10 Coolest Cars for Less Than $18,000
How do you get Americans back into a subcompact? Affordable tech toys and lots of them. The Fiesta's Bluetooth and digital media player compatibility through Microsoft's(MSFT) SYNC system, bevy of available apps and 29 miles per gallon city and 40 highway are chipping away at category leaders including the Nissan Versa and Honda Fit. Looks count, too, which is why the Fiesta's bug-like design, broad palette of nine colors and available playthings such as a power moonroof, heated leather-trimmed seats and capless fuel intake have been just as essential to its success as its more practical side.
5. 2012 Chevrolet Sonic
There was no way General Motors(GM) was going to let Ford play with all the cool subcompact toys by itself. The relatively new Sonic's comfortable ride, smooth steering, 31 cubic feet of cargo space and combined mileage of nearly 30 miles per gallon are the Sonic's key perks, but drivers get a lot of toys for the money. The base LS model includes a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a 60/40-split rear seat, a trip computer, OnStar emergency system and a four-speaker AM/FM stereo with an auxiliary audio jack. The LT upgrade throws in six-speaker audio, heated mirrors, remote starter, full power accessories and a Connectivity Plus package of cruise control, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, an iPod/USB audio interface and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls.
4. 2012 Mazda 3