We’ll be straight with you: $20,000 is a lot of money, but not when you’re buying a new car. Factoring in the mandatory destination charges, the Big Three combined sell only one new car within that budget, and it’s the 98-horsepower Chevy Spark.
You can purchase a quality car for $20,000, but you’ll have to make sacrifices. You’re foregoing trucks and crossovers for the wonderful, undervalued world of sedans. You’re not going to get that slick new hybrid, or the more powerful engine. And at this price point, you really should consider getting a bit more value in a gently used car coming off a lease.
That said, here are some great new and (slightly) used car options within a $20,000 budget.
Kelley Blue Book has released their best cars to buy awards for 2021. The results may surprise you.
Sure, the Toyota Camry is boring. But remove your heart from the equation, and it's the most sensible purchase you can make. The Camry is bulletproof; it will run as long you need it to, and even get 40-plus mpg on the highway in base spec. Plus, you'll get added resale value on the back end.
The Volvo S60 sedan is one of the vehicles that depreciate the most over three years. That can push base trim versions from 2018 under $20,000 coming off a lease. It's the last model year of the old generation S60, but it's still a safe, reliable, efficient 240-hp Volvo. And it's also a quasi-premium marque.
Need a four-wheel-drive SUV or truck, but don’t have a lot of money to spend?