With the advent of technology, more and more car companies are trying to innovate and stay ahead of their competitors in the race for customer acquisition. The more you innovate, the more you succeed is the mantra, which has led to the invention of something known as Paddle Shifters.
A paddle shifter is a lever mechanism installed just behind the steering wheels of the car and used to quickly change the gears in a moving car without moving your hands towards the gear lever, making a gear shift easy and safe. Their main aim is to enhance the overall driving experience by keeping the drivers safe as well.
Initially, the paddle shifters were deployed in racing cars only, but with increasing demand in the market, they were introduced in many passenger cars as well. So if you are someone who is looking to buy a car with paddle shifters but on a tight budget, here is a compilation of the 10 Best cars with Paddle Shifters under $20k.
1. Honda Fit
The Honda Fit is a fourth-generation subcompact car and comes at an affordable starting price of $16,190. The car is a front-wheel-drive car equipped with a 4-cylinder I-4 engine and produces 128 horsepower at 6600 lb-ft torque and accelerates from 0-60 MPH in 8.2 seconds.
The car comes in four different trims: the standard trim, the EX trims, the EX-L trim and the CVT equipped Sports trim. The latter three editions come with Paddle Shifters equipped with them, making these cars a fun ride.
Also read: Where is Honda Made? (The Full List)
2. Hyundai Veloster
The Hyundai Veloster is a second-generation compact sports car that comes at a starting base price of $18,900. The base Veloster comes with a 2-liter I4 engine that generates 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft torque, while the other editions come with a 1.6-liter engine. The car accelerates from 0-60 MPH in under five seconds.
The car comes in 5 different trim levels: the base Veloster, the Veloster 2.0 premium, the Veloster turbo R-spec, the Veloster turbo, and the Veloster turbo ultimate. The latter three editions come with paddle shifters equipped with them, which makes them one of the fastest running cars in this price range.
3. Ford EcoSport
The Ford EcoSport is a very popular SUV car in this category. The car comes at a starting base price of $19,995 and is available in four trims: the standard Sedition, the SE edition, the titanium edition, and the SES edition.
The car comes with two engine choices: a 1-liter three-cylinder turbocharged engine that produces 123 horsepower in front-wheel drive and The car can accelerate from 0 to 60 MPH in 11.2 seconds. The Titanium edition of the car comes with paddle shifters that add more fun to it while driving.
Also read: 10 Best Cars with Paddle Shifters Under $10k
4. Toyota Yaris
The Toyota Yaris falls in the category of subcompact cars and comes at a price starting at $16,605. The car is available in three different trim levels: The L, LE, and XLE trim. The car comes with a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 106 horsepower and 103-pound feet of torque.
The car can accelerate from 0 to 60 MPH in 5.5 seconds. The VX CVT model, which is the top model of the car, comes with paddle shifters, which lets you change transmissions quickly and makes it a fun ride to have.
5. Acura TSX
The Acura TSX is a compact sedan car and comes at a price starting at $15,499. The car’s base engine is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 201 horsepower at 170 lb-ft torque and runs from 0 to 60 MPH in 8.5 seconds.
The car comes in three different trims: the 2.4 trims, the Technology trim, and the 3.5 trim. The latter two models come with paddle shifters that enhance the entire driving experience of the car.
6. Toyota Camry
The Toyota Camry SE comes at an affordable base price of $18,405. The car comes with two engine options: a four-cylinder engine that produces 178 horsepower and a V6 engine that generates 268 horsepower. Both front-wheel drive and six-speed automatic transmission are present in both engine modes.
The V6 model can accelerate from 0 to 60 MPH in 5.8 seconds. The car comes in three different trim levels: the XLE trim level, the SE trim level, and the XSE trim levels. The latter two trim levels come with paddle shifters that enhance the driving experience.
7. Kia Forte
The Kia Forte falls in the category of compact cars. The standard edition of the car comes at an average price trim of $12,700. The car comes in three different trims: The LX trim and the EX-trim and SX trim.
The LX trim comes with a 1.8 liter 4-cylinder MPI engine that produces 150 horsepower at 130 lb-ft torque, while the EX-trim comes with a 2-liter four-cylinder GDI engine that produces 173 horsepower at 154 lb-ft of torque while the EX-trim has the same engine specifications, but comes with more fancy attachments.
The car can accelerate from 0 to 60 in 8.3 seconds. The SX version of the car comes with Paddle Shifters attached to it that improve the overall driving experience of the car.
8. Ford Escape
The Ford Escape is a premier SUV that comes at an average price of $18,500. The car comes in three different trim levels: The S trim, the SE trim, and the Titanium trim. The Titanium trim comes with paddle shifters attached to them.
The base S model comes with 2.5 liters inline-four-cylinder engine that generates 168 horsepower at 170 lb-ft torque, while the SE trim comes with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 178 horsepower at 184 lb-ft torque, the same as the titanium trim.
The car can accelerate from 0 to 60 MPH in 7.2 seconds.
9. Honda Accord
The Honda Accord is a midsize car that comes at an average cost price of $17,300. The car comes in six different trims named: LX, LX-S, Sport, EX, EX-L, and Touring. The Sport model can accelerate from 0-60 MPH in 7.5 seconds.
The LX model comes with a four-cylinder engine that produces 185 horsepower at 181 lb-ft of torque, while the sport model produces 89 horsepower at 182 lb-ft torque and the Ex-L model is a 3.6-liter V6 engine that produces 278 horsepower at 252 lb-ft torque. The Sport model of the car comes with paddle shifters.
10. Nissan Altima
The Nissan Altima is a midsize class car that comes at an average price of $15,100. The car comes in five different trims: The base, S, SR, SV, and SL trims.
A standard four-cylinder engine is common in all trim models.
The S trim comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that produces 182 horsepower, the same as the SR, SV, and SL trims. The car can accelerate from 0 to 60 MPH in 8.3 seconds. The SR model of the car comes with paddle shifters attached to it and is also their best-selling model.
How to Use Paddle Shifters?
The first and foremost thing one needs to keep in mind is “‘when to use a paddle shifter”. If the vehicle is in the automatic transmission mode, then the car needs to be entered into the manual transmission mode first before pulling the levers of the shifter.
It means that the Paddle Shifters should be used only when the car is in its Manual Transmission mode because you need to have full control over your car first. Then the right paddle upshifts the gear, while the left paddle downshifts the gear.
Now because the vehicle is in manual transmission mode, it needs to switch back to the automatic transmission, hence the “D” mode present in the shifter is used to bring it back to normal. This step is also very important to know for the driver to be aware of.
Pros and Cons of Paddle Shifters
With more and more techno-friendly cars coming into the market, they have their advantages as well as their fair share of challenges. So here are some of the Pros and Cons of Paddle Shifters-
- Drivers can easily switch the gears without moving their hands towards traditional gear levers, thus making the drive safer.
- Automatic transmission cars can be easily turned into manual transmission cars for driver comfort.
- Easier to maneuver the vehicle when facing a steep turn or climb.
- Some drivers do not need them at all; hence it becomes an additional liability on the steering wheel.
- With installing paddle shifters, the overall cost of the vehicle might increase, as they come with hefty prices.