Coolest Cars Under $20,000

The Mazda 3 was named the coolest car under $20,000. (Source: Kelley Blue Book)

IRVINE, CA — The average new car on the road today costs more than $35,000. But editors at the Kelley Blue Book have chosen the 10 Coolest New Cars Under $20,000 for 2018, proving you can find an affordable vehicle that still turns heads. The Mazda3 takes the No. 1 spot on this year’s list and has been named a Kelley Blue Book Coolest Car every year of the vehicle’s 15-year existence.

“Even at a lower price point, the 10 Coolest New Cars Under $20,000 are loaded with tech and safety features andoffered in sharp and versatile packages,” said Michael Harley, executive editor for Kelley Blue Book. “Both good-looking and exciting to drive, these top picks are worth closer consideration by today’s budget-minded shopper.”

Kelley Blue Book’s 10 Coolest New Cars Under $20,000 for 2018

Rank

Year

Make

Model

Editorial Comments

1

2018

Mazda

Mazda3

Available in both sedan and hatchback form, the Mazda3 offers practicality that appeals to compact car buyers, with sportiness that makes even daily chores more fun. 

2

2018

Honda

Civic

Kelley Blue Book’s Small Car Best Buy of 2018, the Civic is a well-rounded car offered as a sedan or coupe that’s comfortable, roomy, practical, efficient, packed with cool tech, and a blast to drive.

3

2018

Hyundai

Kona

The Kona was given a healthy dose of modern style, and the clean, crisp cabin is filled with a bevy of connectivity and advanced safety features.

4

2018

Volkswagen

Golf

Euro-tuned handling and a sporty attitude are only part of what makes the Golf such an appealing car.

5

2018

Kia

Soul

Few vehicles match the Kia Soul’s alluring combination of bold style, SUV-like versatility, and practicality, with a roster of standard and available features that add to the Soul’s value.

6

2018

Jeep

Renegade

Of all the vehicles on this list, the Renegade is the one that can get you the furthest beyond where the pavement ends.

7

2018

Subaru

Impreza

Already earning extra credit for its standard all-wheel drive, a recent redesign gives the Impreza sedan and hatchback sharper looks, more refinement and a larger palette of tech and convenience features, all while retaining the strong value proposition and reliability for which Subaru is known. 

8

2018

Honda

Fit

This diminutive hatchback has a feature called the Magic Seat that gives the interior space and versatility that rivals that of a small SUV. The combination of practicality and pep at an affordable price makes the Fit a hard car to resist. 

9

2018

Hyundai

Elantra

The all-new Elantra GT hatchback expands the Elantra lineup, adding a dose of likable style and five-door versatility to the mix. 

10

2018

Chevrolet

Sonic

The Sonic’s starting price of $16,170 makes it the most affordable car on this list. But what keeps Chevrolet’s subcompact sedan and hatch on our list of coolest cars is its compelling combination of tech, comfort and a fun attitude, all wrapped in redesigned sheet metal.

Two longstanding criteria – that the vehicle is both fun to drive and fun to own – are critical among the deciding factors of what Kelley Blue Book editors freely admit is a very subjective “cool factor,” which is also the over-arching No. 1 criterion for a vehicle to place on this list. Each vehicle is available for purchase starting at $20,000 or less*, using Kelley Blue Book’s exclusive Fair Purchase Price as the yardstick. Kelley Blue Book® Fair Purchase Price and Fair Market Range are part of KBB.com’s Price Advisor tool, showing what consumers can reasonably expect to pay this week in their area for a new vehicle when purchasing from a dealer. Factors such as current market conditions, vehicle availability, local demand, and seasonal buying trends all help determine a vehicle’s Fair Market Range and Fair Purchase Price.

To see KBB.com’s full coverage of the 10 Coolest New Cars Under $20,000 for 2018, including full editorial comments about each model, pricing details, vehicle photography, inventory and more, visit https://www.kbb.com/car-news/all-the-latest/coolest-new-cars-under-20000/2100005410/.