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The Cheapest New Cars of 2020

A great vehicle for less than $20,000? These cheap new cars deliver more than you'd expect.

cheapest new cars of 2020

2020 Nissan Versa

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.

cheapest new cars of 2020

Chevrolet Spark

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.

cheapest new cars of 2020

Hyundai Accent

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.

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Nissan Versa

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.

cheapest new cars of 2020

Kia Rio

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.

cheapest new cars of 2020

Chevrolet Sonic

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

AAA members get great rates and competitive terms when shopping through the AAA Auto Buying program. Learn more about our network of certified dealers and to start comparing vehicles today.

  • Jeanne N.

    Purchasing a basic model in any make care usually isn’t the best decision. You are still going to have your car for many years and do a lot of traveling in it. Thus, safety and comfort are essential. We test drove a brand new basic compact model and it was the most uncomfortable drive we ever had. No thank you. We wound up purchasing a fabulous car that came with a lot of bells and whistles from end-of-year surplus and have all the safety and comfort we could want. A cheap car will wind up costing you in many ways, including your health and safety. Not worth it.

  • Jeanne N.

    P.S. to my previous comment: We purchased a new 2018 Hyundai Sonata from end-of-year purchase with lots of bells and whistles and excellent comfort and safety features, for just under $20,000, and we live in an expensive part of the country. It takes research, patience and a firm negotiating stance – but it can be done. And it is so worth it. Don’t settle for less than you can actually get.

  • Daniel K.

    My wife and I recently purchased, a brand new 2020 Honda Pilot Elite Black Edition, and have already put over 500 miles on our new car. This car is extremely well equipped, with safety in mind, is very comfortable, has an excellent ride, is relatively fuel efficient, has plenty of power, and has plenty of space, for just about anything. I highly recommend this car for older seniors, like myself, and my wife. Of course, I highly recommend installing running boards, for easier access, which we did.

  • Your Aaa R.

    There’s an old saying: “You get what you pay for.” You can save a lot of money if you’re willing to drive in a beer can.

  • Kenneth M.

    Think about buying a 3 year old vehicle coming off a lease. There are lots of them out there now. Many of these leased vehicles were nicely equipped. With about 30,000 miles on them, you might be able to pick one up with 40% to 50% off the original sticker price. Almost any car produced today can go 150,000 miles with diligent maintenance.

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