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

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Ford Focus SE hatchback
Ford Focus SE hatchback
  • Price: $19,115
  • Gas mileage:
    • City - 26 mpg
    • Highway - 36 mpg

There are five different versions of the 2014 Focus, including sedan and hatchback body styles on two of them. In this instance, the SE hatchback version of the Focus combines the sportiest look with the most speed and a reasonable price to make our list of affordable cars.

It's equipped with a 2-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 160 horsepower and 146 foot-pounds of torque.

Though the numbers for the 2014 model haven't been released yet, the 2013 SE hatchback was able to go from zero to 60 in just 8.3 seconds with the five-speed manual.

To keep that speed in check, Ford added a rear stabilizer bar and a fully independent control blade rear suspension to give it crisp handling.

In addition, electronic stability control with an anti-lock brake system works to monitor road conditions and keep the shiny side of the car up.

But, the Focus also offers SYNC with MyFord Touch, which is voice-activated technology that allows for activities such as hands-free calling.

And because it's direct-injection flex-fuel capable, it sips unleaded gas, E85 (85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline) or any mix of those two while getting a combined 30 mpg.

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