The best cars you can buy for under £20k

You can get fantastic cars nowadays on a realistic-for-most budget. Here we feature nine cars awarded the maximum five stars by expert road testers at What Car? that you can pick up at dealers – all at under £20k, some a lot less.

Ford Fiesta ST

Ford FiestaPrice from: £18,215

What Car? has voted this car its favourite hot hatch for multiple years – quite a feat as it is due to be replaced soon by a new and improved model.

The Fiesta boasts excellent handling and performance balanced with practicality – even the sporty ST is still a solid day-to-day car, so don’t be put off!

It boasts a decent sized boot and five seats, and with the sporty version there is no real penalty on your running costs.

Renault Zoe

Price from: £18,995 (This includes the deduction of £4,500 from the Government’s electric vehicle grant)

What Car?s 2017 Electric Car of the Year, this is one of the very best electric cars on the market, at a very reasonable price.

A fully electric car (as opposed to a hybrid), running costs are low, particularly if charged on an off-peak tariff. The Zoe has an impressive range of 250 miles on a full charge and is quiet and easy to drive.

Audi A3

Price from: £19,965

The Audi A3 has picked up multiple awards since its release in 2013 – including What Car? overall car of the year in 2013 and most recently it has been named What Car?s favourite family car 2017.

Audi’s hold their value well – achieving good resale values. The interior is pretty much unrivalled and the car is drivers console is full of technology.

Mazda MX-5

mazda mx-5Price from: £18,795

Probably the most fun drive of all of the cars featured here – the Mazda MX-5 definitely offers the most driving thrills of any car we’ve found under £20k.

This sporty number undercuts all other two-seat convertible sportscars, which normally come at a premium.

The interior feels premium and quality and the car is cheap to run, with an economical petrol engine.

Hyundai i10

Price from: £8,995

The cheapest car we’re featuring, the Hyundai i10 won What Car?s City Car of the Year 2017.

The Hyundai i10, whilst being extremely affordable brand new is also cheap to run with low tax and insurance costs, alongside excellent fuel efficiency. It is a brilliant city car – light and nippy, with good handling for city streets. It is pretty well equipped for such an affordable model – even at the mid-spec level.

Skoda Fabia

Price from: £11,295

The Skoda Fabia won What Car?s overall Car of the Year in 2015 – beating the ever-popular Ford Fiesta.

This is a great all-rounder of a car – it is small in size but the cabin is practical and has space for a small family – despite being classed as a “supermini”. The Fabia handles well – gone are the days of hard-to-drive Skodas. Running costs are very competitive and overall this is a great value car.

Skoda Octavia

Price from: £17,195

What Car? have described the Octavia as a “brilliant family car” – it is a saloon-shaped hatchback with a big old boot and a choice of petrol or diesel engine.

The Octavia is based on a VW Golf, with a similar accomplished engine but with more interior space both in the cabin and the boot.

Skoda Superb

Price from: £19,945

Another Skoda making the list with a five-star rating is the Superb. This is a big, powerful machine which is still practical and efficient. You could call it “superb”.

The superb has loads of space and even the most basic models still come with Bluetooth and DAB radio – pay a bit more and get dual-zone climate control, adaptive cruise and a touchscreen included. We recommend the cheapest 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine for great value.

Seat Ateca

Price from: £18,150

What Car? voted the Ateca as the small SUV of the Year 2017 and it is the newest car to receive the five-star award.

The Ateca is reasonably priced in a popular and competitive SUV market. It is quite large – it has extra height making it feel roomy but it doesn’t sacrifice handling for the extra bulk.

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