Every year, there are a few vehicle models everyone can’t seem to stop talking about — and 2020 is no different. GOBankingRates identified 25 cars, trucks, vans and SUVs that earned overlapping best-in-class praise from publications like Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds, Car and Driver, and U.S. News & World Report. If you’re ready to buy a new vehicle, take a look at what it will cost you to get behind the wheel of one of 2020’s best.
Last updated: Feb. 5, 2020
- Cost: $17,490
One of the most distinct hatchbacks on the road, the 2020 Kia Soul is completely redesigned and comes in up to 16 colors. Packages range from the rugged Soul X-Line to the 201-horsepower turbocharged Soul GT-Line and options include smart cruise control and a 10 1/2-inch color touchscreen display. Even the base model comes standard with 60/40 split-folding rear seats, rear camera display and privacy glass.
- Cost: $20,650
The base model Honda Civic LX sedan comes standard with Honda Sensing, a multiangle rearview camera, a 5-inch color LCD screen and five-passenger seating with a fold-down rear seatback. The tech and driver-assist goodies get even more comprehensive with each package up the line, which ends with the $27,700 Civic Touring. Even the base is rated for 30/38 city/highway mpg.
- Cost: $21,500
The Mazda3 has several features that are rare for its price range, including i-Active all-wheel drive, a lane-departure warning system, driver-attention alert and a very quiet ride inside despite 186 horsepower under the hood. Available options are even better, including premium cabin materials and a 12-speaker Bose sound system, but even the basic model has an 8.8-inch center display and gets 35 highway miles to the gallon.
- Cost: $24,020
The entry-level Accord LX comes packed with a nice menu of standards, including Honda Sensing, push-button start, a multiangle rearview camera, a 7-inch color LED screen, 17-inch alloy wheels and auto high-beam headlights and LED lowlights with auto-on/off. With a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine that creates 192 horsepower, it’s also got plenty of power.
- Cost: $25,050
In terms of midsize sport SUVs, the Honda CR-V is tough to beat. The basic model comes packed with the Eco Assist system and Honda Sensing. It’s got an electric parking brake with automatic brake hold, 17-inch alloy wheels, a fold-down 60/40 split rear seatback, automatic climate control, a multiangle rearview camera and an idle-stop feature. Like the Accord, it’s got some muscle, too — 190 horses worth, thanks to a turbocharged engine.
- Cost: $25,090
The Mazda CX-5 is a compact SUV that offers plenty to brag about, even on the base Sport trim package. A 2.5-liter 187-horsepower four-cylinder engine makes the 2020 model the most powerful CX-5 ever, and its six-speed automatic transmission comes with both manual shift and sport mode. On the outside are dual-exhaust outlets, 17-inch alloy wheels and a body-colored roof spoiler. On the inside are a bevy of tech and driver-assist features, like the Mazda Connect infotainment system, a 7-inch full-color display, push-button start and lane-departure warning.
- Cost: $26,645
The 2020 Outback features standard symmetrical all-wheel drive, 75.7 cubic feet of cargo space and 8.7-inch ground clearance. Its 2.5-liter engine cranks out 182 horsepower, and it features a Lineartronic continuously variable transmission. It also has a slew of traction-control features, including hill descent control and vehicle dynamics control, and inside it boasts lots of headroom, legroom and shoulder room for all passengers.
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- Cost: $26,990
Also a favorite in the midsize SUV category is the Kia Sorento, which comes with standard three-row, seven-passenger seating. The cargo/passenger area adjusts with 40/20/40 split second-row seats and a 50/50 split third row. It features 73 feet of cargo space behind the front seat and a standard 7-inch color display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A V-6 engine is available and fully active Dynamix all-wheel drive keeps the tires on the road, even in poor driving conditions.
- Cost: $30,790
The first car on the list to break the $30,000 mark is the minivan by which all minivans are judged, the Honda Odyssey. A big, powerful vehicle, the Odyssey has a 280-horsepower V-6 engine and a 10-speed automatic transmission with idle-stop. It seats seven but can adjust for cargo with a one-motion 60/40 split third-row Magic Seat. The Intelligent Traction Management system comes with Snow Mode, and you also get a seven-speaker sound system with a subwoofer, active noise cancellation, rear window privacy glass and a good selection of tech and driver-assist features.
- Cost: $31,550
The 2020 Palisade is the biggest and best three-row SUV in Hyundai history. Powered by a 291-horsepower V-6 engine, it seats eight or seven with a second-row captain’s chair. With one-touch second-row seating access and available third-row folding seats, there’s room for storage everywhere, including under the console. It’s stabilized by HTRAC all-wheel drive and made extra convenient with a hands-free Smart Liftgate with auto open.
- Cost: $31,890
Big and powerful for a midsize SUV, the Kia Telluride seats eight and comes with standard auto emergency braking, safe-exit assist and standard blind-spot collision technology. The 10 1/4-inch touchscreen display lets you broadcast your voice to the rear passengers, and there is a huge inventory of options, including captain’s seating, heads-up display, smart charging and dual passenger sunroofs. Its 3.8-liter V-6 engine pushes out 291 horsepower and is capable of towing up to 5,000 pounds.
- Cost: $32,145
The Ram 1500 has plenty of upgrades from the major refresh it got in 2019, most notably a more powerful turbodiesel V-6 engine, which now produces 260 horsepower — there’s also a 3.6-liter V-6 that’s good for 305 horses and a mammoth 5.7-liter V-8 that maxes out at 395 horsepower. Either way, you get an eight-speed automatic transmission and a surprisingly roomy, luxurious and tech-heavy interior. Don’t forget about the optional multifunction tailgate and the class-exclusive Rambox cargo-management system, both of which are hard not to love for truck lovers.
- Cost: $32,800
Because of its small footprint, the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class sedan has an undersized trunk — but the tradeoff is the more than ample room inside of a car that’s financially accessible considering its class. A perfect stepping stone for entry-level luxury, the basic A 220 comes with standard 17-inch wheels, impressive luxury inside, rain-sensing wipers and mirror-integrated turn signals — a $1,650-upgrade to Premium gets you one of the sleekest and most functional infotainment systems on the road. Both it and the more expensive A 220 4Matic are powered by a 2-liter, four-cylinder engine that can generate 188 horsepower.
- Cost: $33,545
Wrangler in the front, pickup in the back. It’s the 2020 Gladiator, the multivehicle that off-roads like a Jeep and tows like a truck. The midsize pickup offers up to 7,600 pounds in towing capacity and a 1,700-pound payload. The only trail-rated pickup in history, the Gladiator has some impressive off-road bona fides, including water fording capabilities made possible by special water sealing and high air-intake valves, which allow it to cross liquid barriers up to 30 inches deep. There’s also an 11 1/2-inch ground clearance, locking front and rear differentials and advanced traction control. Although the list of rugged capabilities goes on and on, it’s surprisingly comfortable and tech-heavy inside.
Tesla Model 3
- Cost: $35,690
The Tesla Model 3 features dual-motor all-wheel drive, a range of 322 miles, and can launch from zero to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds. Built for strength and safety, its all-glass roof survived the weight of two full-grown African elephants in grueling crush tests. It tops out at 162 mph, and its traction-control system can adjust to changing conditions in as little as 2 milliseconds, which is faster than even the speediest African elephant.
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- Cost: $35,945
The Lincoln Corsair is a five-passenger luxury compact crossover that comes with a choice between a 2.0-liter I-4 engine or a bigger 2.3 liter that’s capable of 295 horsepower. Adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist, reverse brake assist and active park assist are just a few of the features that make up the Lincoln Co-Pilot 360 Plus tech suite, some of which come as optional upgrades from the standard Lincoln Co-Pilot 360 package.
- Cost: $36,675
The completely redesigned 2020 Ford Explorer comes with two new available trim packages and an all-new rear-wheel-drive platform. There are several different engine layouts available, including a naturally aspirated V-6 hybrid and a 3-liter V-6 EcoBoost that generates 400 horsepower. Besides lots of choices and plenty of power, it also offers room for people and stuff. It seats seven and comes with 87.8 cubic feet of cargo space.
Hyundai Kona Electric
- Cost: $37,190
All three packages in the Hyundai Kona Electric line are powered by 150-kilowatt electric motors that generate 201 horsepower and come with 258-mile ranges. Even the base model gives you a 7-inch color touchscreen audio system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, forward collision-avoidance assist and blind-spot collision warning. That battery is covered by a 10-year/100,000 mile warranty, and the rear seats can fold down completely for 45.8 cubic feet of cargo space or have the option of a 60/40 split.
Toyota GR Supra
- Cost: $49,990
Although taste is subjective, it’s hard to argue that the Toyota GR Supra isn’t a thing of beauty, and with 11 different color options — several of which are two-toned — you can make it all your own. All three trims have a 3.0-liter twin-scroll single turbo DOHC 24-valve inline six-cylinder engine. That’s enough to generate 335 horsepower and take you from zero to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds for a top speed of 155 mph.
- Cost: $52,810
With eight packages to choose from, there’s no shortage of options with the 2020 Ford Expedition, but no matter which trim you like, it’s big, roomy and imposing. Known for its sprawling legroom and towing power — up to 9,300 pounds — it gets a good-for-its-class 17/23 city/highway mpg. Ford Co-Pilot 360, which comes standard, gives you features like a lane-keeping system, precollision assist with automatic emergency braking, Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert and a rearview camera.
Mercedes-Benz GLE SUV
- Cost: $54,250
The luxury SUV that is the Mercedes-Benz GLE SUV has a wheelbase that’s 3 inches longer than the last model year, and it’s also roomier and more aerodynamic. Standard wheels are 19 inches, but options can take you up to 22. The inside is roomy, luxurious and packed with tech and driver-assist features. The third-row seating option allows for it to become a seven-seater. Powered by a 255-horsepower turbo engine, the gears are controlled by an advanced 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission.
- Cost: $58,900
Even the entry-level 2020 BMW X5 comes with a 335-horsepower engine that can vault you from zero to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds — the first-ever X5 M50i has a V-8 with 523 horses. Big, 22-inch wheels are kept stable by standard Dynamic Damper Control and multiple suspension types. BMW Live Cockpit Professional features integrated displays, there’s an intuitive infotainment system, a comprehensive package of driver-assist technologies, and the luxurious interior is capped by a standard panoramic moonroof.
- Cost: $59,995
The all-new mid-engine Corvette coupe and convertible seem to be all that ‘Vette fans had hoped for. When Chevy says “completely redesigned,” the company means it — just a single part was carried over from the previous model year. The LT2 V-8 engine is visible through a rear hatch window, and the hood release and door handles are hidden to improve aerodynamics, giving it an overall feeling of sleekness that’s sharp even by Stingray standards.
Porsche 718 Boxster
- Cost: $82,800
The 2020 718 Boxster and Boxster S are convertibles that live up to the Porsche name. With 300 maximum horsepower and a top track speed of 170 mph, the Boxter flies from zero to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds — the S is even quicker and more powerful. The 718 name lives on, but this time the mid-engine roadster boasts an even sportier chassis and a remarkable level of handling and precision that is only possible when the engine is positioned no farther than 12 inches behind the driver’s back, which in this case, it is.
Porsche Macan Turbo
- Cost: $83,600
The four-door Porsche Macan Turbo has a front-engine layout with a twin-turbocharged V-6 that pumps out 434 horsepower managed by a 7-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung automatic transmission. All-wheel drive, Porsche Stability Management and Power Steering Plus offer superb handling and traction. It’s got a top track speed of 167 and can jump from zero to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds — 4.1 with the Sport Chrono Package.
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Photo Disclaimer: Please note some photos are for representational purposes only and might not feature exact models, base models or the cars’ specific trim levels. As a result, some of the cars in the photos might have different MSRPs than the ones listed in this article.
About the Author
Andrew Lisa has been writing professionally since 2001. An award-winning writer, Andrew was formerly one of the youngest nationally distributed columnists for the largest newspaper syndicate in the country, the Gannett News Service. He worked as the business section editor for amNewYork, the most widely distributed newspaper in Manhattan, and worked as a copy editor for TheStreet.com, a financial publication in the heart of Wall Street’s investment community in New York City.