When buying a new or used car, it’s helpful to set a budget for what you can afford to spend. Finding the best new cars under $20,000 or the best used deals can help keep your payments affordable if you’re financing your vehicle purchase.
Any time you’re buying a car, cost may be one of the biggest factors in your decision-making. When looking for a vehicle, $20,000 may be your maximum limit for spending if you’re sticking closely to a car-buying budget. Fortunately, there are a number of vehicles you can get at or below that price in Canada, both new and used. Take a look at our top 12 recommendations for the best cars under $20,000 to consider buying now.
12 Best Cars Under $20,000 to Buy In Canada
1. Hyundai Accent
The 2019 Hyundai Accent has a base price of $15,915 USD, making it one of the best new cars under $20,000 if you’re hoping to buy a brand-new vehicle. This car features a six-speed manual transmission and decent horsepower. While it’s no-frills in terms of extras, it delivers plenty of bang for your buck if you’re looking for that new car smell without a high price tag.
2. Toyota RAV4
Buying a small SUV may be on your mind if you’re looking for something rugged but dependable for navigating Canadian winters. Purchased new, the Toyota RAV4 passes $20,000 but it’s possible to get slightly used models as new as 2018 for under the $20K mark. This is one to consider if you’re looking for a solid mix of price, decent gas mileage and enhanced safety features and you don’t necessarily need to buy new.
3. Honda Civic
The Honda Civic is always a crowd-pleaser and for good reason. First, they’re highly affordable, even when purchased new. As far as the best new cars under $20,000 go, you can buy a 2019 model for less than that. The Honda Civic is roomy and comfortable, not to mention it gets great gas mileage. Though it’s a smaller vehicle, the Civic still packs plenty of horsepower punch and it won Kelley Blue Book’s Best Buy award in the 2019 compact car category.
4. Toyota Camry
The Toyota Camry is worth a look if you’re interested in buying a midsize car for under $20,000. The average price for a used 2018 model is just over $18,000 and these cars have high owner satisfaction and reliability ratings. Despite having a V6 engine, the 2018 and 2017 models are both fuel-efficient. The Camry also comes with some nifty standard safety equipment, such as automatic braking, pedestrian detection and adaptive cruise control.
5. Subaru Impreza
The Subaru brand has a stellar reputation for safety and the Impreza five-door model could be a good fit if you have a family or plan to start one soon. The base price for 2019 models is just shy of $20,000 but you can find 2018 or older models in good condition for less than that. All-wheel drive is standard on the 2019 model, which is a nice feature you won’t always find with other hatchbacks.
6. Honda Ridgeline
Having a pickup truck can come in handy if you’re navigating more varied terrain and the Honda Ridgeline is one of the best used cards under $20,000. (Buying new can cost closer to $30K.) The good news is, there are still plenty of great options for finding reasonably priced 2014 models or earlier. Though not a true off-road vehicle, the Ridgeline can still be handy if you need to make your way through ice and snow in winter or spring.
7. Nissan Kicks
The Nissan Kicks is a vehicle that’s small but sporty, which might be just what you’re looking for. The 2019 model starts at less than $19,000, which is great if you want to trade up to a new car from used or you want to buy something new that you can keep for the long haul. It doesn’t necessarily have a ton of horsepower but the Kicks makes up for that with excellent fuel economy and overall fun feel.
8. Mazda Mazda3
The Mazda Mazda3 ranks as one of the best cars under $20,000 for drivers who want some hi-tech features in a moderately priced vehicle. For example, the 2019 model comes equipped with safety features you’d normally expect in a luxury vehicle, including lane departure and forward collision warning systems. It’s reportedly short on trunk space but with pricing starting at around $17,000, the cost can more than make up for that.
9. Volkswagen Jetta
Volkswagen is another carmaker that’s known for putting the safety of its drivers first and the 2019 Jetta is a steal at under $20,000. As a compact sedan, the standard model has a streamlined design with some nice tech touches, including Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration. It’s got just enough horsepower to give it some ‘oomph’ while still maintaining a solid combined fuel economy of 34 miles per gallon.
10. Toyota Corolla iM
The Toyota Corolla iM is in the same vehicle class size as the Mazda3 and price-wise, it’s a great option when looking for the best used cars under $20,000. The 2018 models start at just over $15,000 while 2017 models go for $14,625 on average. This car offers solid handling and great gas mileage, although it doesn’t come with a lot of extra bells and whistles. It could be a good choice if you need a used car that’s affordable and dependable to get you from A to B each day or you’re planning a longer road trip.
11. Chevy Cruze
With a base price of $18,870, the 2019 Chevy Cruze is a great choice for newer drivers thanks to its great range of safety features. It’s a sleek and eye-catching sedan with all the standard features you’d expect. Gas mileage is in the usual range for a sedan of this size, as is the horsepower under the hood. Overall, it’s the total package, whether you’re choosing to buy new or looking at a lower-priced older model.
12. Hyundai Veloster
Aside from a base price of around $19,400, the 2019 Hyundai Veloster has something else going for it: it’s just plain cool. It’s got a unique, sporty design that features two doors on the passenger side, something that’s rare in other vehicles in this class. While it doesn’t have quite as much power as the more expensive turbo and high-performance versions, the standard Veloster still has plenty of get up and go, without a hefty price tag.
Whether you’re shopping for a new or used car, it’s important to find the right lender to work when you need financing. At Birchwood Credit Solutions, we offer an extensive inventory of vehicles priced at $20,000 or less. Visit us today to browse our selection of quality cars and SUVs or start an online application to find out what kind of financing you qualify for.