Small sedans and hatchbacks were once the gateway to new car ownership for many people. But the growing consumer preference for small SUVs has led to declining sales. As a result, a number of automakers have abandoned their small sedans and hatchbacks.
This year, the Honda Fit, Hyundai Elantra GT and Toyota Yaris became the latest victims of this trend. They join the Chevrolet Sonic and the Ford Fiesta, two small sedans and hatchbacks that were discontinued last year.
Because automakers typically charge more for their SUVs, the declining small car selection has actually raised the ground for new car prices. For example, the second most affordable vehicle in the Honda lineup after the Fit is the HR-V SUV. It’s mechanically tied to the Fit but costs almost $ 5,000 more.
But consumers looking for an inexpensive wheel set still have options. Edmunds experts have recommended five models that will either be phased out in 2020 or may not be around any longer if current trends continue. Vehicles are sorted by price and most start under $ 20,000. All prices include destination charges.
2020 NISSAN VERSA
Starting Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $ 15,755
EPA estimated fuel economy: 35 mpg combined (32 city / 40 highway) with automatic transmission
The current Nissan Versa is a much better car than you might imagine in years past. It has been recently redesigned and has a spacious trunk and plenty of safety and tech features at a reasonable price. The Versa sedan also has excellent fuel economy. In contrast, the Versa suffers from slow acceleration and a lack of interior storage for small items.
HYUNDAI ACCENT 2020
Starting MSRP: $ 16,270
EPA estimated fuel economy: 36 mpg combined (33 city / 41 highway) with automatic transmission
The highlights of the Hyundai Accent are its high fuel economy, comfortable ride quality, quiet cabin and spacious interior. Hyundai also has the best warranty on the market. So if you like to own your cars for a long time, you have peace of mind. Be warned though: the Accent sedan is fairly straightforward, and the USB port struggles to charge modern phones. And if you want advanced safety aids, these are only available in the more expensive Limited version.
TOYOTA YARIS 2020
Starting MSRP: $ 16,645 (sedan), $ 18,745 (sedan)
EPA estimated fuel economy: 35 mpg combined (32 city / 40 highway) with automatic
While the Yaris is a Toyota in name, it is truly a Mazda below both in its fundamentals and in its spirit. So the Yaris, which is available as a sedan and hatchback, has nimble handling and a well-appointed interior for the entry-level class. Edmunds ranked the Yaris as its No.1 extra-small sedan. Unfortunately, the Yaris lags behind its main rivals in terms of cargo space and availability of advanced safety features.
HONDA FIT 2020
Starting MSRP: $ 17,145
EPA estimated fuel economy: 36 mpg combined (33 city / 40 highway) with automatic
The exterior dimensions of the Honda Fit belies its interior space and cargo versatility. This sedan is surprisingly spacious inside, and configurable rear seats allow for excellent cargo capacity. It is very well equipped and comes with the latest safety features and an updated infotainment system. It’s also quite fuel efficient. The downsides are few, but include a lack of headroom in the rear seats for taller passengers.
HYUNDAI ELANTRA GT 2020
Starting MSRP: $ 21,645
EPA estimated fuel economy: 28 mpg combined (25 city / 32 highway) for a 2.0-liter engine with automatic transmission; 27 mpg combined (25 city / 32 highway) for 1.6-liter turbo engine with automatic transmission
One of the gems of this group is Hyundai’s Elantra GT sedan. It’s slightly larger than the other vehicles on our list, making it more spacious inside for people and cargo. The Elantra also comes with a lot of standard features and is actually fun to drive thanks to precise handling and an optional 201 horsepower turbocharged engine. The weakest link in the Elantra GT is its low fuel consumption.
EDMUNDS SAYS: These small sedans and hatchbacks are cheap, fuel efficient, easy to park and easy to carry. While many of these cars aren’t long for this world, don’t expect clearance prices as the margins on these vehicles are as low as the cars themselves. Research the market value to determine the price you should be paying.