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6 Good New Subcompact Cars Under $20,000 for 2019

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author photo by Chris O'Neill June 2019

If you need basic, reliable transportation on a budget, a new subcompact car is often the way to go. Offering good fuel efficiency and a full manufacturer's warranty, cost of ownership on these vehicles is typically low, while the availability of practical hatchback body styles on many means you can haul a lot of stuff, which comes in handy in a variety of scenarios. On top of that, many come packed with helpful features, making them a great value. Here we've listed six of our favorite new subcompact cars that make good options for someone working with a budget of under $20,000 here in 2019.

Honda Fit

Honda Fit

In addition to being highly practical, the Fit garners praise for its refined interior design and dialed-in handling characteristics. Under the hood is a 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine making 130 horsepower and paired with either a continuously variable automatic or a 6-speed manual transmission. Fuel economy comes in at around 29 miles per gallon in the city and 36 mpg on the highway. Opting for the CVT opens you up to active safety features like automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control, which maintains a set distance between you and the vehicle in front of you whenever it's engaged. The Fit starts at just $17,110, while opting for the automatic transmission adds another $800 to that figure. Buyers wanting as much car as possible for under $20,000 should look to a Fit EX, positioned one step down from the top-of-the-line EX-L trim. Optioned with the automatic transmission, the Fit EX comes in at $19,880 and includes niceties like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a sunroof and all of the active safety features mentioned above. Find a Honda Fit for sale

Hyundai Accent

Hyundai Accent

The Accent is Hyundai's subcompact sedan. Under the hood is a 130-hp 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine. A fully-loaded Hyundai Accent Limited comes in right at $20,000, making this one of the most value-packed new subcompact cars you can buy. For this amount, buyers get a 6-speed automatic transmission, a 7-in touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, a full array of active safety features including automatic high beams, blind spot monitoring and forward-collision mitigation, a sunroof and push button start. Additionally, Hyundai offers an industry-leading warranty program, offering 5 years or 60,000 miles of basic coverage and 10 years or 100,000 miles of powertrain coverage. Needless to say, a new Accent can be had loaded with features and thanks to that great warranty, should leave you with lots of smiles and few headaches for years to come. Find a Hyundai Accent for sale

Ford Fiesta

Ford Fiesta

A leader in the subcompact segment for several years now, Ford has announced that it will be discontinuing the Fiesta in the United States in the near future, so no matter what trim level or body style you're after, dealer discounts and incentives mean you're likely to find great value in a new Fiesta. The Fiesta sedan starts at around $15,000 while the hatchback is slightly more expensive, with a starting price of around $16,000. We like the sporty ST-Line trim offered on the hatchback, which comes with a black roof, 16-in dark-finish alloy wheels and the body kit from the performance-oriented Fiesta ST. Speaking of the Fiesta ST, the Fiesta's hot-hatch variant carries a starting price of around $22,000, which is obviously above our $20,000 budget, but depending on current dealer incentives, there's a good chance you can drive off in one for under $20,000 as well, making it one of the best performance car values on the market. The Fiesta ST uses a turbocharged 1.3-liter 4-cylinder engine making a respectable 180 hp and 214 lb-ft of torque. Every Fiesta ST comes with a smooth shifting 6-speed manual transmission, along with a sport suspension and Recaro sport seats, among other things. Find a Ford Fiesta for sale

Kia Soul

Kia Soul

The funky, boxy Kia Soul offers great practicality in a subcompact car package. Thanks to its upright proportions, the Soul can swallow as much cargo as some compact SUVs, especially once you fold the rear seats down. Despite it being front-wheel drive (FWD) only (no all-wheel drive option is offered) the Soul offers an upright driving position that will satisfy those who aspire to own an SUV. Kia has introduced an all-new Soul for the 2020 model which starts at around $18,000 with a 6-speed manual transmission, or $19,500 with an automatic. Included is a 7-in infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, although to get active safety features like forward-collision mitigation, blind spot monitoring and lane-keeping assist, you've got to opt for the S model, which starts at around $21,000, although that price includes an automatic transmission. If it's value you're after, look for a leftover 2019 Kia Soul, which offers the same efficient dimensions as the new model, but at a lower out-the-door price as dealers clear room for the new model. No matter which one you choose, the Soul offers a great blend of SUV dimensions and economy car efficiency. Find a Kia Soul for sale

Nissan Versa Note

Nissan Versa Note

The subcompact Versa is available in two body styles: sedan, which carries a low, low, low starting price of only $13,355 when factoring in fees and destination charges, or hatchback, which comes in at an also-low $16,545 when accounting for the same fees. As we tend to do, we recommend the hatchback (which Nissan brands as the Versa Note) for its added practicality, not to mention the fact that it wears a more sophisticated design than the sedan, which has some bulbous proportions. Buyers wanting to stay under $20,000 have their pick of the entire Versa lineup, as even a fully loaded Versa Note SR comes in at just $19,255 while including fog lights, 16-in 5-spoke alloy wheels, a roof spoiler and passive keyless entry with a push-button start. The Versa isn't high on features, and frankly, a competitor like the Honda Fit is more refined and offers more in the way of safety and infotainment technology. That said, Nissan is known for offering steep discounts on its products, and you're likely to be able to drive a Versa off the lot for well under the price suggested on the window sticker. Find a Nissan Versa Note for sale

Chevrolet Sonic Hatch

Chevrolet Sonic Hatch

The Sonic is available as both a sedan and hatchback. Prices for the sedan start at around $16,000, while the hatchback starts at around $18,800, although Chevrolet's habit for offering its vehicles at a strong discount should serve to drive these down by a few grand. The Sonic Hatch can be had in a variety of cool colors like Orange Burst Metallic, Kinetic Blue Metallic, or the eye-searing Shock, which is a highlighter yellow. There's also an available performance package and driver confidence package, the latter of which adds rear park assist, forward-collision warning and lane-departure warning for $495. The Sonic Hatch comes powered by a 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine making 138 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque and paired with either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic transmission, all of which serve to give the vehicle slightly more engaging driving characteristics than your average humdrum econobox. The Sonic Hatch also offers a 7-in infotainment screen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard. Since a fully-loaded Sonic Hatch comes in at just over $21,000 when factoring in General Motors incentives, buyers looking to pick one up for under $20,000 have a variety of options. Find a Chevrolet Sonic for sale

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New 2019 Honda Fit LX
New 2019 Honda Fit
MSRP $17,910
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New 2019 Honda Fit LX
New 2019 Honda Fit
MSRP $17,910
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New 2019 Honda Fit EX
New 2019 Honda Fit
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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
6 Good New Subcompact Cars Under $20,000 for 2019 - Autotrader