While new car prices have largely risen for 2012, there are still plenty of good values out there. Several inexpensive new models have striking designs and tons of features that make them a compelling buy for under $20,000.
And we aren’t talking about entry trim lines with only a few amenities. We are talking cars with tons of great features that may include iPod connectivity, Bluetooth, heated front seats, 10 air bags, 7” displays, six-speed automatic transmissions, and steering wheel mounted controls.
We make our picks for the three cool new cars for under 20K. These are all brand new models for 2012:
1. Chevy Sonic – This all new-subcompact comes in both sedan and hatchback trims. The Sonic is a massive improvement over the Aveo/Aveo5, the model it replaces in Chevy’s lineup. The Sonic offers the same engines that are in the larger Chevy Cruze sedan, a 1.8-liter 138 horsepower four-cylinder and a turbocharged 1.4-liter 138 horsepower four-cylinder engine that produces more torque and better fuel economy with its smaller size. The Cruze has been a hit for Chevy and was the number one selling compact car in the U.S. in May and June 2011.
Despite being a subcompact, the Sonic has relatively spacious rear passenger room and is able to accommodate six-foot tall adults. Another cool fact about the Sonic is that it is the only subcompact built in the U.S.
2. Scion iQ – This new three-door hatchback model is even smaller than the Mini Cooper. But it offers great features and unique styling, in addition to Toyota reliability. The iQ would make a great commuting car as it is the smallest four-passenger car sold in the U.S. market. But don’t expect brisk acceleration as the model has a 1.3-liter engine four-cylinder that produces just 90 horsepower.
3. Hyundai Veloster – The Veloster replaces the Tiburon in Hyundai’s lineup. But it looks very different as the model is a coupe with hatchback styling. The Veloster’s design was inspired by motorcycles but retains the company’s “fluidic sculpture” theme. Adding to its unique styling, the model has only one rear passenger door.
The Veloster shares its 1.8-liter 138 horsepower four-cylinder engine with other new models in the Hyundai/Kia lineup such as the Hyundai Accent, Kia Soul, and Kia Rio/Rio5.
The other great thing about these cool new cars for under 25K is their fuel economy. Each gets better than 40-mpg highway. The Scion iQ is expected to be the most fuel-efficient gas-powered car in American in 2012. All of these models also offer a host of standard safety features, including electronic stability control.
If you like the Sonic, iQ, or Veloster, vote for it in our poll below. Also, be sure to enter your zip code on our site to find the lowest car insurance quote for your vehicle.