14 Best Hatchbacks Under $20K That Are Totally Worth Buying

Buckle up for budget brilliance with these 14 hatchbacks under $20K that pack a punch.

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Updated June 6, 2024
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Used car prices have been trending downward in recent months. So, if you've been waiting to shop for a vehicle, now may be a good time to buy one.

If you're in the market for a hatchback, we have some good news: There are plenty of used-car options under $20,000 that can get you on the road at a price that helps you get ahead financially.

Check out the following 14 affordable hatchbacks.

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BMW i3

Courtesy of Car and Driver car and driver-bmw i3

Electric vehicles can be expensive. However, the BMW i3 is an affordable EV that can get you more than 100 miles of range.

Be aware that EV battery life decreases over time, which could be a factor depending on how old a used model is.

Honda Fit

Courtesy of Car and Driver car and driver-honda fit

The Honda Fit is a reliable hatchback that tends to retain its value. That can be important if you don’t plan on holding the car for long before reselling it.

The Fit was named the top hatchback for resale value and the top subcompact car for resale value by iSeeCars.

Fiat 500

Courtesy of Car and Driver car and driver-Fiat 500

Check out the Fiat 500 if you want a stylish and compact hatchback.

The Fiat 500’s small design makes it easy to park in urban areas while still offering enough storage space in the back for groceries or short road trips.

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Volkswagen Golf

Courtesy of Car and Driver car and driver-Volkswagen Golf

The Volkswagen Golf is a German-engineered hatchback that is sure to give you reliability at a reasonable price.

However, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has knocked the Golf in the past for having poor headlights. That might be something to consider if you plan on driving much at night in the car.

Mitsubishi Mirage

Courtesy of Car and Driver car and driver-Mitsubishi Mirage

The Mitsubishi Mirage is a great gas sipper. The 2022 hatchback model gets an estimated 39 combined miles per gallon on the highway and in the city.

The Mirage is also one of the few cars on the market today with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) that starts under $20,000 for a new model.

Chevrolet Cruze

Courtesy of Car and Driver car and driver-chevrolet cruze

The Chevrolet Cruze is a hatchback that has more of a sedan feel and design.

It also has a smooth ride and gets good gas mileage on the highway — the 2019 version gets 38 miles per gallon — if you need something that you can take on long drives.

Hyundai Veloster

Courtesy of Car and Driver car and driver-Hyundai Veloster

The Hyundai Veloster has the great cargo space that hatchbacks are known for.

The Veloster also has some nice styling that may be appealing if you prefer sleek, eye-catching models.

Ford Focus

Courtesy of Car and Driver car and driver-Ford Focus

Ford has stopped making new models of the Focus, but there are still plenty on the used-car market that might be appealing.

The Focus is also customizable. Plenty of aftermarket options are available to make your Focus reflect your style.

Mini Cooper

Courtesy of Car and Driver car and driver-chevrolet cruze

The Mini Cooper has unique styling that sets it apart from other vehicles on the road.

The Cooper — which ranks high for subcompact horsepower — has both a two-door and four-door version.

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Honda Civic

Courtesy of Car and Driver car and driver-honda civic

The Honda Civic comes in both a sedan and hatchback version, so you can have your pick of Civic models.

Pay attention to the model years if you’re looking for a safe hatchback. The IIHS gave the 2020 and 2021 models Top Safety Pick status, and the 2022 model earned Top Safety Pick Plus honors.

Chevrolet Bolt

Courtesy of Car and Driver car and driver-chevrolet bolt

The Chevrolet Bolt is a good option if you’re looking for a used electric vehicle at an affordable price.

The 2017 Bolt gets 238 miles of range on a charge, making this an excellent choice for drivers who want an EV with a longer range.

Volkswagen Beetle

Courtesy of Car and Driver car and driver-volkswagen beetle

Hatchbacks are known for having a bit more headroom than sedans, particularly for passengers in the backseat.

The Volkswagen Beetle particularly excels in this area, making it a good choice for taller drivers and riders who find typical hatchbacks and sedans a bit confining.

Mazda Mazda3

Courtesy of Car and Driver car and driver-mazda mazda3

Mazda’s Mazda3 will turn heads with sporty styling, making it more interesting than typical hatchbacks.

The Mazda3 also was named a Top Safety Pick Plus by the IIHS for its 2020, 2021, and 2022 models.

Toyota Yaris

Courtesy of Car and Driver car and driver-Toyota Yaris

Consider the Toyota Yaris if you’re looking for a vehicle that will retain its value.

Toyota’s reputation for reliability keeps the Yaris near the top of the list when it comes to resale value for hatchbacks.

A great way to make the Yaris — or any other car on this list — more affordable is to save money on car insurance by comparison shopping and finding the best deal.

Bottom line

hedgehog94/Adobe businessman buying used car

Hatchbacks can be a good option if you’re looking for an affordable used car that helps you keep more money in your wallet.

Check out the models on this list if you want a highly-rated car under $20,000.

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Author Details

Jenny Cohen

Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.