Base MSRP: $19,995
Fuel Economy: 17 mpg City, 25 mpg Highway
Starting at $19,995, and available for even lower with cash allowances and other incentives, the Dodge Grand Caravan is an unconventional choice for a vehicle under $20,000. But its versatility, comfortable interior and size makes it a great selection for consumers looking for a chariot on the cheap.
The Grand Caravan's most important feature, both from a usability stand-point and competitive stand-point, is that it is available with Stow'n Go seats. The second and third row seats can be folded into the floor. No more fumbling to release and remove awkward heavy seats and then trying to find a suitable place to store them.
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Base MSRP: $17,895
Fuel Economy: 25 mpg City, 34 mpg Highway
Subaru has enjoyed a cult following for years and it's easy to see why many Subaru drivers are so enamored with the brand. The Japanese automaker's cars are famous for their all-wheel drive capability, strong safety ratings, versatility and distinctive styling.
Car shoppers looking for something under $20,000 should give the Impreza a look. The car is available as a sedan or versatile hatchback and comes with all of the distinctions that make Subaru such a well-loved brand.
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Base MSRP: $18,095
Fuel Economy: 23 mpg City, 33 mpg Highway
The Volkswagen Golf is fun to drive, fuel-efficient and starts well under $20,000. Its German driving dynamics make it one of best affordable small cars to drive.
The Golf is available in two-door and four-door bodystyles. Though a 140-hp 2.0-liter TDI clean-diesel engine is available, car shoppers that want to stay under $20,000 will have to go with the 170-hp 2.5-liter inline five-cylinder gas engine.
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Base MSRP: $14,185
Fuel Economy: 26 mpg City, 35 mpg Highway
The Chevrolet Sonic was introduced for the 2012 model year, replacing the woeful Chevrolet Aveo. The Sonic is a massive improvement, with great styling and a more premium-feel interior.
The front-wheel drive Sonic is offered in two body styles; sedan and hatchback. All models come standard with a 138-hp 1.8-liter engine mated to a five-speed manual transmission. All trims have Bluetooth, steering wheel audio controls, and outside rearview mirrors with an integral spotter.
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Base MSRP: $17,600
Fuel Economy: 27 mpg City, 37 mpg Highway
The Veloster was introduced as an entirely new vehicle for Hyundai last year. The Veloster is super distinctive on the road and gets great fuel economy. It also starts at less than $18,000.
The Veloster is powered by a 138-hp 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine with gasoline direct-injection and variable valve timing combined with a six-speed manual transmission. Standard features include Bluetooth and a 7-inch LCD touchscreen.
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Base MSRP: $15,425
Fuel Economy: 27 mpg City, 33 mpg Highway
Though the Honda Fit is far form the most exciting or engaging car on our list, there's no denying that it's one of the best cars under $20,000. With legendary reliability, tons of interior space and more than enough room to haul your stuff, the Fit is a car that should absolutely be on your list if you're looking for a great car on the cheap.
The Fit offers five-passenger seating and a unique second-row "Magic Seat" that either folds flat with the cargo floor, or flips up to carry tall items behind the first row of seats. The Fit is available in two trim levels, base and Sport, both are powered by a 117-hp 1.5-liter i-VTEC four-cylinder engine with front-wheel drive and a choice of a five-speed manual or five-speed automatic.
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Base MSRP: $16,700
Fuel Economy: 25 mpg City, 33 mpg Highway
Most car enthusiasts love Mazda. The Japanese company's cars are always come with a fantastic combination of fuel economy, great styling, a low MSRP and, of course, excellent driving dynamics.
The Mazda3 is no exception to the rule. It is a blast to drive and starts at under $17,000. Though some of the trim levels will put the MSRP over $20,000, even the most basic Mazda3 is still a great purchase, especially in its practical hatchback form, which starts right at $20k.
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Base MSRP: $16,695
Fuel Economy: 28 mpg City, 38 mpg Highway
The editors at AOL Autos don't often agree on much, but we're all pretty much in agreement that the Elantra is the best car under $20,000. iThe Elantra comes with a great exterior design, stellar fuel efficiency and tons of standard features.
The Elantra is available in Sedan and Coupe body styles. Both body styles have seating for five and come with class-topping cargo capacity. Its 1.8L 4-cylinder is efficient and fun and its interior has a premium feel at a bargain price. If you need a car without breaking the back, you can't go wrong with the Elantra.
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