Most people can’t afford the best vehicle on the market, but thanks to modern innovation and competition they can still afford a great car. Even cars under $20,000 may have great safety ratings, gas mileage, and updated technology to make the drive smooth and entertaining. There are many sources to find information on vehicles, such as Kelley Blue Book and US News and World Report. But in the end, it’s about finding the best vehicle to suit the needs of yourself and your family. One of the best ways to find the best car under $20,000 is to test drive, determining which one of these popular models is the best for your needs. The top three cars under $20,000 are the Honda Civic, the Mazda3 and the Subaru Impreza. Read on to discover what you need to know about these models.

Best Three Cars Under $20,000

  • Honda Civic
  • The Mazda3
  • Subaru Impreza

Honda Civic

Even though this is a small and inexpensive vehicle, the Honda Civic is popular partly because it is also sleek and sophisticated. Even though the car looks small, the 60\40 split fold down rear seats together with the spacious trunk offer a large amount of storage space. All season floor mats come standard, as do tire pressure monitoring and LED daytime running lights. The automatic climate control system provides driver comfort and the tilt and telescopic steering column adapts to different family drivers.


  • Both safety and driver assisting technology
  • Choose from three cloth and three leather interior fabrics
  • Bluetooth HandsFree link and streaming audio


For all those people who think they missed their calling as a race car driver, or just for those who really love to drive, the Mazda3 sedan offers the most fun you can have in a budget car experience. The Mazda3 also has great gas mileage and extra storage space. You can get either a sedan or a hatchback, and cars come standard with running lights and halogen headlamps. The antenna is integrated into the rear window, and the air conditioner has a pollen filter. The Mazda3 also has keyless entry and a rear window defogger with timer. For extra convenience, there are power side windows and a Walk Away auto lock.


  • A 7-inch touch screen with Mazda Connect infotainment system
  • Standard rear view camera
  • Smart City Brake Support system

Subaru Impreza

The Subaru Impreza is a compact sedan available with either four or five doors. There are a wide variety of technologies to assist the driver, including incline assist and Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC). Subaru Starlink Multimedia keeps riders in touch and entertained. Unlike most vehicles, the Subaru stays on the road; 96 percent of the ones manufactured in the last 10 years are still on the road. The passenger area is roomy and all seating is made from soft materials. Developed over 50 years, the engine is made from smart design and provides a quiet, smooth ride. Vehicles come standard with LED steering responsive headlights and high beam assist, which can detect oncoming vehicles to dim the brights.


  • 0% financing for qualified buyers
  • Symmetrical all-wheel drive
  • 38/28 mpg fuel efficiency


The best cars under $20,000 combine updated technology, comfortable interiors, and fuel efficiency for transportation that won’t break the bank.