5 Great Used Cars You Can Buy for Under $20,000

When you’re getting ready to buy a used car, it’s important to find the right balance between getting a high-quality vehicle and not overpaying for it. You might know which make and model you’re interested in, but do you know what you can expect to pay? Used car sellers often offer widely different prices on the same vehicles, making it hard to tell if you’re getting a deal or spending too much.

If you’re willing to shop around and compare prices, you can make used car shopping simple – and you can get a great car from a fairly recent model year at a very reasonable price. Here are a few of the best used cars you can get for $20,000 or less:

2014 Chrysler 300

Chrysler’s 300 sedan is a car that combines eye-catching styling with strong performance and a generally luxurious feel. Though prices for higher trims with fully-loaded options can go over the $20,000 mark, the starting price for the base model of the 2014 Chrysler 300 is generally around $16,000. The 2014 model is an excellent value by virtue of being recent enough to still be in great shape, while at the same time old enough to come in at a more reasonable price point than later model years.

The 2014 Chrysler 300 is also an extremely safe vehicle, carrying a 5-star crash test rating. Even though it’s a safe drive, the 2014 Chrysler 300 also comes with ample performance ability, with the base V-6 engine producing 292 horsepower. If you’re looking for a car that combines good value, sporty performance and high-end luxury styling, the 2014 300 is an option you should consider very seriously.

2015 Hyundai Sonata

When it comes to sheer value, it’s difficult to beat the 2015 Hyundai Sonata. Prices for this used vehicle range from $14,000 to $19,000, making it one of the most affordable late-model vehicles on the market. In addition to being affordable, the 2015 Hyundai Sonata offers good fuel economy at 25 mpg in the city and up to 37 on the highway. Between a low selling price and the ability to conserve gasoline reasonably well, the 2015 Sonata is a great buy for the frugal car buyer.


Another major selling point of the 2015 Hyundai Sonata is its reliability. According to a review of its reliability by US News and World Report, the 2015 Hyundai Sonata ranked above average. If you buy a 2015 Sonata, you should be able to continue driving it reliably for several years to come.

2010 Dodge Challenger R/T

If you want the highest possible performance at a great price, it’s hard to beat the 2010 Dodge Challenger R/T, which typically starts just below $19,000. The R/T features a 5.7-liter V-8 engine that produces a whopping 372 horsepower, making the car a great buy for the high-performance auto enthusiast on a budget. To be clear, this car isn’t for everyone, especially when you take into account the relatively low gas mileage of 16 mpg in the city and 25 on the highway. For a certain type of buyer, though, the 2010 Challenger R/T presents the chance to have the performance car of a lifetime at an affordable price.

In addition to being a great deal for its performance, the 2010 Dodge Challenger R/T is a financially practical car in the sense that Challengers, especially higher trims, tend to hold their value quite well.

2013 Subaru Outback

If you have a family or travel frequently, getting a good deal on a larger vehicle can sometimes seem to be a challenge. Fortunately, the spacious 2013 Subaru Outback is available for a price ranging from $14,500 to $18,000. At this price, the 2013 Outback is a steal for someone who needs a larger vehicle, especially considering Subaru’s reputation for making high-quality cars. With a fuel economy rating of 24 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway, this Outback is also reasonably economical to drive.

Along with its spaciousness and great value, the 2013 Subaru Outback received a Superior safety rating by IIHS, making it a vehicle families can feel safe in. Like the Dodge Challenger, the Subaru Outback also tend to hold their value a bit better than some competitive vehicles in the same class.

2015 Mazda MAZDA6

Mazda’s well-known MAZDA6 model has always been known for providing good quality at a reasonable price, and this is especially true if you’re buying a 2015 MAZDA6 on the secondary market. Prices for this vehicle start around $14,000 and top out just over $18,000, putting it in a remarkably affordable range for such a recent model year. The MAZDA6 is also well-known for its sleek exterior design, making it a good buy for people who want a car that can stand out on its aesthetic merits.

The beauty of the MAZDA6 lies in the fact that it is a good all-around vehicle that performs well in nearly every category. With 184 horsepower, the 2015 version offers reasonably high performance, yet retains a fuel efficiency rating of up to 38 mpg on the highway. The vehicle also carries a 5-star crash test rating and holds its value rather well.

Do Your Research Before Buying a Used Car

Although all of these vehicles can be had for under $20,000, it’s still important for you to do some comparison shopping to find them at that price. By shopping around at different dealerships, you’ll be able to get the best price on your next used car. Also remember that it’s perfectly acceptable to make an offer lower than the sticker price for a used car, especially if that car has been on the dealer’s lot for a while. If you’re willing to haggle a bit, you can save yourself a considerable amount of money, even if the car you’re interested in is already priced competitively.

Naypong / Shutterstock
Naypong / Shutterstock