10. Mazda 3 4-Door Sport: $19,145
When you’re shopping for a car under $20,000, you often have to sacrifice horsepower and interior comforts. However, the Mazda 3 4-Door Sport has one of the most powerful engines on this list with 155 horsepower. It’s still fuel efficient, though, averaging 28 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway.
However, the interior of the Mazda 3 is its strongest selling point. It has features you’d associate with much more expensive cars, such as an air conditioner with pollen filter, push-button start, voice command capabilities, and Bluetooth.
If you’re used to driving larger sedans or SUVs, switching to a compact can be a big transition. You often have to learn how to deal with road noise and more movement on the highway. But the Mazda 3 is larger than many of the cars on this list, and at 2,899 pounds, it has a secure and steady ride.