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5 fun, fast and affordable cars less than $20,000

Auto » 5 Fun, Fast And Affordable Cars Less Than $20,000

Chevrolet Sonic LTZ hatchback
Chevrolet Sonic LTZ hatchback
  • Price: $17,850
  • Gas mileage:
    • City - 25 mpg
    • Highway - 35 mpg

The 2013 Sonic LTZ is powerful, zippy and fuel-efficient, giving Bankrate plenty of reasons to put it on its list of fun and affordable cars.

It's available in a sedan or hatchback with four different model options -- the LS, LT, LTZ and RS. However, the LTZ option offers the most power and amenities for less than $20,000.

It comes standard with a 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine that kicks out 138 horsepower and 125 foot-pounds of torque.

But there's an optional, more powerful, turbocharged, 1.4-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 138 horsepower and 148 foot-pounds of torque, costing an extra $700.

Edmunds.com puts the LTZ hatchback with a six-speed manual transmission as the quickest in its class, moving from zero to 60 mph in 8.8 seconds. Indeed, Chevy says the Sonic with a turbocharged engine and a six-speed manual will do the sprint in less than 8 seconds.

Amenities include perforated leatherette seating surfaces, heated front seats, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with cruise and audio controls.

The National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration gave this vehicle a five-star overall vehicle score for safety, the only car in its class to get that high of a rating.

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