensive, the 2021 Volkswagen Jetta will have you spending roughly $28,045.

But the base model Volkswagen Jetta isn’t such a bad choice, as TrueCar points out. In fact, according to TrueCar, this year’s new Volkswagen Jetta offers up “a refined ride that’s hard to find on a non-luxury vehicle.”

Perhaps the only downside to this affordable new car is its lack of standard driver-assist features. While other vehicles on the list come standard with a handful of driver-assist features, the 2021 Volkswagen Jetta does not.

2021 Hyundai Veloster

A silver 2021 Hyundai Veloster, one of the best affordable new cars under $20,000
2021 Hyundai Veloster | Hyundai

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Price: $18,900

For those in the market for an affordable new hatchback, TrueCar recommends the 2021 Hyundai Veloster. This affordable new car boasts a base price of $18,900. That price includes three years or 36,000 miles of complimentary vehicle maintenance too.

But that’s not the only reason to consider this affordable new car. Sure, it costs under $20,000, but that’s not all it has to offer. According to TrueCar, the Hyundai Veloster is also fun to drive and delivers great fuel efficiency.

TrueCar isn’t the only one singing the Veolster’s praises either. As a matter of fact, Car and Driver reports the 2021 Hyundai Veloster is “cheap to own and rewarding to drive.” 

2021 Kia Soul

A red 2021 Kia Soul driving
2021 Kia Soul | Kia

RELATED: The 2021 Kia Soul Has Yet Again Outdone Every Other Subcompact SUV

Price: $17,590

The 2021 Kia Soul starts at $17,590 and finds itself among the best affordable new cars under $20,000. Treat yourself to the range-topping Kia Soul Turbo, and this versatile new SUV will cost you roughly $27,650.

According to TrueCar, the 2021 Kia Soul is the perfect pick for both small families and commuters. It offers a wealth of interior space and delivers an EPA-estimated 28 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. 

The 2021 Kia Soul is standard with a long list of features too. Even at its cheapest, the Kia Soul is standard with a 7-inch touchscreen display with a rearview camera and both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. 

2021 Kia Rio

A blue 2021 Kia Rio driving past a mural
2021 Kia Rio | Kia

RELATED: The 2021 Kia Rio Is the Best Subcompact Sedan You Can Buy

Price: $16,050

If you haven’t noticed, Kia offers some of the best affordable new cars under $20,000, the 2021 Kia Rio included. At its cheapest, this new Kia will set you back approximately $16,050. At its most expensive, it costs $16,090.

As for what makes the Kia Rio one of the best new cars under $20,000? Well, according to TrueCar, it comes down to three things: its upscale cabin, city-friendly proportions, and good fuel economy ratings.

Perhaps the only downside to the Kia Rio is its rearseat accommodations. According to TrueCar, the rear-seat legroom isn’t exactly plentiful. If anything, it’s pretty cramped.

2021 Hyundai Accent

2021 Hyundai Accent in red
2021 Hyundai Accent | Hyundai

RELATED: There’s No Reason to Buy More Than the Base Hyundai Accent

Price: $15,395

Boasting a base price of $15,395, the 2021 Hyundai Accent is among the cheapest new cars under $20,000. It’s available in three different trim levels, each of which will have you spending less than $20,000. Unfortunately, TrueCar reports the base model does lack several standard features.

In fact, standard features include a 5-inch touchscreen display with a rearview monitor and Bluetooth hands-free connectivity. Fortunately, spending $17,750 on the SEL adds features like a larger touchscreen display, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and two USB ports.

Like the Hyundai Veloster, the 2021 Hyundai Accent also comes with three years or 36,000 miles of complimentary maintenance. Hyundai’s complimentary maintenance program also includes unlimited roadside assistance, which will be sure to inspire confidence every time you hit the road.

2021 Mitsubishi Mirage

An orange 2021 Mitsubishi Mirage parked on a city street, one of the best affordable new cars under $20,000
2021 Mitsubishi Mirage | Mitsubishi

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Price: $14,295 

Priced at $14,295, the 2021 Mitsubishi Mirage is among the most affordable new cars on TrueCar’s list. According to TrueCar, that makes the Mistubishi Mirage particularly attractive to used car shoppers.

But that’s not all the 2021 Mitsubishi Mirage has to offer. Driven by a 1.2-liter engine, TrueCar reports that the Mirago is very fuel-efficient. In fact, according to the EPA, this year’s model delivers an EPA-estimated 33 mpg on the city and 41 mpg on the highway. 

The bad news is that as affordable as the 2021 Mitsubishi Mirage is, it’s pretty slow. With 76-hp to its name, the Mirage’s standard engine is outpaced by several of its competitors.

2020 Honda Fit

A 2020 Honda Fit driving down a road
2020 Honda Fit | Honda

RELATED: Ditched 2020 Honda Fit Flips Off Its Maker by Topping This Year-End List

Price: $17,185

The 2020 Honda Fit has a lot going for it. Not only is it one of the best new cars under $20,000, but TrueCar reports that its interior is surprisingly spacious for a vehicle of its size. It also delivers reasonably sporty handling, says TrueCar.

The bad news? The Honda Fit has been discontinued. According to Car and Driver, while other markets were treated to a redesigned Honda Fit this year, the U.S. was not. The good news is that there are still 2020 models out there. 

2021 Subaru Impreza

A silver 2021 Subaru Impreza driving
2021 Subaru Impreza | Subaru

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Price: $18,795

The 2021 Subaru Impreza isn’t like other cars on this list. While it is one of the best affordable new cars under $20,000, it’s also one of the only models on the list to come standard with all-wheel drive.

A low price and standard all-wheel drive aren’t the only reasons to consider this affordable new car either. In fact, according to TrueCar, the 2021 Subaru Impreza has plenty else to offer. “Available as a sedan or hatchback, the Impreza has a roomy interior, and high-quality materials help give it a quiet ride,” reports TrueCar.

Choosing the best affordable new car for your driving needs

Buying a new car shouldn’t mean breaking the bank. Fortunately, TrueCar’s list of the best new cars under $20,000 makes choosing the best affordable new car a more manageable task.