New cars are more expensive than ever before.There are many reasons for this – advanced safety features, improved engine technology, and normal economic expansion.
With the average price of a new car now around $38,000, many people are choosing to buy a good used car rather than a brand new one.If you cut that number in half, the $20,000 price tag is a good starting point for finding a good used car without running out of your bank account.
Looking for the best used cars under $20,000 not only offers buyers a variety of options, but at that price point, many are very lightweight and have low mileage.Buying a used car isn’t just a good way to save money.It allows you to buy a car with safety and luxury features that you can’t afford.We mined years of test data and thousands of survey responses to find the best used cars worth $15,000 to $20,000.
Here are the models we recommend to friends and family.Each has a standard electronic stability control, an important safety feature.Many of them are also available as optional or standard features, such as forward collision warning (FCW), automatic emergency braking (AEB), and/or blind spot warning (BSW).They also performed well in our tests, with new models proving well above average reliability in the 2010-2019 Model of the Year survey.
1. 2018 Toyota Camry
The Camry is a fully functional family sedan that is known for doing well in almost everything.In particular, it enjoys a good reputation for reliability, satisfaction and ease of use.It has a full roster of standard safety features and driving assistance, plus impressive power and efficiency.
Like the Accord, the Camry is available with four – and six-cylinder engines.The least-used and newest V6 models will exceed the $20,000 cap, but older models won’t have problems at lower prices.The Toyota Camry is also the centerpiece of many of the best used cars under $20,000, and with good reason.Consumer Reports gave the 2011-2017 Camry models a good review because of their reliability, strong resale value and practicality.
2. 2019 Toyota Corolla
The Toyota Corolla has a comfortable, spacious interior, and many features for the money.The 2019 Corollas are equipped with standard safety equipment such as collision warning, lane departure assistance and adaptive cruise control.
The Toyota Corolla was another mainstay on the list of used cars under $20,000.It is simple, reliable, affordable, comfortable, practical commuter car, suitable for a family of four or just graduated from college students use.The older, carefully selected 10th-generation model sells for about $10,000, while the well-equipped 11th-generation model sells for as little as $15,000.It’s like a stripped-down camry that does well in every area, but doesn’t stand out.Its sales figures prove it because it is one of the best-selling cars of all time.
3. 2018 Honda Civic
Due to its superior road performance and enviable history of reliability, the Civic is the best choice for a used car priced under $20,000.
The Civic has been redesigned for the 2016 model year, and these models are starting to enter the used-car market for less than $20,000, but the older generation of Civic models are more worthwhile purchases.They don’t have as much technology as the latest generation, but they do have a solid track record.
The Honda Civic is another feature on many lists of the best models under $20,000.The car is reliable, affordable and widely considered by critics to be more driveable than the Toyota Corolla.
A 2018 Honda Civic with a full engine can be had for less than $20,000.Civic Si offers a sporting option for those who want more energy in their daily commute.The Civic holds its value better than the likes of Ford, Chevrolet, Hyundai and Kia, but that doesn’t mean $20,000 is impossible.
4. 2018 Honda Accord
The 2018 Honda Accord features the latest technology in driving safety and infotainment.These four doors offer superior fuel economy and a large rear seat.It is also backed up by Honda’s reputation for quality and reliability.
With the recent release of an all-new Accord, it’s easy to find even a well-equipped, older model that costs less than $20,000 because many former Accord owners will want a new one.A carefully selected Accord is easily available for around $20,000, as are older cars loaded with vehicles for well under $20,000.
The Honda Accord, a typical mid-size sedan that almost everyone recommended, was priced under $20,000.Buyers have a choice between a thrifty four-cylinder engine and a powerful V6 that delivers more than 250 horsepower to the road.
5. 2019 Kia Optima
Due to its good overall value and rich technology, Kia Optima is a solid mid-sized sedan.It comes with standard safety features such as collision avoidance and lane keeping assist, and rear cross traffic collision warning.
Kia is attractive, practical, reliable and affordable.Very good use examples are easily available, about $20,000 or less, and only take a year or two from new.
Kia has been among the top carmakers in Consumer Reports for the past five years and is now near the top of the rankings.Optima is mostly seen as a high-value car, so its resale value isn’t as high as that of the Accord or Camry, but that doesn’t take them off the best used car list for less than $20,000.
6. 2018 Mazda Mazda3
The Mazda3 is a small car that is efficient and fun to drive.It can be used as a sedan or a practical hatchback.
It is available as a hatchback or as a sedan with a manual gearbox available in any body style.Neither the Honda Civic nor the Toyota Corolla are hatchbacks, which gives the Mazda3 some practical points.
The Mazda3 offers impressive standard features, active safety, and exquisite interiors.Its Skyactiv engine technology allows it to drive quickly and efficiently using its 2.0 liter or 2.5 liter four-cylinder engines.
7. 2019 Subaru Legacy
The Subaru Legacy offers all the rooms, features, comfort, and security you would want in a midsize sedan.Legacy also has standard all-wheel drive.It has excellent safety, resale and reliability scores, as well as plenty of standard driver assistance.
Used 2018 or 2019 models are hard to find under $20,000 due to their strong resale value, especially when fully equipped, but 2015, 2016 and 2017 models are starting to creep into target areas.Even well-equipped limited models are beginning to appear.
The Subaru’s standard four-wheel drive system is a special case at this price point, which is another reason it stands out on many lists of the best used cars for less than $20,000.
Of course, even used cars we recommend will have outliers;Maybe the previous owner didn’t care enough about car maintenance, or there was a problem in the factory the week the car rolled off the production line.Be sure to pay a qualified mechanic for a thorough inspection before you buy, so there will be no surprises in the future.