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10 Best Used Compact Cars Under $20,000


Are you looking for a great commuter, city car, or daily driver for less than $20,000? Do you want a compact car that’s easy to maneuver and park? Would you like that car to be new enough to be still covered by warranty in many cases? If so, you’ll find something to love on our list of the 10 best used compact cars under $20,000.

1. 2017 Buick Verano

2017 Buick Verano

Compact but still premium, the 2017 Buick Verano gets standard 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot capability, a 7-inch touch screen, cruise control, and more as standard equipment. Rated for 31 mpg on the highway, the Verano could also be one of the best deals on this list, often trading hands well below the $20,000 mark, even for nicely kept examples. See 2017 Buick Verano models for sale

2. 2019 Chevrolet Cruze

2019 Chevrolet Cruze in pewter.

The 2019 Chevrolet Cruze stands out in the compact car class for its ride quality and style. For those seeking a fuel-efficient modern diesel engine in a compact car, this is one of your only choices, and it scores 37 mpg combined per the EPA. See 2019 Chevrolet Cruze models for sale

3. 2017 Honda Civic

2017 Honda Civic Front Left Charcoal Grey

A perennial favorite of value-focused drivers, the Honda Civic has something to satisfy everyone from the enthusiast to the fuel miser, thanks to a collection of fun turbocharged engines capable of up to 40 mpg. See 2017 Honda Civic models for sale

4. 2019 Hyundai Elantra

2019 Hyundai Elantra

Sophisticated and stylish, with a phenomenal warranty, the 2019 Hyundai Elantra ranges from sporty models like the Elantra GT to more fuel-efficient variants capable of up to 40 mpg on the highway. Look for models equipped with optional Qi wireless charging if your phone supports it. See 2019 Hyundai Elantra models for sale

5. 2020 Kia Forte

2020 Kia Forte

The 2020 Kia Forte is the newest car on this list, with a roomy interior, strong standard safety features, a standard 8-inch touch screen, efficient powertrains — including an available manual transmission — and Kia’s excellent warranty. See 2020 Kia Forte models for sale

6. 2019 Kia Soul

2019 Kia Soul front left in orange

While it’s technically a compact hatchback, the 2019 Kia Soul could also meet some folks’ definition of a compact crossover. Whatever you call it, it’s a practical, spacious option with good fuel economy and a host of available advanced safety features. See 2019 Kia Soul models for sale

7. 2018 Mazda3

2018 Mazda3

Sportier than the rest and good-looking too, the 2018 Mazda3 is the enthusiast’s pick of the litter, but it’s also efficient and the winner of a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the IIHS. See 2018 Mazda3 models for sale

8. 2017 Subaru Impreza

2017 Subaru Impreza

The 2017 Subaru Impreza is the only vehicle on this list to come standard with all-wheel drive, so if that’s a must, this is your pick. It’s also sharply styled, available as a hatchback, and offers Subaru’s EyeSight active safety suite. See 2017 Subaru Impreza models for sale

9. 2019 Toyota Corolla

2019 Toyota Corolla

If you’re looking for a cost-conscious commuter that’s also easy on gas, shop for the 2019 Toyota Corolla LE Eco, which scores up to 40 mpg on the highway. Opt for more luxurious XLE or sportier XSE trims, and you’ll get an upgraded infotainment system with a 7-inch screen and synthetic leather upholstery. See 2019 Toyota Corolla models for sale

10. 2018 Volkswagen Jetta

2018 Volkswagen Jetta Front Left Side in Silver

The last year before its redesign, the 2018 Volkswagen Jetta doesn’t look like the current one — but it’s still a great value, with a 6-year, 72,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and highly efficient powertrain configurations good for up to 40 mpg, as well as an available manual transmission. See 2018 Volkswagen Jetta models for sale

10 Best Used Compact Cars Under $20,000

  1. 2017 Buick Verano
  2. 2019 Chevrolet Cruze
  3. 2017 Honda Civic
  4. 2019 Hyundai Elantra
  5. 2020 Kia Forte
  6. 2019 Kia Soul
  7. 2018 Mazda3
  8. 2017 Subaru Impreza
  9. 2019 Toyota Corolla
  10. 2018 Volkswagen Jetta

Andrew Ganz
Andrew Ganz
Andrew Ganz is an author specializing in helping in-market consumers get the most bang for their buck -- and the best car, while they're at it. When not virtually shopping for new and used cars, Andrew can probably be found under the hood of a vintage classic that's rapidly losing fluids.

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