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Best Used Subcompact Cars Under $20,000

Over the years, cars have gotten bigger and bigger. Today, compact cars are the size of midsize cars from 15 years ago, which created an opportunity for a new, smaller class of vehicle. Enter the subcompact. A step down from compacts in size, subcompact cars are all about efficiency and typically offer fuel-efficient engines and, oftentimes, practical hatchback bodystyles. Here are some of our favorite used subcompact cars under $20,000 for 2020.

2017 Honda Fit

2017 Honda Fit

The Fit is a highly practical subcompact hatchback. It offers a large cargo area with more room than you’d expect, which is made even better by a unique flat-folding front passenger seat. The Fit packs a small 4-cylinder engine, putting out a 130 horsepower. Transmission options are either a 6-speed manual or a continuously variable automatic. Beyond its reasonably large cargo area, the Fit comes with good driving dynamics and a nicer interior than you’d probably expect. There are currently over 1,000 third-generation Honda Fits to choose from on Autotrader for under $20,000. Find a Honda Fit for sale

2017 Jeep Renegade

2017 Jeep Renegade

The Renegade is a pint-sized SUV from Jeep. The smallest vehicle in the company’s lineup, the Renegade is built in Italy and shares its platform with the Fiat 500X. The Renegade comes with a basic 4-cylinder engine and with either front or all-wheel drive. A number of different trims are available, the most interesting of which is the Trailhawk model, which comes with all-terrain tires, a unique AWD system, a slightly taller ride height and more. While it won’t hang with any Wranglers, the Renegade Trailhawk makes for a fun little off-roader, great for tackling forest roads that would otherwise be a little intimidating in any of the other vehicles on this list. There are currently thousands of used Renegades from the 2015-2019 model years listed on Autotrader for under $20,000. Find a Jeep Renegade for sale

2017 Toyota Prius C

2017 Toyota Prius C

A few years ago, Toyota made an effort to turn the Prius model into a family of vehicles, one of which was the Prius C. While the regular Prius is a compact, the Prius C was a pint-sized subcompact. It used a basic 4-cylinder engine, making just 99 hp but returned an impressive 46 miles per gallon combined. Otherwise, the Prius C was pretty slow and had an underwhelming interior but as a result, has depreciated rather quickly, making it a great value as a fuel-efficient gas-powered subcompact. The Prius C was sold from 2013 to 2019 and there are currently around 600 Prius Cs listed for sale on Autotrader for $20k or less. Find a Toyota Prius C for sale

2017 Mazda CX-3

2017 Mazda CX-3

Mazdas are known for offering great handling, upscale designs and high-quality interiors. While it spent the past few years as the least expensive vehicle in Mazda’s lineup, the CX-3 offered most of the same credentials offered in Mazda’s bigger models but in a small package, great for use as an urban runabout. Under the hood is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder making 146 hp and 146 lb-ft of torque. An available i-Activesense package introduces features like automatic emergency braking. Sales of the CX-3 started in 2016 and there are currently over 1,000 sub-$20,000 examples listed for sale on Autotrader. Find a Mazda CX-3 for sale

2017 Audi Q3

2017 Audi Q3

If you’re looking for a little luxury from your subcompact vehicle, consider a used Audi Q3. Built on a platform shared with the Volkswagen Golf and Audi A3, the Q3 packs a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine making 200 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque. The Q3 can be had with either FWD or AWD and offers luxurious styling and sporty driving dynamics. There are currently close to 400 Audi Q3s listed for sale on Autotrader for around $20k or less. Find a Audi Q3 for sale

2017 Kia Soul

2017 Kia Soul

As far as used subcompact cars under $20,000 go, the Soul is probably the quirkiest. It’s shaped a lot like an SUV, with a squared-off design and an elevated ride height, but it doesn’t come with AWD, so it’s more appropriate to call it a hatchback. That said, its proportions mean it can haul as much as vehicles competing a class up in the compact segment. The Soul was all-new for the 2020 model year, and it’s possible to find a nicely-equipped previous-generation model for well under our $20,000 target. The Soul was sold in its second generation from the 2014 to 2019 model years. There are over 1,000 second-gen Souls listed on Autotrader that would fit the bill. Find a Kia Soul for sale

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