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

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Honda CR-Z
Honda CR-Z
  • Price: $19,975
  • Gas mileage:
    • City - 31 mpg
    • Highway - 38 mpg

Touted as a sport hybrid by Honda, the CR-Z combines sporty looks, quick steering and good fuel economy.

The manual-transmission version of the vehicle is the quickest and cheapest. For the continuously variable automatic transmission, you'll sacrifice both speed and an extra $650, putting it just above our price limit of $20,000.

The 2013 CR-Z is slightly more powerful than previous model years, sporting a 1.5-liter, four-cylinder engine combined with an electric motor to pump out 130 horsepower and 140 foot-pounds of torque, according to

It comes stocked with a six-speed manual transmission, which is the first of its kind for a hybrid, according to Honda. And you get three driving modes from which to choose -- normal, sport and econ.

The manual will get you zero to 60 mph in 8.8 seconds, quicker than average for its class, according to Edmunds.

Additionally, this year's model gets the Plus Sport System button to enhance the vehicle's performance when you need a boost of speed, making it even more fun to drive.

Still, the Honda CR-Z is an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Top Safety Pick for 2013.


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