The 2017 model year brings with it several amazing new cars – many of which won’t sap your entire budget every month in car payments. Upgrading your ride doesn’t just mean fancier wheels; it means a safer, more connected, more efficient, and more fun driving experience every single day. We’ve put together a list of 2017’s 10 best new cars under $20,000 so you can find the perfect ride for this year’s new you.
Best New Cars for 2017 under $20,000
2017 Nissan Sentra
Powering the 2017 Nissan Sentra is a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder that makes 130 hp and is mated to either a 6-speed manual or CVT transmission. Though base performance may not impress, the 2017 model year Sentra is now offered in SR Turbo trim, which increases output to 188 hp and includes bigger front brakes and a stiffer suspension. All new Sentras are available with safety features like blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and adaptive cruise control. Prices for the entry level Sentra start at $16,990.
2017 Fiat 500X
The 2017 Fiat 500X is available in three trims: Pop, Trekking, and Lounge. Standard on every 500X is electronic stability control, electric power steering, active front head restraints, bi-halogen headlights, air conditioning, keyless entry, and power windows. Prices start at $19,995.
Photo Credit: Toyota
2017 Toyota Corolla
Unchanged for 2017 is the Corolla’s powertrain, a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder that delivers 132hp standard, and can make 140hp with Toyota’s Valvematic system. Transmission options include a 6-speed manual, 4-speed automatic, or CVT. Also new is a standalone safety tech package that includes automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning and assist, and automatic high-beam headlights. Prices for the 2017 Corolla start at $18,500.
2017 Ford Focus
Ford’s latest SYNC 3 infotainment system with voice-activated functions and a smart interface is a highlight, but the Focus really shines in the way it handles. If you can spare the extra coin (more than double the price of a base Focus), the new RS version is one crazy hot hatch. Prices for the 2017 Ford Focus start at $16,775 for the sedan, or $19,675 for the hatchback.
Photo Credit: Volkswagen
2017 Volkswagen Golf
Entry-level 2017 Golf models feature a turbocharged 1.8-liter 4-cylinder that delivers 170 hp and 199 lb-ft of torque, available with your choice of 6-speed manual or 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmissions. Pick the base motor and you can expect an incredible 37 mpg of mixed-cycle driving. It’s one of the more expensive vehicles on this list, with prices starting at $19,895, but we are confident you’ll feel it’s money well spent.
Photo Credit: Subaru
2017 Subaru Impreza
As styling goes, the new Impreza looks similar to previous years, but with smoother angles. Both 4-door and 5-door bodystyles will be available. The Impreza will again be offered as a 4-door sedan and 5-door hatchback. Inside, the dashboard features an 8-inch infotainment screen, which pairs well with the redesigned, more spacious cabin. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on every trim. Power comes from an updated 2.0-liter 4-cylinder that makes 152 hp. All four wheels are motivated via a CVT transmission, but we expect a manual will come later. We can’t wait to get behind the wheel this month. Prices start at $18,395.
Photo Credit: Cherise LaPine Threewitt
2017 Hyundai Elantra
Prices for the 2017 Elantra start at $17,895 for manual-equipped models, and include air conditioning, cloth seats, front seat height adjusters, a tilt/telescopic steering wheel, satellite radio, and USB port. While that isn’t a generous list of equipment, just $800 extra brings with it aluminum wheels, automatic headlights, heated side mirrors, cruise control, and a touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth, a reversing camera, and smartphone projection technology in the form of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Photo Credit: General Motors
2017 Chevrolet Cruze
Powering the 2016 Chevy Cruze is a new 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder making 155 hp and returning 40 mpg on the highway. Those who like to stay connected will love the 2017 Cruze for its standard 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, several in-car apps, and available Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Those who are trendy will love the Cruze for its striking design.
Photo Credit: Honda
2017 Honda Civic Hatchback
All 2017 Honda Civic Hatch models feature a 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that delivers 174 hp to the front wheels via a 6-speed manual or CVT transmission. The Civic hatch can be optioned with the latest in safety and infotainment features to make it feel thoroughly upscale. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and automatic braking assist are among the Civic’s best safety and convenience features.
Photo Credit: Mazda
2017 Mazda Mazda3 Sedan
Mazda’s SkyActiv design means lighter weight, and now its G-Vectoring technology means improved handling. Put simply, G-Vectoring responds to steering inputs by changing engine and throttle response for sharper cornering. Engine options for 2017 include a standard 2.0-liter 4-cylinder that makes 155 hp and a 2.5-liter unit with an improved 184 hp. Mazda’s best 4-door compact yet starts at $18,345 when you choose a 6-speed manual.