Looks like some more people have realized something we pointed out late last year. There are only three new cars under the magic $20,000 price limit currently for sale in the United States. Those three vehicles are the Nissan Versa with a starting price of $16,925 (all prices here include destination fee), the Kia Rio at $17,390 and the Mitsubishi Mirage at $17,650. Should push come to shove, so to speak, we’d probably pick the Nissan as our top choice among those three due to its practicality, comfort and overall polish when compared to its similarly priced peers. But really, as we’ve suggested before, there are better options.
Our top pick for a used vehicle under $20,000 remains the Chevy Volt. It’s stylish, comfortable, practical and, above all else, efficient, assuming you can plug it in at home. If you don’t have access to a plug at home, you’ll likely be able to find a very gently used car for the same price as one of the budget options above. We’d check out the Honda Fit, Kia Soul, Subaru Impreza, Toyota Corolla hatchback and Volkswagen Jetta from the model years and aim for something with under 20,000 miles and with a year or two left of its factory warranty. A quick inventory search shows that some of those cars, notably the Impreza and Jetta, can even be found Certified Pre Owned in most parts of the country.
For a more thorough breakdown of some of the available used-car options we’d recommend, check out our guide to the Best Cars Under $20,000. For what it’s worth, with the average new car transaction price hovering alarmingly close to $50,000, we wouldn’t expect to see any more options coming any time soon for well under half that sum.