PhotoMaybe you don't have a big budget for a new car, but that doesn't mean you can't have a cool set of wheels.

Kelley Blue Book (KBB) has released its “top 10 coolest cars of 2018 for under $20,000,” with the Mazda3 claiming the top spot. KBB says the Mazda3 is a compact that offers a mix of practicality and sportiness. It's available in both a sedan and hatchback.

Here's the complete list:

  1. 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

Priced well below the average new car

KBB says these cars are attractive because the average new car price is now $35,000 – more than the average consumer can reasonably afford. These cars are also very fuel efficient, which is suddenly an important consideration again as gas prices have begun to rise. But KBB says that's not the only thing that makes these cars attractive.

"Even at a lower price point, the 10 coolest new cars under $20,000 are loaded with tech and safety features and offered in sharp and versatile packages," said Michael Harley, executive editor for KBB. "Both good-looking and exciting to drive, these top picks are worth closer consideration by today's budget-minded shopper."

To make its list, KBB says a car has to be fun to drive and possess an admittedly subjective “cool factor.” That factor might be derived from the vehicle's design or its on-board technology.

It obviously has to have a purchase price starting at $20,000 or less. The most expensive MSRP on the list belongs to the Volkswagen Golf, right at $20,000. The lowest priced car on the list is the Chevy Sonic, with an MSRP of $15,295. In most cases, the cars can be purchased for less than their MSRP.


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