Cool or not, these cars are worth a look before your next purchase


Kelley Blue Book recently named its 10 Coolest New Cars Under $20,000.

But that list may not do much good for shoppers who have different vehicle requirements.

Fortunately, Edmunds.com and Parents magazine, WardsAuto, and U.S. News & World Report each has its own take on cars that might fit a shopper’s lifestyle.

“What is it that makes a car cool?” Kelley Blue Book wondered in the introduction to its coolest-cars list.

Photo credit: Hyundai via Newspress USA
The 2018 Hyundai Kona is riding high on several “best of” lists.

“While everyone may have slightly different interpretations of that idea, there are many things about a cool car that most of us can agree on. Is it fun? Is it stylish? Does the car make you smile? Does it have the tech features you want, and the versatility you need, at a price you can afford?”

Of course, most of us probably could agree that those cool-car criteria apply to other cars (and interiors) as well: Parents magazine and Edmunds.com offer the 10 Best Family Cars for 2018; U.S. News & World Report, The 9 Best New Cars Under $20,000; Kelley Blue Book again with the 10 Best Used Cars Under $20,000, and WardsAuto with the 10 Best Interiors: What a Concept!

As if to prove our point, there is a lot of overlap between the 10 Coolest New Cars and 9 Best New Cars, with five vehicles on both lists, including the Kona, Hyundai’s small SUV, which also was among the 10 Best Interiors. The Kia Soul was the only car making the Coolest, Family, and Best lists, and while it didn’t make WardsAuto’s interiors list, Kelley Blue Book said its “cool looks continue inside.”

Here is our compilation of the “best of” lists that rolled out the last month or so:

10 Coolest New Cars Under $20,000

Photo credit: Kia via Newspress USA
The 2018 Kia Soul is cool, but also scores well on several other “best of” lists.
  1. Mazda Mazda3
  2. Honda Civic
  3. Hyundai Kona
  4. Volkswagen Golf
  5. Kia Soul
  6. Jeep Renegade
  7. Subaru Impreza
  8. Honda Fit
  9. Hyundai Elantra
  10. Chevrolet Sonic

10 Best Family Cars for 2018

Photo credit: Chevrolet via Newspress USA
The Chevrolet Traverse was described as having “barely a seam out of place.”

Best minivan: Honda Odyssey
Best three-row SUVs: Volkswagen Atlas, Chevrolet Traverse
Best two-row SUVs: Ford Edge, Acura RDX
Best SUV-like wagons: Subaru Outback, Kia Soul
Best sedans: Honda Accord, Chevrolet Malibu
Best Hybrid: Toyota Prius

The 9 Best New Cars Under $20,000

Photo credit: Honda via Newspress USA
The 2018 Honda Civic tops the list of new cars under $20,000.
  1. Honda Civic
  2. Kia Soul
  3. Honda Fit
  4. Hyundai Kona
  5. Toyota Yaris iA
  6. Chevrolet Sonic
  7. Mazda Mazda3
  8. Kia Rio
  9. Kia Forte

10 Best Interiors: What a Concept!

Inside outstanding: The 2018 Chevrolet Equinox named by WardsAuto.

Chevrolet Equinox
Hyundai Kona
Infiniti QX50
Kia Stinger
Lexus LS 500
Lincoln Navigator
Porsche Panamera
Ram 1500
Range Rover Velar
Toyota Camry

10 Best Used Cars Under $20,000

The 2017 Mazda Mazda6 made the list of 10 best used cars.
  1. 2016 Honda Accord
  2. 2017 Toyota Camry
  3. 2017 Subaru Legacy
  4. 2016 Chevrolet Impala
  5. 2016 Dodge Charger
  6. 2016 Kia Optima
  7. 2017 Mazda Mazda6
  8. 2017 Hyundai Sonata
  9. 2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid
  10. 2017 Volkswagen Passat

So, whether you go for new or used, cool or family, or simply the most affordable, there’s something on these lists that probably is worth your consideration.

And if you decide to buy a vehicle on these or any other lists, you may think about financing from RoadLoans, the direct-to-consumer product of Santander Consumer USA, which may allow you to shop with confidence with your financing already in hand