Here are the coolest cars under $20,000 for 2018

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If you’re in the market for a new car, there are some things you likely have in mind that are must-haves: maybe it’s the latest tech, a roomy interior or sleek styling.

If you’re a green-conscious shopper, getting a fuel-efficient vehicle may be big on your list. You also may be looking for something affordable. But if you’re like most of us, you just want something cool — AND affordable.

These are the coolest 2018 model cars for under $20K

While it’s true that “coolness” is in the eye of the beholder, vehicle valuation site Kelley Blue Book just listed what they deem to be the 10 coolest new cars under $20,000. The thing the vehicles all have is common is that they are coveted by others and fun behind the wheel.

First on the list? The Mazda3, which has enjoyed a 15-year run in the top spot.

Here’s Kelley Blue Book’s 10 coolest cars for 2018

Rank Make Model What they said
1 Mazda Mazda 3 Offers practicality that appeals to compact car buyers, with sportiness that makes even daily chores more fun.
2 Honda Civic A well-rounded car offered as a sedan or coupe that’s comfortable, roomy, practical, efficient, packed with cool tech, and a blast to drive.
3 Hyundai Kona The clean, crisp cabin is filled with a bevy of connectivity and advanced safety features
4 Volkswagen Golf Euro-tuned handling and a sporty attitude.
5 Kia Soul An alluring combination of bold style, SUV-like versatility, and practicality.
6 Jeep Renegade This vehicle can get you the furthest beyond where the pavement ends.
7 Subaru Impreza Redesign gives the Impreza sedan and hatchback sharper looks, more refinement and a larger palette of tech and convenience features.
8 Honda Fit This diminutive hatchback has a feature called the Magic Seat that gives the interior space and versatility that rivals that of a small SUV.
9 Hyundai Elantra  Adds a dose of likable style and five-door versatility.
10 Chevrolet Sonic The $16,170 makes it the most affordable car on this list.

While it’s nice to do what the cool kids do (and drive a cool car), if you’re like a lot of people, you’re probably looking for a used car, which can save you a lot of money. Here are a few tips on what to look for:

3 used car buying tips to keep in mind

Always use a vehicle valuation service first: Before you pay any money, do your homework by checking or for the true market value so you can bargain from a position of strength.

Never go with dealer financing, at least not first: “Look at credit unions, online banks or even traditional banks,” money expert Clark Howard says. “Only take dealer financing if it beats any other offer you have. Of course, I would love for you to pay for an affordable used car completely in cash!”

Check out the car sans salesperson: If you’re really high on a car, go check it out outside of business hours so you can take your time. Many times buying a car is a pressure-filled situation, with the dealer pushing you to make a decision. Take your time by shopping without interference.

Want more tips? Check out the ”˜Clark Smart’ way to buy a vehicle.

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