New cars can seem so out of reach, but sift through all those pricey SUVs or trucks and—trust us—there are actually quite a few choices. When the allure is too much to resist, many affordable new cars are available. Before we get to our top 10 list of the cheapest new cars available for 2020, keep in mind that there’s more to a new car’s cost than just the starting price. That’s why we’re proud to work with the experts at IntelliChoice—check out the Best Overall Value award winners for 2019 right here.
With that very important caveat out of the way, here are the cheapest new cars (by base price) for 2020.
Choices based on 2020 vehicles available at time of writing.
2020 Kia Forte
If bigger is better, give the 2020 Kia Forte FE a try. The car may have been a dynamic letdown at our 2019 Car of the Year competition, but it’s hard to argue with an 8.0-inch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto even on the base model. A 147-hp four-cylinder engine, six-speed manual, and automatic emergency braking are all standard. Get the $800 CVT for the best EPA-rated fuel economy of any Forte model, at 31/41 mpg.
2020 Kia Soul
If SUV-like style is what you’re after, the new Kia Soul could be the affordable new car for you. The front-drive compact hatch does offer automatic emergency braking, but only on the S trim and above. The 2020 Soul LX lacks that safety feature, but the base model does offer a slightly higher seating position than many others on this list, plus a 7.0-inch display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A CVT on the LX trim is a $1,500 option.
2020 Chevrolet Sonic
If the smaller Spark’s 98 horsepower isn’t enough for your driving needs, a base 2020 Sonic sedan could be the affordable new car with your name on it. The aging Sonic is powered by a 138-hp turbo-four and mated to a six-speed automatic. Aside from that sedan body style (and more power than the Spark), the LS trim gets a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but lower fuel economy than the Spark.
2019 Honda Fit
With the redesigned 2020 Honda Fit on the way, you may be able to score a good deal on one of the last remaining 2019s. The Fit may be a small affordable car, but its interior is far more spacious than you’d expect. A CVT will cost you $800 over the standard six-speed manual; either way, the Fit remains one of the better subcompacts around. You’ll have to upgrade to the $18,430 Sport trim to get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, or try the $19,090 EX trim to add advanced safety tech including automatic emergency braking and more basic features like hands-free keyless access.
2020 Kia Rio
The Rio made it to our Car of the Year finalist round a couple years ago, and the 2020 model gets meaningful updates. The 2020 Rio’s new engine is less powerful than the one it replaces, but at 120 hp, it should still get the job done. An automatic transmission is standard, and it’s a new CVT. We haven’t yet driven the 2020 Rio with the available CVT, but we weren’t impressed by the transmission in the new Forte. Still, the Rio enters 2020 with better fuel economy and standard compatibility for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
2019 Toyota Yaris
Base Price: $16,555 (for a 2019 model)
The Toyota Yaris sedan and 2020 Yaris hatchback are actually Mazdas wearing bold Toyota grilles and badges. And they’re pretty good cars. Although we don’t have pricing info on the 2020 Yaris as this is written, the 2019 sedan comes with automatic emergency braking even on the base model.
2020 Hyundai Accent
As you’d expect, Hyundai leads with value. The 2020 Accent SE has a five-year/60,000-mile basic warranty as well as remote keyless entry, power door locks, and power windows. An automatic is $1,000 more, and if fuel economy is important to you, you should consider it. As long as you’re not expecting a sporty daily driver, know that the 2020 Accent gets 33/41 mpg city/highway, an impressive bump above the 2019 model’s 28/38 mpg when it had a six-speed automatic.
Read about how it performed during our 2019 Car of the Year competition here.
2020 Nissan Versa
Nissan‘s best-selling subcompact returns for 2020 only as a redesigned sedan. Admirably, automatic emergency braking is standard on the base model, as it’s way more content than any true base-model Versa you may have seen on a dealer lot in years past. The 2020 Versa S even has power door locks and power windows with a one-touch up/down control on the driver’s side—not every automaker offering this feature at these low prices offers auto up and down. A CVT will raise the 2020 Versa’s price by $1,670.
Wait, what about the Sentra? The redesigned Sentra sedan may qualify at the top end of this cheapest new cars list once it goes on sale in the U.S.
2020 Mitsubishi Mirage
One of the cheapest new cars of 2020 is also one of the most efficient. If the 2020 Mirage four-door hatch enters the new model year with the same destination charge as last year, it will squeak in at just under 15 grand. Not bad. With its standard five-speed manual transmission, the Mirage gets 33/41 mpg, but those figures jump to 36/43 mpg with the CVT. Be forewarned, though: Even with a five-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, the 78-hp Mirage isn’t our favorite car to drive.
2020 Chevrolet Spark
The small Spark hatchback is Chevy‘s smallest car, serving as an entry to the brand (while the Cruze compact and others get discontinued). Even as a base model, the 2020 Spark includes a 7.0-inch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. If you want power windows, power locks, or remote keyless entry, you’ll have to upgrade from the LS to the 1LT model, but cool exterior colors including the distinctive Passion Fruit as well as bright red, orange, and Caribbean Blue are also available. Power comes from a 98-hp four-cylinder engine mated to a five-speed manual or CVT.
Cheapest New Cars for 2020:
Bonus! Here are a few other affordable cars to consider:
2020 Hyundai Veloster
One of the most charming ways to spend $20,000 is the 2020 Hyundai Veloster. With a 147-hp engine, it’s also one of the most powerful, too. If you can handle a slightly loud commute and a six-speed manual (an automatic is $1,000), the Veloster 2.0 includes a 7.0-inch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic emergency braking, and a lane keeping assist system. Not to mention, of course, that asymmetrical three-door styling.
2019 Volkswagen Jetta
VW‘s entry-level sedan is spacious and quicker than you might expect for a low price base model. LED headlights are standard, and, were it our base-model Jetta, we’d avoid the all-black interior.
2019 Nissan Kicks
Like the Soul, the Kicks offers SUV-like styling at an affordable price. This front-drive hatch boasts a floating-roof look, plus automatic emergency braking, a spacious cabin, and on the 2019 model, respectable 31/36 mpg fuel economy. The 2019 model’s pricing is listed above.
2020 Hyundai Elantra
Dynamically and stylistically, the Elantra might not be our first choice. But the spacious interior is well laid out, and the 2020 Elantra SE also includes automatic emergency braking and lane keeping assist.