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New cars are expensive these days, and affordable new cars are just about a thing of the past. It isn’t too late to cash in on some of the last cars under $20,000, though.

The Kia Rio is a new car under $20,000

All of the new cars on sale under $20,000
The 2022 Kia Rio driving on a road | Kia

Edmunds says the 2022 Kia Rio is an economy car, but it does come in sedan and hatchback options to give buyers a choice. While the Rio starts at just over $18,000, it still has a lot to offer buyers in an affordable package. If you can get a higher trim level, it will come with more active safety features which are important. The new Kia Rio gets 36 mpg, too.

Starting MSRP: $18,215

A manual transmission is standard on the Mitsubishi Mirage

The 2022 Mitsubishi Mirage and Mirage G4 is on its way to the top of the least expensive cars list. While the Chevy Spark is on its way out, the Mirage is going to take its place. The Mirage gets an estimated 36 mpg in combined fuel economy, and the G4 comes in just under that with 35 mpg. The new car comes standard with a five-speed manual, but a continuously variable transmission (or CVT) automatic is available. That adds some mileage to the fuel economy, but also adds to the price.

Edmunds says you get what you pay for with this small Mitsubishi sedan, noting that it “lacks refinement and is marked by a noisy interior, underpowered three-cylinder engine and poor build quality.”

Starting MSRP: $15,925 (Mitsubishi Mirage), $16,795 (Mirage G4)

For new cars under $20,000, the Hyundai Accent has a lot to offer

If there was a competition for the best driving small car under $20,000, the 2022 Hyundai Accent would probably win. It isn’t a sporty or spirited car to drive, but it gets the job done and handles well. It comes in just under $18,000 and comes with the CVT engine standard. The Accent gets 36 mpg combined, which is still impressive for a new car. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a seven-inch touchscreen are included if you opt for the SEL trim ($18,945).

Starting MSRP: $17,690

The Nissan Versa is a good new car option

The 2022 Nissan Versa starts at just over $16,000 and gets an estimated 30 mpg combined from the manual transmission. If buyers upgrade to the CVT, the mileage jumps to 35 mpg combined. That also adds more to the price. Edmunds says the loaded Versa SR with the CVT only runs you $19,515 and has a lot of safety features budget new cars sometimes lack.

Starting MSRP: $16,105

If you need all-wheel drive, check out the Subaru Impreza

The 2022 Subaru Impreza is the only all-wheel drive option for under $20,000, but it comes with a manual transmission. Those looking for an automatic will be over the budget by around $1,100. The Impreza gets 26 mpg combined, which is significantly lower than some of the other options. The CVT bumps it up to 32 mpg, though. The Subaru Impreza is due for an upgrade soon, so you might be able to find a good deal if that is announced. If you don’t need an all-wheel drive option, some of the other options on this list might be better suited.

Starting MSRP: $19,790

New car prices might start to level out soon as the semiconductor chip shortage sorts itself out, but that could still be a few months. Until then, new cars under $20,000 are hard to come by. Weighing the most important features might help buyers pick from this small pool of new cars.


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