Consumers looking to stretch their car-buying and gas budget have some great choices in these Best Cars under $20K, Over 30 MPG (on the highway). While they are small to midsize vehicles, they offer a lot in the way of value, especially as a commuter or second car for zipping around town.

For low starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) plus great EPA-estimated fuel economy, check out these choices for Best Cars Under $20K, Over 30 MPG:

  • Honda FitWith a base MSRP of $14,900 and EPA-estimated fuel economy of 28 mpg city/35 mpg highway (with 5-speed automatic transmission, 27/33 with standard 5-speed manual), the 5-passenger front-wheel drive (FWD) 2010 Honda Fit provides plenty of zip in its 117-hp 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine. Car and Driver says: “Redesigned for 2009, the Fit offers space for five people and their stuff in an appealing subcompact package. The plucky 1.5-liter four helps it claim its title or quickest in its class. Some other cars have higher mpg ratings, but none can top this nifty five-door for fun-to-drive.”
  • Hyundai SonataAlthough it competes in the midsize car segment, the 2010 Hyundai Sonata is actually in the EPA large car category due to generous interior space. With a base MSRP of $18,700 for the 2010 model, consumers can probably land a much better deal, since the 2011 Sonata is all-new and starts at $19,195. With the 175-hp 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, the 2010 model gets an EPA-estimated at 21 mpg city/32 mpg highway (manual transmission) and 22/32 mpg (automatic). Kelley Blue Book remarks: “We think you’ll like the 2010 Hyundai Sonata if you’re looking for a comfortable, roomy, mid-size sedan that won’t break the budget. The Sonata continues to offer as much or more equipment as the competition at a lower price.”
  • Nissan AltimaPractical, functional, and fun, the 2010 Nissan Altima, with updates for 2010, is another midsize car that’s easy on the budget, with starting MSRP of $19,900 and estimated fuel economy of 23 mpg city/32 mpg highway for the 175-hp 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine. Other plusses include responsive steering, sleek and sporty styling, comfortable cabin, lots of electronic features, and perfect safety scores. Edmunds comments: “The 2010 Nissan Altima is an excellent pick for a midsize sedan or coupe, particularly if you’re looking for something with some sporting flair.”
  • Scion xDAppealing to the younger (and young-at-heart) crowd, the 2010 Scion xD 5-door wagon has a starting MSRP of $14,900 for the manual transmission-equipped model that gets EPA-estimated 27 mpg city/33 mpg highway. Note this is the same starting price and EPA fuel economy as the Honda Fit. Power comes from the 128-hp 1.8-liter inline 4-cylinder engine. But Scion xD features standard traction control and stability control, neither of which are available on the base Honda Fit (but are in Fit Sport with Navigation). Consumer Guide says: “Scion’s xD is a Recommended subcompact that offers a host of safety features and standard amenities. The xD shares the practical, utilitarian nature of its xB sibling but with more-conventional styling and control layout that give it broader appeal.”

Test drive any or all of these Best Cars Under $20K, Over 30 MPG.

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