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The 6 Best New Cars Under $20,000 - Subaru Impreza Scores Number One

What are the best new cars under $20,000? A new report says the 2022 Subaru Impreza is now the best pick for shoppers.


With surging new car prices, there are good choices for compact car shoppers looking for an affordable new model under $20,000 this summer. An updated report by iSeeCars has identified the best six cars offering good performance, fuel efficiency, and affordability.

The six top-rated new cars by iSeeCars for shoppers are the 2022 Subaru Impreza, with a quality score of 8.6. Impreza is followed by the Nissan Versa (8.2), Kia Rio (8.0), Hyundai Accent (7.9), Kia Forte (7.9), Nissan Sentra (7.9), and Hyundai Elantra (7.9).

2022 Subaru Impreza pricing, features, specs, fuel mileage
photo credit: Competition Subaru

The best cheap cars are ranked by an iSeeCars Quality Score that takes into account a car’s longevity, value retention, and safety ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

The 2022 Subaru Impreza gets a reliability score of 8.0, retained value score of 8.7, and a safety score of 9.0. The average new car price is $23,610, and the average 3-year-old price is $23,238 because of the shortage of new cars.

2022 Subaru Impreza pricing, features, specs, fuel mileage
2022 Subaru Impreza hatchback

iSeeCars says, "The Subaru Impreza ranks first and is available as a sedan or hatchback. Unlike most compact cars, all-wheel drive comes standard on the Impreza. The Impreza achieves Subaru’s characteristic high safety score and includes standard safety features such as adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking. Standard infotainment features include a 6.5-inch touch screen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Bluetooth."

What is the fuel mileage of the 2022 Subaru Impreza?

The EPA says the 2022 Subaru Impreza gets 31 mpg combined city/highway and 28/36 city/highway mpg in the non-Sport CVT trims. The 2022 Impreza 4-Door sedan with the 5-speed manual gearbox has the same fuel mileage. The 2022 Impreza 4-Door sedan gets 26 combined city/highway and 23/31 city/highway mpg in the non-Sport CVT trims.

What is the price of the 2022 Subaru Impreza?

The 2022 Impreza comes in four trim levels for customers. The seven different models come in base sedan ($20,290), base hatchback ($20,790) Premium sedan ($23,690), Premium hatchback ($24,190), Sport sedan ($25,090), Sport hatchback ($24,490), and Limited hatchback ($27,890). Destination and delivery ($995) are included in the prices above.

What are the Impreza safety scores?

The Impreza earned a Top Safety Pick award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), and the highest five-star ranking from the NHTSA.

What's next for the Impreza?

If you are willing to wait, the Subaru Impreza will get a complete redesign for the 2023 model year. It will come with new safety technology, possibly a more fuel-efficient 1.5-liter turbocharged engine, and a new cabin design.

iSeeCars says the 2022 Subaru Impreza is the top new compact car pick for shoppers under $20,000. Our top pick for the best trim level is the Impreza Sport hatchback. Check out the complete 2022 Impreza lineup below.

You Might Also Like: The Complete 2022 Subaru Impreza Model Change, Pricing, and Trim Guide

Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Photo credit: Competition Subaru