The 9 best cars you can buy for under $20,000

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2018 Kia Forte. Kia Forte

  • The market research company JD Power on November 7 released its rankings of the best vehicles from model year 2018 that cost less than $US65,000.
  • The company produced four lists ranking the top vehicles in four different price segments: $US15,000-$US19,999, $US20,000-$US32,999, $US33,000-$US44,999, and $US45,000-$US65,000.
  • Of the nine top-rated vehicles that cost less than $US20,000,Kia had more than any other automaker, with three.
  • While SUVs and light trucks have come to dominate the American auto market, each of the nine best vehicles under $US20,000 is either a compact or subcompact car.

The market research company JD Power on November 7 released its lists of the best vehicles from model year 2018 that cost less than $US65,000. The company produced four lists ranking the top vehicles in four different price segments: $US15,000-$US19,999, $US20,000-$US32,999, $US33,000-$US44,999, and $US45,000-$US65,000.

Of the nine top-rated vehicles that cost less than $US20,000, Kia had more than any other automaker, with three. Each of those vehicles placed in the top four spots on the list, which measured how satisfied owners were with their vehicles on a 100-point scale

Read more: The 10 most reliable cars of 2018

While SUVs and light trucks have come to dominate the American auto market, they tend to be more expensive than smaller cars. Each of the nine best cars under $US20,000 is either a compact or subcompact car.

“While consumer interest continues to shift towards crossovers, many cars are still proving extremely satisfying to own,” Dave Sargent, JD Power’s vice president of global automotive said in a release accompanying the lists. “The very best cars often score better for quality and appeal than crossovers at the same price point.”

These are the best vehicles from model year 2018 that cost less than $US20,000.


9. Mitsubishi Mirage

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2018 Mitsubishi Mirage. Mitsubishi

Ownership satisfaction score: 63


The 2018 Mirage is the most fuel-efficient gas-powered car in the US that’s not a hybrid, JD Power says.

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2018 Mitsubishi Mirage. Mitsubishi

8. Honda Fit

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2018 Honda Fit. Honda

Ownership satisfaction score: 68


The 2018 Fit offers “impressive agility and a sporty ride,” according to JD Power.

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2018 Honda Fit. Honda

7. Nissan Versa Note

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2018 Nissan Versa Note. Nissan

Ownership satisfaction score: 72 points


JD Power says the 2018 Versa Note offers an impressive amount of cargo space.

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2018 Nissan Versa Note. Nissan

6. Toyota Yaris

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2018 Toyota Yaris. Toyota

Ownership satisfaction score: 73


The 2018 Yaris has improved exterior styling, according to JD Power.

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2018 Toyota Yaris. Toyota

5. Chevrolet Sonic

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2018 Chevrolet Sonic. Chevrolet

Ownership satisfaction score: 75


Sound quality and a new infotainment system are among the 2018 Sonic’s most notable features, JD Power says.

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2018 Chevrolet Sonic. Chevrolet

4. Kia Forte

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2018 Kia Forte. Kia Forte

Ownership satisfaction score: 76


The 2018 Forte is one of the safest cars available, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

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2018 Kia Forte. Kia

Source: IIHS


3. Hyundai Elantra

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2018 Hyundai Elantra. Hyundai

Ownership satisfaction score: 77


JD Power says the 2018 Elantra is “incredibly versatile,” listing ride quality as one of the car’s strengths.

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2018 Hyundai Elantra. Hyundai

2. Kia Rio

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2018 Kia Rio. Kia

Ownership satisfaction score: 79


JD Power highlights the 2018 Rio’s spacious interior.

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2018 Kia Rio. Kia

1. Kia Soul

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2018 Kia Soul. Kia

Ownership satisfaction score: 79


JD Power calls the 2018 Soul a “fun ride with a souped-up engine.”

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2018 Kia Soul. Kia