Under $20,000 Cars? There Are Only Seven Options.

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Last updated Apr 20, 2023

Do you remember when new cars cost less than $20,000? Well, those days are officially behind us. As of November 1st, 2021, there are only seven new cars that you can purchase for under $20,000. And, with used cars appreciating in value, there are even fewer used options below the “magic” $20,000 threshold.

The average new car price now tops $45,000. Finding a new car that is (dare we say) “affordable” is pretty much impossible. During the ongoing chip shortage, automakers cut their production of less expensive and lower margin vehicles. Instead, they allocated supplies towards their higher profit, more expensive vehicles.

As a result we have seen dramatic price increases among sub-compact and compact sedans and SUVs on the used car market. Finding a sub $20,000 new car that is actually in stock is borderline impossible. What under $20,000 cars are there? Let’s break it down.

Kia Rio

Kia Rio Under $20,000

A base 2022 Kia Rio LX has an MSRP of $17,145. Depending on sales tax and dealer fees, you might be able to get “out the door” for less than $20,000 on a Kia Rio. The challenge will be finding one that’s available and on a dealer’s lot.

Kia Rio Under $20,000 CarEdge Analysis

I found less than 10 Kia Rios in inventory and for sale in the United States under $20,000. This one for example was listed as available on Kia’s website, but when you ran a CarEdge analysis report on it it was obviously already sold.

Subaru Impreza

Subaru Impreza Under $20,000

As surprise to some, the Subaru Impreza can be had for less than $20,000! All-in the total price (including dealer fees and taxes) will certainly be above the $20,000 threshold, however the base MSRP is just shy of $20,000.

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Volkswagen Jetta

Volkswagen Jetta Under $20,000

Another surprise entry in the under $20,000 car category is the base Volkswagen Jetta. The cheapest configuration of the Jetta comes in at $19,990. Good luck finding a Jetta for less than $20,000 in inventory nationwide. During my research I was unable to find a single Jetta in inventory with an MSRP below $20,000.

Chevrolet Spark

Chevy Spark Under $20,000

The Chevrolet Spark sneaks into the under $20,000 car club. During my research, I was able to find two Chevy Sparks for sale under $20,000 that are actually in inventory right now in the entire United States.

Chevy Spark Under $20,000 CarEdge Analysis

If you’re looking for an under $20,000 option, the Chevy Spark is a legitimate option in today’s market.

Mitsubishi Mirage

Mitsubishi Mirage Under $20,000

I was able to find hundreds of Mitsubishi Mirages for sale in the United States for less than $20,000. Crazy enough, used Mirages are actually selling for close to what you can purchase a new one for.

Mitsubishi Mirage Under $20,000 CarEdge Analysis

The Mitsubishi Mirage is the used car that has appreciated in value the most so far in 2021 as a used vehicle. Up more than 50% in value.

Hyundai Venue

Hyundai Venue Under $20,000 Car

The Hyundai Venue, which came to market for the 2020 model year, is another under $20,000 options for SUV shoppers. At $19,935, the Venue is an affordable option for consumers.

Sadly, I could not locate a single Hyundai Venue in inventory that was listed for less than $20,000.

Nissan Versa

Nissan Versa Under $20,000 Car

Last but not least on the list of under $20,000 you can buy in 2021 … The Nissan Versa. This subcompact is comparable to the Mitsubishi Mirage, and it’s in inventory too!

Let us help you buy your under $20,000 car

If you’re thinking about buying a car in today’s challenging market, let CarEdge help you. Whether it’s our professional car buying coaches, email templates you can use to negotiate with the dealer, or community forum with support and suggestions, we’re here to help you.

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