Quality and luxury doesn’t always have to be expensive. As proof, The Man Guide presents the Best Affordable Cars 2017. Selections are based on the best new cars under $20,000. We’ve considered vehicles not only because of their affordable price, but also for how reliable, attractive, and how thrilling they are to drive.
Manufacturers are trying to make their entry level cars more fun to drive in order to bring in more customers. This effort has brought us some very entertaining cars that are definitely worth the money! Keep in mind the Best Affordable Cars 2017 are not big on luxury but all of them are perfect everyday cars.
The Ford Focus comes in sedan and hatchback versions. The most affordable version is the sedan, which comfortably seats 5 people. The base Ford Focus sedan sports a 2.0L engine with 160 horsepower @6.500rpm and 146 lb of torque. This car looks great, it is an enjoyable daily drive, and you can take it to the track!
The base Ford Focus comes standard with manual transmission, climate control, two USB ports, a 4.2″ color LCD display cluster, mirrors with integrated blind spot, headlamps with Automatic quad-beam halogens, rearview camera, and more features! If you want more options you can check the Focus SE Hatch, which costs less than $20k.
Want more? Go with the Focus ST hatchback ($24,775), which looks much better, has more options, and sports a powerful 2.0L EcoBoost I-4 engine that delivers 252 horsepower.
The Hyundai Elantra has been making a name for itself over the last few years as a reliable car that offers more than what is expected for the price. The Elantra competes against the Toyota Corolla, the Ford Focus, and the Honda Civic in the compact sedan section (one of the most competitive ones in the automobile industry). Hyundai is trying to beat the competition by offering a car with great fuel efficiency, great design dand a nice driving experience. Hyundai estimates about 35 mpg in combined city and highway and offers an industry-leading warranty of 10-year/100,000o on every Elantra sold.
Want more? Go with the Hyundai Elantra Sport, which has a 1.6L turbocharged engine that produces 201Hp and cost $21,650. Just to put things in perspective, the Elantra Sport produces as much power as the 2016 Scion FR-S.
Mazdas are reliable, very easy on the eyes and you can have a ball while driving them on curvy roads. The Mazda 3 is no exception. It is more fun to drive than its competitors, is more reliable than most brands and looks better than virtually any other car in this range. From the moment that you get into the car you can feel how low it seats are. It feels like a sports car even though it is a compact sedan. The Mazda 3 is powered by a 2.0L naturally aspirated 4-cylinder engine that produces 155 horsepower.
Want more? Try the Mazda 3 hatchback with manual transmission. It goes for $19,095 and it’s more fun to drive!
Volkswagen Golf S
Volkswagen launched the Golf in 1974 (replacing the Volkswagen Beetle as the people’s car) and the rest is history. The Golf is one of the most popular hatchbacks in today’s market. That title is usually associated with boring cars but the Golf is an obvious exception. The 1.8L turbocharged engine produces 170hp, which makes this lightweight hatchback a very enjoyable daily drive. This iconic German hatchback comes standard with cruise control, powered windows, Volkswagen Car-Net App-Connect, Bluetooth for audio streaming, rear view camera system, and 8 speakers.
Want more? Go with the obvious option, the Golf GTI, which is powered by a 2.0L 4-cylinder turbocharged engine capable of producing 210HP.
If you are looking for an affordable SUV that can go off-road then the Patriot might be the best option for you. The 2.0 L 4-cylinder engine produces 158 horsepower, 141 to 165 lb-ft of torque, and can tow up to a 1000 lbs. The Patriot competes against other SUVs such as the Honda CR-V, and the Chevy Trax. The Patriot, however, is advertised as an off-road SUV. The Patriot might not be your typical Wrangler but it can do some of the same tricks with better fuel efficiency, and for less money.
Want more? Pick up a Wrangler. Price and jokes aside, the Wrangler is one of the best off-road vehicles in the market.
Nissan Sentra SR
After test driving the Nissan Sentra there is only one thing to say, go with the SR. The base model is a nice and reliable compact sedan that is fuel efficient, but that is the best thing that we can say about it. The SR, however, simply feels like a whole different car.
The Nissan Sentra SR’s engine only produces 124 horsepower but that is not why you buy a Nissan Sentra SR. You buy one because you want to drive with comfort and because you want more features (which makes the whole driving experience much more memorable). I’ll be honest, at times, it felt like I was driving a luxury sedan. That’s because Nissan really put effort in making the Sentra SR stand out from inferior models.
The strength of the Sentra SR is in its premium features. The Sentra SR sports 17″ aluminum allow wheels, smart auto headlights, LED low-beam projector headlights, rear spoiler, heated outside mirrors, moon roof, a hands free text-message assistant, rear view camera, auto-dimming rear view mirror, and the 370Z-inspired leather-wrapped steering wheel! These features are worthy of a luxury car, which makes the Sentra a great option for under 20K.
Want more? Go with the SR Turbo, it makes more horsepower and keeps the great interior.