Cheap cars don't have to be poor-quality cars! Our favorite budget-friendly vehicles are not only affordable, they also offer lasting value that will continue to reward owners long after they drive off the dealership lot. Featuring quality craftsmanship, high-tech amenities and excellent fuel economy, our featured cheap cars provide a smart alternative for frugal consumers — and they all start at a price below $20,000.
XV Crosstrek 2.0i Limited
The all-new Subaru XV Crosstrek offers the versatility of an SUV in a small, city-friendly package. Fitted with symmetrical all-wheel drive and a punchy boxer 4-cylinder, this compact crossover is as comfortable on mountain roads as it is on urban streets.
Impreza 2.5i Premium
The Premium edition of Subaru's popular Impreza sedan adds aluminum alloy wheels, a 6-disc in-dash CD changer with SRS Circle Surround system, and stylish touches of leather to this quick compact car's already ample list of amenities.
Versa 1.6 SL Sedan Featuring a fuel-sipping 1.6-liter 4-cylinder and Nissan's new Xtronic continuously variable transmission, the 2012 Versa sedan is a thrifty and efficient choice for those shopping in the small car segment.
This boxy hatchback scoots on a 2.4-liter DOHC engine, and boasts a roomy interior along with features that include six speakers and vehicle stability control.
Small in size and low in price, the Kia Rio EX nonetheless makes a big impression with its stylish looks, solid performance and wealth of standard features, including satellite radio and Bluetooth wireless technology.
Ford Fiesta Sedan This stylish subcompact is a city-friendly fuel-sipper that won't break the bank. While the Fiesta's excellent fuel economy is the most obvious attraction, this small sedan also boasts extensive safety features and an impressive array of standard interior amenities.
Affordable, attractive and fuel-efficient, the Hyundai Elantra GLS is an ideal vehicle for city dwellers and freeway frequenters looking for something beyond the standard econobox.
Sonic Packing in plenty of value with its decently powerful 1.8-liter inline-4, quick handling and smart, no-nonsense instrumentation, the all-new Chevy Sonic hatchback comes as a welcome addition to the subcompact segment.
Fiesta Hatchback Showing off a clean aerodynamic form, this fuel-efficient five-door hatchback includes a five-speed manual transmission and comes with excellent safety features as well as all the audio sophistication and digital wireless communication capability now demanded by young buyers.
This cute subcompact packs in a lot of value in its pint-sized frame. Featuring a 1.8-liter inline-4 and continuously variable transmission, the Versa SL offers decent performance and great gas mileage at an affordable price.
Kia Forte EX
Dynamically styled, this compact sedan is designed to combine a sporty personality with fuel-efficient pragmatism. The value-oriented five-passenger vehicle is furnished with a peppy 156-horsepower four-cylinder engine and a standard five-speed manual transmission, giving it a 34 mpg rating on the highway.
The aptly-named Suzuki SX4 Sportback is a fun-to-drive 5-door hatchback that combines excellent handling and peppy acceleration with a comfortable, well-equipped interior. Drivers looking for a little more performance from their compact city car will do well to check out this agile economy hatchback.
Featuring sporty exterior styling and a lengthy list of standard features, including cruise control and a digital multi-information display, the Scion xD is truly a budget car with character. Added to the hatchback's already ample amenities are a host of in-car entertainment options, making the xD the epitome of subcompact cool.
Chevrolet Aveo LT For drivers who are looking for a way to run around town but also have fuel economy in mind, this Korean-built econobox fits the bill — the Aveo gets up to 23 mpg on city thoroughfares, and provides riders with a well-laid out, spacious interior.