The best cars under $30,000 in 2020

2019 Honda Accord

The 2020 Honda Accord begins at $24,975, so you’ll be able to add loads of extras and nonetheless keep beneath $30,000.


Customers are spending extra money on automobiles than ever earlier than as new automotive transaction costs proceed to climb. Nonetheless, a number of makes and fashions are cheaper than the $39,000 common new-car transaction value, and are simply as compelling or greater than, costlier choices.

So, we had our editors decide the most effective automobiles out there right this moment which have an MSRP beneath $30,000. There’s one thing for almost all people, together with these looking for their subsequent household sedan, midsize pickup truck, or perhaps a sports activities automotive. There are many nice sub-$30Okay choices out there.

(Be aware: Whereas all the automobiles listed right here have base MSRPs beneath $30,000, lots of them provide absolutely loaded trim ranges that may exceed this value cap. You can too learn our record of the most effective automobiles beneath $40,000 in 2020.)

Learn extra: Greatest midsize SUVs for the cash

2020 Subaru Forester

There are various, many nice automobiles out there on this value class, as you are about to see. For me, although, I want all-weather efficiency plus sufficient room for a few huge canine — standards that sadly guidelines out the now sedan-only WRX. I additionally want one thing that may tow a small trailer, carry a number of kayaks on a roof rack and with sufficient lively security programs to make my life simpler when cruising down the freeway to the airport at four a.m. The only option for me on this price range? It is the 2019 Subaru Forester.

It is not the sportiest automotive ever, however in Sport trim it at the very least seems the half, with a fetching white and orange paint job. 182 horsepower from the two.5-liter flat-four engine is simply sufficient oomph to maintain issues fascinating, whereas the CVT is… nicely, it is unobtrusive, at the very least. Pricing on the Forester begins at $25,505.

I might tick the field for the $795 tech package deal, which boosts the (already superb) EyeSight system with blind-spot monitoring and cross-traffic alerts, whereas additionally including the larger Starlink show. That takes the $28,405 Forester Sport to $29,200. Very, superb worth when in comparison with the closest Volvo. 

— Tim Stevens

Learn our most up-to-date Subaru Forester overview.

2020 Honda Accord

With shoppers speeding to purchase all the things formed like an SUV, individuals appear to have forgotten about what a beautiful and competent automotive the Honda Accord is. That is a small crime in my e-book, particularly as this 10th-generation mannequin (new for 2018) is such a sweetheart. It bundles sometimes Honda-thoughtful design and fascinating drive dynamics with a newfound dollop of refinement and calmness.

Priced from $27,785 with supply fees, even the bottom LX mannequin with the 1.5-liter turbo engine and CVT is a winner, however in case you’ve bought some extra coin to spend, the $27,785 Sport 1.5L Turbo is an entertaining-yet-capacious providing, which provides a handbook transmission for individuals who get pleasure from shifting, however nonetheless want area for his or her household. The highest-flight Touring mannequin prices $37,205 earlier than choices, nevertheless it seems and seems like one thing carrying an Acura badge. Test that — it is an excellent higher automotive than its TLX relative.

There’s a great deal of tech out there within the Accord, together with a head-up show, wi-fi charging, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a laundry record of superior driver aids. There’s even a fairly darn good Hybrid mannequin. I solely want the Accord supplied non-obligatory all-wheel drive, which may assist woo extra prospects away from crossovers and into this glossy sedan.

— Chris Paukert

Read our most recent Honda Accord review.

2020 Ford Ranger

Ford introduced again the Ranger midsize pickup for 2019, and it is already certainly one of our favourite vans within the class. For most individuals, a pickup this dimension provides loads of functionality, and its less-imposing dimensions than one thing like a Ford F-150 make it simpler to drive and stay with on the every day.

The Ranger is powered by a 2.Three-liter, turbocharged I4 engine, with a wholesome 270 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. A 10-speed computerized transmission handles shifting duties, and a selection of two- or four-wheel drive is out there. When it comes time to do truck stuff, the Ranger is without doubt one of the greatest selections within the section, in a position to tow as much as 7,500 kilos, and haul 1,860 kilos of payload in its mattress.

Certain, the cabin seems somewhat outdated, nevertheless it’s a pleasant place during which to spend time. The seats are comfy, the Sync Three infotainment tech is super-easy to make use of and provides a wealthy characteristic set. General, the Ranger simply seems like a right-sized truck — and on the proper time, too.

— Steven Ewing

Learn our most up-to-date Ford Ranger overview

2020 Mazda CX-5

It is not onerous to search out an inexpensive compact crossover on the market. It’s more durable, nevertheless, to search out one which feels prefer it may very well be priced $10,000 greater than it really is. The Mazda CX-5, by dint of its styling, inside therapy and energetic driving dynamics, performs above its price ticket.

Since being refreshed in 2017, the CX-5 has the journey high quality and inside quietness to match up with competing crossovers. It is gasoline environment friendly, simple to drive and many spacious for households and their belongings. Mazda additionally provides all the security tech you possibly can need, in addition to an infotainment system able to Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity.

Most of all, the Mazda CX-5 feels particular, whether or not you go for the bottom Sport trim degree (from $27,690 with vacation spot) to the $38,255 Signature mannequin, which packs a gutsy turbo engine. In a category of crossovers you purchase out of necessity, the CX-5 is the one entry you purchase out of want.

— Jake Holmes

Learn our most up-to-date Mazda CX-5 overview

2020 Honda Perception

The 2020 Honda Perception pulls off a surprisingly easy trick: Round city, it would not look or really feel a lot totally different from a run-of-the-mill Civic. However beneath its trendy — however not standoutish — exterior, it is hiding an electrified hybrid powertrain that delivers Prius-fighting gasoline financial system.

The sound of Honda’s series-hybrid motor takes some getting used to, however is well worth the financial system it returns. In its lightest spec, the Perception is rated at 55 miles per gallon metropolis and 49 mpg freeway. Nonetheless, Roadshow’s editors have been in a position to do even higher than these estimates throughout our testing with none hypermiling methods, and even a lot effort in any respect.

The Perception is solely a extremely good automotive that delivers nice financial system with out drawing consideration to how “inexperienced” it’s. It is also a discount, beginning at $23,850 with vacation spot. That leaves loads of room within the price range to contemplate the fully-loaded $29,110 Touring mannequin with its higher infotainment, LaneWatch security tech and superior creature comforts.

— Antuan Goodwin

Learn our most up-to-date Honda Perception overview.

2020 Hyundai Veloster N

I am a sucker for efficiency bargains and the Hyundai Veloster N is definitely one, contemplating its $27,600 base value will get you a punchy turbocharged engine, adaptive dampers, huge brakes and rad seems.

In customary trim, the N’s 2.Zero-liter turbocharged four-cylinder brings 250 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque to the celebration. That bolts as much as a slick-shifting six-speed handbook transmission with computerized rev-matching. The variable suspension provides three settings together with Regular for compliant road driving and Sport Plus if you really feel like attacking corners.

Optioning the $2,100 Efficiency Package deal livens issues up additional with a unique ECU tune enabling the turbo 4 to spit out 275 horses together with dealing with upgrades like a limited-slip differential, 19-inch wheels wrapped with sticky Pirelli P-Zero tires and larger brake rotors. Sadly, this most potent 2020 Veloster N fails to squeak in beneath $30,000, lacking the mark by lower than $700, however fortunately, the bottom automotive remains to be each bit as thrilling.

— Jon Wong

Learn our most up-to-date Hyundai Veloster N overview.

2020 Jeep Wrangler

If you wish to get out to the wilds of nature, nothing will get you there like a Jeep. The Wrangler was completely redesigned for 2018 and stays the most effective off-roading SUV you should buy.

Certain, with a purpose to get a Wrangler beneath $30,000 some concessions to consolation should be made, however you continue to get the regular Three.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine good for 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. Additionally included are a two-speed switch case and a six-speed handbook transmission. Plus, you’ll be able to take off the highest and the doorways for open-air highway journeys.

A base Wrangler is a good selection for individuals who would possibly solely sometimes want four-wheel drive. For those who’re seeking to customise your Wrangler, the bottom mannequin is a good place to begin, too. Why purchase a Rubicon in case you’re simply going to load it up with aftermarket axles and differential lockers? A two-door Sport begins at $28,295, plus $1,495 vacation spot.

— Emme Corridor

Learn our most up-to-date Jeep Wrangler overview.

2020 Mazda3 AWD

The 2020 Mazda3 elevates the sport, not only for the compact sedan/hatchback section, but additionally for the business as an entire. The front-wheel drive model is unbelievable, from the way in which it drives, to the way in which it seems inside and outside. The addition of all-wheel drive, nevertheless, provides some candy icing to an already-delicious cake.

Energy comes from a 2.5-liter 4 cylinder engine producing 186 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque despatched via a six-speed computerized transmission and on to all 4 wheels. Whereas not a efficiency automotive, that is loads of energy for enjoying via the twisties, whereas the terrific AWD reads the motive force’s inputs and readily apportions energy throughout all 4 corners.

The little all-weather Mazda is fairly environment friendly, too. The sedan returns an EPA-estimated 25 mpg within the metropolis and 33 mpg freeway. The hatchback returns barely decrease figures, rated at 24/32 metropolis/freeway mpg. The all-wheel drive sedan begins at $24,000 (plus $920 for vacation spot), whereas a loaded AWD hatch begins at $29,820. That places the Mazda3 on the costlier aspect of its competitors, however with how nicely it punches above its weight, the additional cash spent is nicely price it.

— Manuel Carrillo III

Learn our most up-to-date Mazda3 AWD overview.

2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI

The Jetta is best than it has been in years because of a current platform change that offers it entry to a lot of VW’s newest and best tech. It is not the final phrase in pleasure in its base trim ranges however if you make the bounce as much as the GLI, that each one adjustments.

The absolutely loaded Jetta GLI Autobahn trim provides VW’s Digital Cockpit, which is a little bit of tech unparalleled on the $30,000 degree. Digital Cockpit is not fairly as slick because the Digital Cockpit present in Audi’s automobiles, nevertheless it’s nonetheless so significantly better than what all people else has to supply at this value level. The remainder of the stuff we favored about the usual Jetta nonetheless holds true for the GLI, just like the premium-feeling supplies and the strong construct high quality.

The Jetta GLI is a riot on a again highway, a keen monitor day participant and a devoted freeway cruising companion. It is a automotive for any and all conditions and you would be hard-pressed to search out one thing that provides a lot for therefore short time asking for therefore few compromises.

— Kyle Hyatt

Learn our most up-to-date Volkswagen Jetta GLI overview.

2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Lots of the automobiles on this record are bastions of sensibility, however there’s nonetheless a lot of us who need one thing enjoyable that does not break the financial institution.

With 181 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque on faucet from its 2.Zero-liter I4, the 2020 MX-5 Miata is extra highly effective than it was once, and that little bump makes it far more palatable for every day driving and freeway overtakes.

Along with its newfound energy, it stays probably the most accessibly enjoyable automobiles on sale right this moment. It has the correct quantity of physique roll, making each flip just a bit extra enjoyable than it must be.

— Andrew Krok

Learn our most up-to-date Mazda MX-5 Miata overview.

First printed April 2019.