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

Kia Forte2018 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

Mitsubishi2018 Mitsubishi Mirage.

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.

Mitsubishi2018 Mitsubishi Mirage.

8. Honda Fit

Honda2018 Honda Fit.

Ownership satisfaction score: 68


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

Honda2018 Honda Fit.

7. Nissan Versa Note

Nissan2018 Nissan Versa Note.

Ownership satisfaction score: 72 points


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

Nissan2018 Nissan Versa Note.

6. Toyota Yaris

Toyota2018 Toyota Yaris.

Ownership satisfaction score: 73


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

Toyota2018 Toyota Yaris.

5. Chevrolet Sonic

Chevrolet2018 Chevrolet Sonic.

Ownership satisfaction score: 75


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

Chevrolet2018 Chevrolet Sonic.

4. Kia Forte

Kia Forte2018 Kia Forte.

Ownership satisfaction score: 76


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

Kia2018 Kia Forte.

Source: IIHS


3. Hyundai Elantra

Hyundai2018 Hyundai Elantra.

Ownership satisfaction score: 77


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

Hyundai2018 Hyundai Elantra.

2. Kia Rio

Kia2018 Kia Rio.

Ownership satisfaction score: 79


JD Power highlights the 2018 Rio’s spacious interior.

Kia2018 Kia Rio.

1. Kia Soul

Kia2018 Kia Soul.

Ownership satisfaction score: 79


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

Kia2018 Kia Soul.

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