As technology and engineering advance with each passing year, cars are being sold more as lifestyle choices than as modes of transportation. But all those extras we pack into our car choices can get awfully expensive, and sometimes (most of the time?) we just want to get where we’re going. (Ironically, most of these inexpensive vehicles still have all the infotainment and safety features we’ve come to expect. Along with top-of-the-line fuel efficiency.)
So, when you parse a car down to its most essential function, which automobiles are worth their weight in gold? These are a few of the cheapest new cars of 2020.
Base Price: $13,220
Right off the bat, the Spark wins the cost battle, with a sub-$14,000 base price. The value continues with a 1.4-liter inline-four engine that gets a highway mpg of 38 when combined with the CVT automatic.
The Spark’s tradeoff for cost and efficiency is its size. You won’t have much space to maneuver within the cabin. Still, a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay functionality should keep you entertained.
A great commuter or city car, the Spark is one of the cheapest new cars of 2020 that will get you where you need to go.
Base Price: $14,445
Although not the cheapest, the Accent may deliver the best value of any car on the low-end of the price-tag spectrum. Depending on the trim level you’re willing to upgrade to, the car can deliver nearly all the features of a more costly automobile.
The Accent’s stylish – and roomy – interior belies its reasonable price. The 2020 model has added an inline-four engine that raises its combined fuel rating to 36 mpg. The basic trim level comes with 15-inch wheels, cruise control, Bluetooth capability and power windows and locks.
For cost-conscious consumers, a good warranty is essential. Hyundai delivers with a 5-year/60,000-mile warranty and 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
Base Price: $14,730
The Versa has been completely redesigned for 2020. And while that comes with a roughly $1,500 higher starting price, you’ll be getting a much-improved vehicle. (No more manually operated crank windows.)
It comes with more legroom than one would expect, plenty of cargo room and a 122-horsepower four-cylinder engine that’s more than adequate.
Safety is addressed with a host of features including automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, and automatic high-beams. The entry-level Versa S sedan retains Bluetooth functionality, but lacks the Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration you can find in higher trims.
Base Price: $15,750
The 2020 Kia Rio is loaded with standard features, including Bluetooth capability and a 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration.
The higher trim level is less than $700 more and offers SiriusXM satellite radio, keyless entry, LED headlights and automated emergency braking and safety features.
In 2020, the Rio increased its combined mpg from 32 to 36. With standard entertainment options and better fuel economy, the Rio is an even better value than before.
Base Price: $16, 720
The Sonic doesn’t boast the fuel efficiency of some of the other cheapest new cars of 2020, coming in at a combined 29 mpg. However, it does come standard with a host of features that usually are seen in higher-trim models. These include infotainment options such as a 7-inch color touchscreen, Bluetooth audio streaming, SiriusXM Radio trial subscription and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. You’ll also get niceties like remote keyless entry and remote start. You will have to move up to the higher-trim level for advanced safety features such as lane departure warning, forward collision alert and rear park assist.
The Sonic also comes in a hatchback model with more cargo room, but that model costs almost $3,000 more. If you’re looking for rock-bottom prices, stick with the sedan.
For more car recommendations, check out our test drives.
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