5 Used Cars for Under $20,000 – Find your (Affordable) Dream Car!

October 24th, 2016 by


Buying from the selection of used cars for sale in NY is a great way to start saving money when it comes to automotive life. Not only that, it’s also a great way to get that car you’ve always dreamed of for an affordable price. As you read through this list of used cars for under $20,000 — ranked from the cheapest to most expensive — you’ll be surprised to see a luxury nameplate on here. You’ll also be surprised that buying used gives you more wiggle room compared to buying a new car. Instead of being fast-tracked into buying an affordable economy sedan, why not buy a better-quality (and more fun) used luxury vehicle for a KBB (Kelley Blue Book) fair purchase price that’s less than the base-trim of the aforementioned new economy sedan?

Keep in mind, the price will fluctuate depending on certain factors like condition and dealership location. Therefore, don’t take these prices as set in stone figures. Rather, use them as a reliable way to get an estimate of how much you’ll be paying for one of these models.

  1. 2012 Ford Fusion

If buying luxury isn’t your thing and you’re looking to buy used just to save money, you’ll be happy to see a few of the more affordable brands made this list.

For example, the 2012 Ford Fusion, coming in at a KBB price of $10,034, is a great way to save some money. Not only that, but it’s providing you great value for your dollar when it comes to the midsize car segment. With an attractive interior design, plenty of storage space — 16.5 cu. ft. — and surprisingly comfortable front and rear seats, along with a powerful V6 engine lurking under the hood that gets 18 mpg city and 27 mpg highway, the 2012 Fusion won’t disappoint for a price like that. Plus, it was named a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety).

While the fair purchase price is around $10K, it can range anywhere from $11,805 to $15,286 depending on condition and trim level, with 61,000 being the typical mileage.

2. 2010 Subaru Forester

Who would have thought you’d be able to find a Subaru for $11,029? The 2010 Forester makes that possible, and in good or better condition it can range from $9,634 to $12,414 with 89,000 miles.

You won’t be disappointed with this SUV. In typical Subaru fashion, AWD (all-wheel drive) is standard, and it has a lot of legroom in the front and back. Cargo space is 68.3 cu. ft. when the seats are folded down. Which is, again, not unusual to see for a Subaru; since all Subaru vehicles are about utility and performance. It’s also a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS for this model year, and gets 20 mpg city and 26 mpg highway. Slightly under par when it comes to fuel economy, but the 2.5-liter flat four-cylinder engine puts out 170 horsepower and 170 lb.-ft. of torque.

3. 2015 Honda CR-Z

Looking for something a little flashier and more fun? Enter the 2015 CR-Z for a KBB fair purchasing price of $14,144, or as little as $13,143 to $15,144 in good or better condition, with a typical mileage around 26,000.

The CR-Z is actually a two-seater hybrid model, powered by a four-cylinder engine with an electric motor. The power is irrelevant, because with hybrid models it’s all about the fuel economy — which is an astounding 36 mpg city and 39 mpg highway. Net yourself this car, and you’ll experience even more savings after the initial purchase. It’s not a boring ride either, and has features like Bluetooth, Pandora, and hands-free texting capability. Plus, it’s only a 2015 model, which means it’s practically brand new.

4. 2012 Cadillac CTS

Yes, you read that right. Cadillac and $14,845 are side-by-side in the same breath.

Need I even go into detail why this is worth the price? It’s a Cadillac, specifically, a luxury-sport sedan. Therefore, you shouldn’t be surprised to learn about its V6 engine that puts out 18 mpg city and 27 mpg highway, excellent driving dynamics, and upscale interior. With satellite radio played through an eight-speaker sound system as standard equipment, you’ll really feel like you nabbed a great deal on this vehicle.

Which is the primary reason to buy it — simply because it’s an expensive luxury vehicle for a cheaper price. Even getting one in good or better condition, not at the KBB fair purchase price, will range from $11,805 to $15,286, with typical mileage hovering around 61,000. The low mileage is just an added bonus.

5. 2012 Nissan Frontier

With a KBB fair purchase price of $17,690, the 2012 Nissan Frontier is a cheap way out for those who need a truck for towing around the farm, or modding for light off-road use.

For a truck, the Frontier has surprisingly great handling, and is able to tow up to 6,500 pounds. A four-cylinder engine is standard, but you’ll want to find one with a 4.0-liter V6 engine that kicks out 261 horsepower and 281 lb.- ft. of torque with four-wheel drive, if you’re thinking of doing some towing. EPA-estimated fuel economy stands at 14 mpg city, 19 mpg highway, and 16 mpg combined for a V6 4×4 model. It’s only slightly better on the two-wheel-drive four-cylinder, with numbers coming in at 15 mpg city, 20 mpg highway, and 17 mpg combined.

Again, depending on condition and other factors, the price will fluctuate from $15,923 to $19,456, with typical mileage around 66,000.

Low mileage, low pricing, and an all-around good condition — the three main things you’ll want to look for in a used car. Clearly, buying used does give you more wiggle room when it comes to selection, considering that a truck, SUV, sedan, and luxury model all made the list. Imagine what you could find if you upped your budget to $25,000?

There are still plenty of other models available for under $20,000 as well. Go check out the KBB website if you’re interested in seeing what else you can find on the market.


Posted in Uncategorized