The Best New Cars Under $20,000 According to U.S. News

Buying a new car can make for an expensive endeavor. Odds are, you’re really not looking to break the bank with your next car purchase too. Fortunately, according to U.S. News & World Report, there are several new cars under $20,000 that deserve your attention.

The 2021 Ford EcoSport is one of the best new cars under $20,000

According to U.S. News & World Report, there’s a lot to like about the 2021 Ford EcoSport. It’s a champ at maneuvering around narrow roads and is small enough to navigate those tight parking spots easily. This year’s model also offers up plenty of cargo room. And when it comes to pricing? You can expect to spend $19,995 on a base model.

The bad news is that the Ford EcoSport is underpowered. When it comes down to it, Car and Driver explains, the “EcoSport is the opposite of quick.” According to U.S. News & World Report, this year’s model also lacks standard features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

2021 Ford EcoSport driving
2021 Ford EcoSport | Ford

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Choose the 2021 Chevy Trailblazer for a new car under $20,000

Now, the 2021 Ford EcoSport isn’t the only vehicle U.S. News & World Report recognized as one of the best new cars under $20,000. In fact, according to U.S. News & World Report, the 2021 Chevy Trailblazer also earned itself a spot on its list. 

Opt for a base model Trailblazer, and you can expect it to come pretty well-equipped too. With a base price of $19,000, this year’s all-new Chevy Trailblazer comes standard with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a convenient Wi-Fi hot spot, and a seven-inch touch screen display. This year’s Trailblazer also comes standard with a slew of driver-assist features.

2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer ACTIV parked
2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer ACTIV | Chevy

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The 2021 Subaru Impreza is a sophisticated sedan that won’t break the bank

If it’s a sedan that you’re after, U.S. News & World Report says that the 2021 Subaru Impreza is one of the best new cars under $20,000. This year’s model comes standard with all-wheel drive, along with plenty of sought-after features, including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a 6.5-inch touch screen display. And when it comes to how much this year’s new Impreza costs? Opt for an entry-level Impreza, and you can expect to spend $18,795. All in all, there’s no denying that for a new car, that price tag is pretty manageable. 

2021 Subaru Impreza driving
2021 Subaru Impreza | Subaru

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The 2021 Volkswagen Jetta is an affordable fuel-efficient sedan

Say the 2021 Subaru Impreza isn’t quite your style, but you still want a sedan that costs less than $20,000. If that’s the case, U.S. News & World Report recommends taking a gander at the 2021 Volkswagen Jetta, which will have you spending just under $19,000 for an entry-level model. 

Base models come stocked with features, too, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The bad news is that the Jetta’s interior isn’t all that impressive. U.S. News explains, “the cabin’s mix of soft-touch materials and hard plastics makes the VW feel less high-end than some rivals’ interiors.”

2021 Volkswagen Jetta driving
2021 Volkswagen Jetta | Volkswagen

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Choose the 2021 Nissan Versa if you want to save rather than spend

If both the Subaru Impreza and the Volkswagen Jetta are too expensive for your wallet, consider the 2021 Nissan Versa. Its 122-hp engine may not be the fastest out there, but its price tag is certainly attractive for budget car shoppers. In fact, a base model Versa will only have you spending $14,980, which makes for an extremely low price. Upgrade to a range-topping Versa, and even still, this year’s model will only cost you $18,390. 

A 2021 Nissan Versa in blue
2021 Nissan Versa | Nissan

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The 2021 Hyundai Venue is one of the best new cars under $20,000

According to U.S. News & World Report, the 2021 Hyundai Venue is a fuel-efficient SUV that’s a great fit for daily driving. It also boasts pretty responsive steering and handles well on the road. 

And when it comes to pricing? This year’s Venue boasts a base price of only $18,750. That price gets you features like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, driver drowsiness monitoring, automatic emergency braking, and lane-keep assist too.

2021 Hyundai Venue parked in front of graffiti
2021 Hyundai Venue | Hyundai

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The 2021 Kia Soul is an affordable SUV with plenty of personality

If you’re hoping to buy an SUV for less than $20,000, you really can’t go wrong with the 2021 Kia Soul. With a base price of $17,590, this year’s Soul makes nary a compromise when it comes to standard features. In fact, all base models come outfitted with sought-after features like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a seven-inch touch screen infotainment display. According to the IIHS, this year’s Soul was also tapped as a Top Safety Pick, making it an even more attractive option.

2021 Kia Soul driving on a gravel road
2021 Kia Soul | Kia

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Pick the 2021 Toyota Corolla if you don’t want to spend more than $20,000

There’s no denying that the 2021 Toyota Corolla makes for a great pick among its segment. Not only will a base model Toyota Corolla cost you less than $20,000, but U.S. News & World Report also says that this year’s model offers up plenty of space. All base models come with popular features like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and Toyota’s Entune infotainment system too. According to Consumer Reports, this year’s Corolla also earned itself a perfect predicted reliability rating, which is pretty hard to argue with.

The 2021 Toyota Corolla in action
2021 Toyota Corolla | Toyota

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The 2021 Hyundai Veloster is a spunky car for less than $20,000

Much like the Kia Soul, the 2021 Hyundai Veloster offers plenty of personality. It boasts a unique body shape and comes powered by a 147-hp four-cylinder engine. According to U.S. News & World Report, its interior matches the design of its modern exterior too. Even better, the 2021 Hyundai Veloster won’t have you spending more than $18,900 on a base model. That price gets you Hyundai Complimentary Maintenance for three years or 36,000 miles too.

2021 Hyundai Veloster parked
2021 Hyundai Veloster | Hyundai

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The 2021 Kia Forte is one of the best new cars under $20,000

Last on U.S. News & World Reports’ list of the best new cars under $20,000 is the 2021 Kia Forte. According to U.S. News & World Report, this year’s Forte is as roomy as it is comfortable. It also offers up standard interior amenities such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. All models also come outfitted with confidence-inspiring safety features like automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, and forward-collision warning. 

2021 Kia Forte in red
2021 Kia Forte | Kia