Most fuel-efficient vehicles under $20,000 for 2021

Valerie Raskovic
Oct 12, 2021

Finding a fuel-efficient car has become more and more important to consumers over the last decade. Vehicle owners are looking to help the environment and are not willing to sacrifice that desire. And manufacturers are taking note and releasing more cars that are better for mileage and, therefore, better for the environment.


While these sorts of cars used to be prohibitively expensive, they have gotten cheaper recently too because they have become so much more common. That means that you have more and more options. That is a good thing but also a bad thing. It’s good because your options are seemingly unlimited. But it’s also bad because the sheer amount to pick from can be overwhelming too.


Many individuals buy a fuel-efficient automobile to save money on driving, since the cost of owning a car continues to climb. So, why buy an expensive automobile in the first place, knowing that it will take years to pay off the fuel savings? The good news is that there are lots of automobiles under $20,000 that will get you 40 miles per gallon on the highway. Here are some of the most fuel-efficient cars that cost less than $20,000.


Kia Forte

This is possibly one of the most popular fuel-efficient versions available. The Kia Forte is a 5-seater that comes in five different trim levels. With its clever touches and clean interior, the Kia Forte stands out in this competitive sector. It doesn't have the same level of refinement or performance as the class leaders, but it comes with a lot of value and an extended guarantee, so it's worth considering. The FE Manual, which starts at $18,000 and comes with an I4 engine and Front Wheel Drive, is the most popular model. This Forte is expected to get 27 miles per gallon in the city and 37 miles per gallon on the highway.


Volkswagen Jetta

The 2021 Volkswagen Jetta is a fantastic option for consumers looking for a low-cost, fuel-efficient European sedan with seating for five. With a zippy 2.0-liter turbo engine and engaging driving characteristics, the Jetta GLI significantly increases the enjoyment factor. The Volkswagen Jetta is a 5-seater with seven trim options to choose from. The S Manual, which begins at little under $20,000 and comes with an I4 Turbo engine and Front Wheel Drive, is the most popular model. This Jetta is expected to get 30 miles per gallon in the city and 41 miles per gallon on the highway.


For the 2019 model year, a new version of the Jetta was released. While it lacks the style of other top-of-the-line fuel-efficient vehicles, it provides a distinctively European driving experience in a spacious on the inside, neat on the exterior front-wheel-drive sedan. Its compact size also makes parking and maneuvering in crowded urban areas simple.


It's also simple to obtain. It's the cheapest Volkswagen on the market, as well as the cheapest small sedan.


Kia Soul

The Kia Soul 2021 is a vehicle that mixes personality with substance. While other compact crossovers choose for sleek and elegant or aggressive and rough, the Soul takes a different approach. It's hardly a sports vehicle, but it's fun to drive, especially with the turbocharged four-cylinder engine available as an option. Its boxy design provides enough of legroom and headroom for up to five people. Although comfy, the cabin materials of the Soul feel a little flimsy. There's lots of cargo space and a big rear opening that makes loading heavy things simple.


Starting at around $18,000, this is one of the cheaper fuel-efficient cars on the road. That's why you have probably seen so many of them driving around lately.


Hyundai Accent

The Hyundai Accent is a great bargain because of its low price, excellent warranty coverage, and comfortable handling. Keep in mind, however, that some vehicles in this class provide larger cargo space and a wider selection of safety features. The Hyundai Accent is a five-seater with three trim options. The SE model, which begins at $17,000 and comes with an impressive 1.6L I4 engine and Front Wheel Drive, is the most popular style. This Accent is expected to get 33 miles per gallon in the city and 41 miles per gallon on the highway.


If you're searching for a car under $20,000, you're probably looking for something that won't break the bank in terms of ownership expenses. On this front, the Accent performs admirably. Its extensive warranty protects you from repair bills for years, which is better than competing subcompacts. Its outstanding fuel efficiency also helps you save money on petrol. It's more fuel-efficient than the Chevrolet Spark, which it competes with.


Nissan Versa

The Nissan Versa is a low-cost subcompact automobile intended at first-time buyers or commuters who want to save money. It features beautiful design that provides it plenty of curb appeal, despite its modest price. The front seats are quite comfy and supportive. Three people can sit in the back seats, but it's a tight fit that's not ideal for regular use. Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian recognition is a standard safety feature. A conventional 7-inch touchscreen user interface is also included. Although the Versa is inexpensive, it offers the aesthetics, comfort, and features of many more expensive competitors.


For a modest starting price, this subcompact car delivers a tastefully furnished cabin, a smooth ride, and essential standard safety features. The Nissan Versa is an outstanding entry-level vehicle, despite its sluggish acceleration and tight back seats. The Nissan Versa is a five-seater with three trim options. This Versa is expected to get 32 miles per gallon in the city and 40 miles per gallon on the highway.



No matter which model and brand you go with, buying a fuel-efficient car will save you a lot of money in the long run. By not spending as much money on refueling so often, your pocket book will be much, much happier. A fuel-efficient car is an even smarter choice when you buy one that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. You will have savings at the time of purchase and then savings again and again every time you visit the gas station.

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