ATLANTA – As shoppers shift online across all categories for both every day essentials and aspirational needs, they are facing a new reality. Within the automotive space, they are experiencing an increasingly crowded virtual marketplace, where visiting multiple dealerships isn’t practical. So, how are new-car buyers to know which vehicles are most worthy of their consideration in today’s environment? While there are several mainstays long-known for excellence in the automotive industry, the truth remains that standout vehicles can be found among a variety of price points, categories and brands. To help car shoppers expand their horizons as they consider which new vehicle to buy, Autotrader recently named the Best New Cars for 2020.

Every vehicle Autotrader listed as a Best New Car for 2020 has ‘that certain something’ that makes it stand out in a very crowded field.

“Our goal was to provide a helpful list of cars that offer exceptional value for their class, regardless of vehicle type or price,” said Brian Moody, executive editor for Autotrader. “Anyone in the market for a new car really should look outside their typical go-to brands—they might be surprised what they find. It's also worth noting that out of our 12 best cars of the year, only one is from a luxury brand. That tells you just how good cars from volume brands are now in their top trims when it comes to comfort, technology and design. Every vehicle Autotrader listed as a Best New Car for 2020 has ‘that certain something’ that makes it stand out in a very crowded field.”

Each vehicle on this year’s list was agreed upon unanimously by the entire editorial and data team at Autotrader. To be considered, a vehicle must be of the current or next model-year and available for purchase at the time of the announcement. The editors capped the base price for consideration at $75,000 (although most vehicles on the list are well under), meaning they offer a significant value for the asking price. Not only was value a top priority, but vehicles also were judged on available technology and a rewarding or dynamic driving experience. Each winning car had to score an overall 3.9 or higher on the editors’ 5-point evaluation sheet.

Listed below, in alphabetical order, are the Autotrader experts’ choices for Best New Cars for 2020:

Autotrader’s Best New Cars for 2020


Vehicle Category

Sample Editorial Comments

2020 Chevrolet Corvette


Tremendously well-executed, the Corvette drives well, is nice inside, and it’s roomy, fast and fun. More importantly, the Corvette is affordable, which can seem like a bargain compared to many exotic cars tested.

2020 Ford Expedition

Full-size SUV

The 2020 Ford Expedition is the only car on the list that is not an all-new model or a full redesign for 2020. The Expedition got a big redesign for 2018 and has aged tremendously well ever since as a roomy and capable family hauler. Big SUVs are hard to get just right, as they can feel overwhelming and very truck-like. The Expedition is different – yes big, but it is very manageable from behind the wheel.

2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid

Compact SUV

For the first time, a hybrid version of Honda's popular compact crossover is available in the U.S. The CR-V Hybrid is super-efficient and reasonably priced, with plenty of pleasant interior space. It deserves praise for its performance and capability. Acceleration is another high point – it feels quick but the engine sound isn't harsh or overwhelming

2020 Hyundai Palisade

Midsize SUV

The Hyundai Palisade strikes the perfect balance between an affordable volume car and a premium luxury car. Hyundai has stepped up its game big time, emerging as a modern automaker delivering style, features, and value, all in one attractive package.

2020 Hyundai Sonata

Midsize Sedan

The Hyundai Sonata makes a strong case as a class leader in a competitive segment. Its redesign brought with it a stunning new look, a roomy, premium interior, and a generous list of standard features, plus some interesting available tech in the higher trims.

2020 Jeep Gladiator

Midsize Pickup

The Jeep Gladiator has all the coolness of a Wrangler with the functionality of a pickup bed. This is an off-roader without compromise.  The Gladiator also delivers a surprisingly smooth and comfortable ride quality on the street, while displaying all the off-road chops you'd expect when the pavement ends.

2020 Kia Telluride

Midsize SUV

The Telluride is an excellent SUV –  a homerun for Kia. Everything about it is terrific – the look, the ride, the features, the space. It’s a well-executed midsize SUV that somehow manages to be simple, authentic and luxurious all at the same time.

2020 Lincoln Aviator

Luxury Midsize SUV

The Autotrader editors liked the Aviator so much that some boldly declared it the best luxury midsize SUV, period. From the pillowy leather seats to the bevy of tech features to the gorgeously styled front fascia, Lincoln knocked it out of the park on this one. With an exceptionally impressive interior, this is the perfect car for everyday luxury.

2020 Mazda CX-30

Compact SUV

The Mazda CX-30 is just Mazda doing what Mazda does –  clean lines inside and out, good acceleration and an overall vibe that makes you do a double-take on the price. If sporty handling and a premium interior are important to you in a small SUV, check out the CX-30.

2020 Nissan Sentra

Compact Sedan

The 2020 Nissan Sentra is a very good compact sedan for buyers looking for comfort and value. Nissan has been making big strides in interior quality and design in recent years, and it shows on the new Sentra – which also has improved exterior styling and a quiet ride.

2020 Subaru Outback


At first glance it is hard to tell that the exterior of the 2020 Subaru Outback is all-new – but step inside and the redesign becomes much more apparent. It’s the perfect SUV alternative for those who want a rugged family car without the bulky size of a more truck-like vehicle.

2020 Toyota Highlander

Midsize SUV

The Highlander is a good SUV and has been a leader in this segment since it was first introduced almost 20 years ago and its dominance continues with the freshly redesigned fourth generation. The new Highlander has more interior space, more standard tech, and it finally has a standard V6. Toyota might be the expected choice, but the driving dynamics and handling with the new Highlander are anything but expected.

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