• Best Affordable Cars of 2020

LISTEN 10:07

The New Year is upon us and with it plenty of great offers to buy a new car. You only need to go to the local showrooms and the salespeople will start seducing you straight from the entrance with tasty offers or free services as a gift. If by any chance you decide you want to make yourself a present, this might very well be one of the best times to do so. It’s easy to get spoiled for a choice, so below are the best affordable new cars in 2020 you can buy now.

Hyundai Elantra

Best Affordable Cars of 2020 Exterior
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The Elantra is our first entry not only because it’s the newest in its segment, but also because it’s the most ambitious and innovative of the bunch. It offers more interior space than the rest of its competitors and boasts the boldest design of the bunch. At a $19,650 starting price, the Elantra is a very tempting offer and it comes with plenty of options as standard. You also get Hyundai’s comprehensive five-year warranty. Moreover, the company’s strife to bury the budget brand image has resulted in an industry-leading build-quality. In addition to the spacious and upscale interior, you also get a proven and dependable drivetrain and the latest in infotainment. Android Auto and Apple Car play come as standard.
The base SE Elantra comes with a 2.0-liter naturally-aspirated inline-four with Atkinson cycle, producing 147 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 132 pound-feet (179 Nm) at 4,500 rpm. This allows for a 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) time of 7.8 seconds. Combined fuel economy is rated at 37 mpg (7.6 l/100 km).

Best Affordable Cars of 2020 Exterior
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Hyundai Elantra Prices
Model Engine Transmission Price
Elantra SE 2.0L 4-cylinder Smartstream Intelligent Variable Transmission $19,650
Elantra SEL 2.0L 4-cylinder Smartstream Intelligent Variable Transmission $20,900
Elantra N Line 1.6L Turbo GDI 4-cylinder 6-Speed Manual Transmission $24,100
Elantra N Line 1.6L Turbo GDI 4-cylinder 7-Speed Dual Cluth Transmission w/ SHIFTRONIC® $25,200
Elantra Limited 2.0L 4-cylinder Smartstream Intelligent Variable Transmission $25,450
Elantra SEL HEV 1.6L GDI 4-cylinder 6-Speed EcoShift Dual Clutch Transmission $23,550
Elantra Limited HEV 1.6L GDI 4-cylinder 6-Speed EcoShift Dual Clutch Transmission $28,100

Read our full review on the Hyundai Elantra

Honda Civic

Best Affordable Cars of 2020 Exterior
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Just like the Elantra, the Civic is a great compact sedan. Moreover, it’s a name whose presence is consistent and well-known on the car market. You can have the Civic in a hatchback, sedan, or a coupe body style. Starting prices for the coupe and sedan versions are identical at $21,050 while the hatchback starts at $22,000. The Honda Civic is about as generous in terms of space as the Elantra but in typical Honda fashion offers a bit sportier feeling while retaining perfect daily usability.
The base engine is a 2.0-liter naturally-aspirated inline-four with 158 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 138 pound-feet (187 Nm) at 4,200 rpm, which is enough for a 0 to 60 mph time of around 8.5 seconds. Spend a bit more and you can upgrade to the 1.5-liter turbo-four with 174 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 162 pound-feet (220 Nm) at 1,700 – 5,500 rpm, which brings the 0 to 60 mph time to around 7.7 seconds.

Best Affordable Cars of 2020 Exterior
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Honda Civic Prices
LX Sedan 2.0L CVT4 $21,050 $22,005 30/38/33
Sport Sedan 2.0L CVT $22,850 $23,805 29/37/32
EX Sedan 1.5L Turbo CVT $24,200 $25,155 32/42/36
EX-L Sedan 1.5L Turbo CVT $25,400 $26,355 32/42/36
Touring Sedan 1.5L Turbo CVT $28,100 $29,055 30/38/33
LX Hatchback CVT4 $22,000 $22,955 31/40/34
Sport Hatchback 6MT $23,100 $24,055 29/37/32
Sport Hatchback CVT $23,900 $24,855 29/35/32
EX Hatchback CVT $24,500 $25,455 31/40/34
Sport Touring Hatchback 6MT $28,400 $29,355 29/37/32
Sport Touring  Hatchback CVT $29,200 $30,155 29/35/32

Read our full review on the Honda Civic

Subaru Crosstrek

Best Affordable Cars of 2020 Exterior
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The compact crossover from Subaru makes a strong case for itself, by being versatile despite its rather compact packaging while offering plenty of features as standard. Prices start at $23,295 for which you get plenty. In true Subaru tradition, you get a full-time symmetrical all-wheel-drive, and with 8.7 inches (221 mm) light off-roading is a breeze. The interior is the epitome of functional and has ample space for a whole family. With a minimum cargo space of 588 liters (20.8 cubic feet) and 1,566 liters (55.3 cubic feet), there is very little the Crosstrek cannot fit inside its luggage area.

The base engine is a 2.0-liter normally-aspirated boxer-four with 152 horsepower (156 for EU) at 6,000 rpm and 145 pound-feet (197 Nm) at 4,000 rpm. Performance was never a priority here, which is why the 0 to 60 mph (96 kmh) sprint takes 9.9 seconds. For those that want a bit more power, there is a 2.5-liter naturally-aspirated boxer-four with 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet (239 Nm). With the bigger engine, you get a fuel economy of 30.5 mpg (7.8L/100km) combined. The only available gearbox is a CVT.

2021 Subaru Crosstrek Exterior
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Subaru Crosstrek prices
Base 6MT $23,295
Base CVT $24,645
Premium 6MT $24,345
Premium CVT $25,695
Premium CVT $27,690
Sport CVT $27,545
Sport CVT $29,145
Limited CVT $29,045
Limited CVT $30,045
Limited CVT $31,440

Read our full review on the Subaru Crosstrek

Toyota Camry

Best Affordable Cars of 2020 High Resolution Exterior
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Although the Camry is widely regarded by car enthusiasts as one of the most boring vehicles ever made, there is a very good reason why it’s on the list. Simply put, you get a lot of car for the money. There aren’t many 193.2-inch (4,885 mm) sedans starting at $24,970. Even the TRD starts at just over $31,000. For the price, you get a comfortable midsize sedan, with lots of features as standard. It may not be the most exciting vehicle out there, but it will get you from A to B in a nice and relaxed manner. It may sound like a cliché but at the same time, you get the dependability Toyota is still known for.

Two engine options are available, both being naturally-aspirated. The base one is a 2.5-liter inline-four with 203 horsepower at 6,600 rpm and 184 pound-feet (249 Nm) at 5,000 rpm. With the base powertrain, you get average fuel consumption of 34 mpg (6.9L/100km). Of course, you can upgrade to the 3.5-liter naturally-aspirated V-6 which produces 302 horsepower at 6,600 rpm and 267 pound-feet (362 Nm) at 4,700 pm. At the same time, you can still achieve a very respectable 26 mpg (9L/100km) of combined fuel economy.

2018 Toyota Camry High Resolution Exterior
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Toyota Camry Prices
Toyota Camry LE FWD $24,970
Toyota Camry SE FWD $26,485
Toyota Camry Nightshade FWD $27,185
Toyota Camry XLE FWD $29,870
Toyota Camry XSE FWD $30,420
Toyota Camry TRD FWD $32,185
Toyota Camry XLE V6 FWD $34,995
Toyota Camry XSE V6 FWD $35,545
Toyota Camry LE AWD $26,370
Toyota Camry SE AWD $27,885
Toyota Camry Nightshade AWD $28,585
Toyota Camry XLE AWD $31,270
Toyota Camry XSE AWD $31,820

Read our full review on the Toyota Camry

Chevrolet Trailblazer

Best Affordable Cars of 2020 Exterior
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The golden bow tie brought back the Trailblazer name in an interesting way. What used to be a mid-size SUV in the past has returned as the entry-level crossover of the brand. Just like the previous entry, it’s a lot of car for the money. At 174 inches (4,413mm) it’s longer than the more expensive 168-inch Trax. The starting price for the Trailblazer is $ 19,000, which is over $ 2,000 less than the Trax. The Trailblazer is meant to be more of a budget car, but the interior is still a nice place to be, as well as providing adequate room for four passengers.

The base Trailblazer is front-wheel-drive only, but all-wheel-drive is optional. Should you go for the latter, you can switch between front and all-wheel-drive with the push of a button. Moreover, you can have the Trailblazer with Hankook Dynapro AT2 tires, which are fairly capable off-road too. The small crossover might actually live up to its big name.

You can choose between two EcoTec turbo-four engines. The base 1.2-liter makes 137 horsepower and 164 pound-feet (219 Nm) while the 1.3-liter produces 155 horsepower and 174 pound-feet (236 Nm). Front-wheel-drive cars are equipped with a CVT, while the all-wheel-drive version uses a nine-speed automatic. At the same time, the Trailblazer can return over 31 mpg (7.6L/100km).

2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer Exterior
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Chevrolet Trailblazer prices
Chevrolet Trailblazer L ECOTEC 1.2L Turbo engine $19,995
Chevrolet Trailblazer LS ECOTEC 1.2L Turbo engine $22,595
Chevrolet Trailblazer LT ECOTEC 1.2L Turbo engine $24,695
Chevrolet Trailblazer LT ECOTEC 1.3L Turbo engine $26,055
Chevrolet Trailblazer Activ ECOTEC 1.3L Turbo engine $26,495
Chevrolet Trailblazer RS ECOTEC 1.3L Turbo engine $26,495

Read our full review on the Chevrolet Trailblazer

Ford EcoSport

2018 Ford EcoSport High Resolution Exterior
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If a sub-compact urban crossover is what you are looking for, Ford has the perfect car for you. At just 161 inches (4,090mm), it’s the smallest mass-produced crossover currently on sale. At the same time, it has a maximum cargo space of almost 44 cubic-feet (1,240 liters) and a max load of 1,157 pounds (525 kg). At the same time, you get a variety of efficient small turbocharged engines, starting with the 1.0-liter EcoBoost which produces 125 horsepower and 125 pound-feet, or 140 horsepower and 133 pound-feet (180 Nm).

You can also opt for a 2.0-liter direct-injected normally-aspirated inline-four with 166 horsepower and 150 pound-feet. For Europe, a very efficient 1.5-liter turbodiesel is offered, producing up to 120 horsepower and 184 pound-feet (250 Nm). Each of the engines is offered with either a six-speed manual or a six-speed SelectShift automatic. The EcoSport sends power to the front wheels, but there is an optional all-wheel-drive. All of the available engines are very fuel-efficient with an EPA of up to 46 mpg (5L/100km) for the 1.0-liter EcoBoost and over 57 mpg (4L/100km) for the 1.5-liter EcoBlue diesel engines.

2018 Ford EcoSport High Resolution Exterior
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Ford EcoSport prices
Ford EcoSport S $19,995
Ford EcoSport SE $23,450
Ford EcoSport Titanium $26,265
Ford EcoSport SES $27,380

Read our full review on the Ford EcoSport

Dim Angelov
Dim Angelov
Born in 1992, I come from a family of motoring enthusiasts. My passion for cars was awoken at the age of six, when I saw a Lamborghini Diablo SV in a magazine. After high school I earned a master’s degree in marketing and a Master of Arts in Media and Communications. Over the years, I’ve practiced and become skilled in precision driving and to date have test driven more than 250 cars across the globe. Over the years, I’ve picked up basic mechanical knowledge and have even taken part in the restoration of a 1964 Jaguar E-Type and an Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint. Lately, I’ve taken a fancy to automotive photography, and while modern cars are my primary passion, I also have a love for Asian Martial Arts, swimming, war history, craft beer, historical weapons, and car restoration. In time, I plan my own classic car restoration and hope to earn my racing certificate, after which I expect to establish my own racing team.  Read full bio
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