need a cheap ride
November 8, 2011 6:33 PM   Subscribe

Want to buy a cheap NEW car. Any suggestions?

I live in a remote area and my car pickings are slim. My current 10-year old car (Ford ZX2) is showing its age. I am not really interested in a interesting car, just one that runs well and is relaiable. I want a cheap car ($10K-15K). I just need to drive myself to work 30 miles round trip. I do not have children or dogs. I really like very small cars, my ideal sized car is a Miata.

What do you all thing of the following:

Kia Soul
Chevrolet Aveo
Ford Fiesta
Nissan Versa

I do not want to go near a Hyundai.

An interesting aside, my husband asked me the other day what my ideal car is if I could have any car, I answered a Land Rover. Go figure.
posted by wandering_not_lost to Travel & Transportation (48 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
. . . you know that Kia is owned by Hyundai?

That being said, the Kia is probably the best value for your money. Quality and reliability is way up from about a decade ago. A few years ago, I test drove a Hyundai Accent, a Honda Fit, a Chevy Aveo, and a Toyota Yaris. The Accent and Fit had much more polished-feeling interiors and were better outfitted, right down to safety equipment--but the Accent was much cheaper. I'm planning on finally buying a new hatchback soon, and have already decided on the Soul.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:43 PM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

Fellow ZX2 owner here. I recently drove a Mazda2 as a rental car for a few days and it was really fun to drive, good on gas, and so small I could make u-turns in my parents' driveway. The only problem with the Mazda was I thought it had a large amount of blind spots, and the steering wheel was positioned really strangely so that you couldn't see the speedometer clearly while driving. I had an Aveo a few years back as a rental and absolulely loved that car. I'm definitely considering an Aveo when my ZX2 kicks it.

Consumer Reports gives a little free info on their site, but you should be able to get the full small car reports through your local library using their databases.
posted by jabes at 6:43 PM on November 8, 2011

Honda Fit. Very reliable; a best buy on places like Comsumer Reports.
posted by easily confused at 6:43 PM on November 8, 2011 [3 favorites]

Of those four, I'd probably rank 'em Versa-Fiesta-Soul-Aveo. Have you considered a Toyota Yaris, Honda Fit or Mazda 2 (dunno if any of those are within your price range)?

And let me be the first person to suggest buying a couple-year-old used car, maybe an off-lease or certified pre-owned or whatnot, rather than a brand new one.
posted by box at 6:46 PM on November 8, 2011 [5 favorites]

(I also had an Aveo as a rental a few years back, and thought it was crappier than the average ten-year-old Civic or Corolla. As they say, YMMV.)
posted by box at 6:47 PM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

I had a rental Versa this year and did not like it. It was too light and too stiff. Of course, I love my Hyundai Elentra so YMMV.
posted by pointystick at 6:57 PM on November 8, 2011

Might be a teeny bit over, but Toyota Corolla is a nice, small, and efficient car!
posted by katypickle at 7:01 PM on November 8, 2011

Supplies of the Fit had been fairly constrained since the Japanese tsunami, though they're starting to come back into stock. Doesn't leave much room to haggle at the dealership, though.

I'd say Fiesta: it's bringing to the US a genuinely European approach to small cars -- where you can't skimp on the interior or features just because it's small and at the lower end of the price ladder. By comparison, the Fit has a pretty spartan interior, even on the Sport configuration, and the ride is noticeably noisier: that's the sort of thing that becomes more of a factor on longer commutes, though not as much for 15 miles each way.

However: the Soul takes a really interesting approach to the small car, reminiscent of the Scion xB in its older, boxier incarnation -- and if you were to go for gently-used, an xB might suit your Land Roverish sensibilities.
posted by holgate at 7:02 PM on November 8, 2011

We love our Honda Fit. Have a couple of friends who really love their Soul. (And for what it's worth, I loved our previous car, a Hyundai Elantra.) Have not heard good things about the Aveo - it reputedly feels as cheap as it is, whereas the Fit and other cars in that class give you much more for your money.
posted by PussKillian at 7:03 PM on November 8, 2011

The Kia Rio is the similar Kia to those other small cars, the Soul is bigger. And the Kia pretty much is a Hyundai interior in a different shell, so if you don't want Hyundai you should dump Kia. Having looked for cars in this size, and excluding Hyundai, I'd look at the Honda Fit too. I didn't like the Mazda2 or the Yaris.
posted by jeather at 7:04 PM on November 8, 2011

The kia Soul has been the best selling compact for a few months now. THey have a hit on their hands. This is good for several reasons for a cheap to buy car that is going to be a cheap to own car-lots of cars on the road mean mechanics are going to be famaliar with them and parts are going to be readily available. For the most for your money I would rank it Soul, Mazda2 (mostly based on sales volume and the Kia soul will seat 4 comfortably, not so much the mazda 2). After that it is pretty much a wash I think. None of the cars in this class are really bad cars, but based on experience I would put the aveo and versa in a dead heat for the cheapest car to buy and it shows-they are not really refined or well thought out vehicles. The interiors are especially cheap. Good luck.
posted by bartonlong at 7:10 PM on November 8, 2011

Really, really like my xB. As holgate says, just get a lightly used one.

And seconding the impressions that the Aveo is a real dog. I rented one once and was kind of surprised that such a poorly thought-out car could actually make it to market.
posted by bricoleur at 7:19 PM on November 8, 2011

I know several people who have bought Fiestas, even though they certainly could have afforded "more" car if they had wanted to. It's apparently quite fun to drive and comes with a lot of neat extras. I'm not sure about the base model, but I took the 6-speed auto version for a spin and for an automatic it was sporty as hell.
posted by Kadin2048 at 7:36 PM on November 8, 2011

FYI, the Aveo is no more -- it's been replaced by the Sonic, built in Michigan with a major makeover, and the first-drive reviews are not that bad, though not as favourable as the ones the Cruze received.
posted by holgate at 7:47 PM on November 8, 2011

Hmm, isn't the Aveo discontinued, replaced by the more favorably-reviewed Sonic?

Of the listed options, I think the Fiesta's probably the best choice, though I'm not sure if it's going to come in under 15K unless it's strictly the base model. The Honda Fit is probably the best/most-practical in class, but I think the price is a little higher there too. Kia/Hyundai probably are the best value choices.

If I were in the market for a new car, I'd probably lean towards another Mazda3 (I'm currently driving the last generation version and I love it dearly) or a Subaru Impreza, but those are a class size up from what you're looking at.
posted by Pryde at 7:49 PM on November 8, 2011

I was gonna mention the Sonic, though it's new so perhaps some wariness is in order. Versas tend to come out at or near the bottom of tests of cars in this class. I've heard a bunch of people speak well of the Toyota Yaris. It definitely is small.
posted by ambient2 at 7:51 PM on November 8, 2011

Honda fit, used 12k. Hondas are great. Versa is similar and good but brand new-> risky.
posted by femmme at 7:55 PM on November 8, 2011

My wife and I really like our Scion xD, which is basically a yaris with a better stereo. But the Fiesta is far more fun to drive if that's what you're into.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 7:58 PM on November 8, 2011

I'm not sure if it's going to come in under 15K unless it's strictly the base model

Yeah, and a 5-speed, as the automatic costs more. Ballpark MSRP for the SE package with auto is more like $18,500, but that's comparable to most 2012 Fits on dealer lots right now, and new Fits are selling a lot nearer sticker price than Fiestas.
posted by holgate at 8:06 PM on November 8, 2011

My Yaris is awesome. Bought it new 2 years ago, not a single problem (jinxed it now). Rear seats fold flat and takes about 5 seconds so you can easily fit a bike, or heaps of luggage or whatever. Front seats recline to a position that is comfortable to sleep in. Gets ~5.7L/100km.

The new 2012 version (just released, which probably means you can get a deal on the '10/'11 version) has improved airbags and stereo.
posted by trialex at 8:07 PM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

We ended up going with an Suzuki SX4 because we wanted all wheel drive (and we really like it!), but of the cars in your wheelhouse, we really liked the Fit, Yaris, and Ford Fiesta. They're all a little plasticky and chintzy but the build quality is pretty good all things considered, and they were all fun to drive and handled well.

We would only have considered a used vehicle, so had all-wheel not been a concern, we could easily have chosen any of these cars depending on what options they had available, and possibly what colors because I'm a dork like that.

For no particular reason we never got around to driving a Versa or any Mazdas.
posted by padraigin at 8:10 PM on November 8, 2011

Seconding the Yaris. Got mine four years ago and I adore it. I would suggest you get the manual transmission if you can drive one. The pick up is way better. That was actually the primary reason I didn't get a Fit was that it's automatic only and it was sluggish on take off.
posted by teleri025 at 8:11 PM on November 8, 2011

I would get the Fiesta.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 8:27 PM on November 8, 2011

Not on your list, but I love my Toyota Corolla, 12 years old, which literally has never had a problem. (Jinx.) The newer ones have slightly better style, but really, this is the most boring, most reliable car ever.
posted by sillymama at 9:10 PM on November 8, 2011

We got a Mazda 2 and really like it. The only thing we feel really shortchanged on with it is that it doesn't have a center armrest. The model is new to the US, but has been in Japan as the Demio for years.
posted by LionIndex at 9:15 PM on November 8, 2011

We recently bought a Fiesta and love it to bits, out of the cars we drove (Kia Rio, Mazda2, Mazda3, Toyota Yaris, Suzuki Swift, Holden [Chevy] Cruze and, for some reason, a Nissan Micra) it was easily the zippiest and most luxurious to drive. However it was a teeny bit more expensive than everything else except the Mazda3 and in retrospect I wish I had waited for the new Ford Focus Titanium, to at least try it out. But it's peanuts to fill up, gets good miles, is easy to park, fits plenty of shopping in the back, and has been good for longer drives as it accelerates fairly well and is easy to get out of tight and/or annoying spots on the highway.
posted by tumid dahlia at 9:57 PM on November 8, 2011

I live in a rural area and normally drive a fifteen-year old Corolla. Winters up here are intense, so my thoughts are weighted in that direction.

I'd rank them Versa-Aveo-Fiesta-Soul. I'd also jump on the bandwagon to recommend looking at the Fit/Yaris/Matrix bunch of small, hatchback, reliable cars. You obviously want to watch out for the Toyota recalls, which hit the Matrix and Corolla fairly heavily, but then you say you want to buy new so you should be ok (agreed, though, that Toyota is having major supply issues due to the tsunami so maybe that's one reason to leave it off your list).

I'm currently driving the 2012 (woo!) Versa as a rental while my Corolla's getting a facelift. I would agree that the rear is a bit obstructed (back seat head rests block what's already a small back window due to the hatch--you can of course get the non-hatch and that is in fact the cheaper version). I'm used to the plastic interior of a Corolla and honestly didn't think the Versa was that bad at all (not nearly as tacky as its cousins the Fit/Yaris/etc. which uniformly have terrible interiors). I drive automatics and this one seems fine; your typical slightly underpowered Japanese import.

I like the odometer/gas mileage etc. area much better on the Versa than I do on the Fit; the Fit has this dash that's bright blue at night and kind of gross and the knobs in the center console area are just not my style (see 2012 Fit photo here). These are all aesthetic complaints, though, and my friends who own a Fit love them. The small size is handy when it comes to parking and they're sturdy enough that I know someone who does a 60-mile rural winter commute in one no problem.

As for the Aveo, it's also classed in the same ranking as the Versa at the rental car place--small, compact, and cheap. I'm not a huge fan of Chevy and apparently you can't get the Aveo anymore anyway. I'd personally wait to see how the replacement model is working out before jumping in to take a chance on a Chevy.

I don't buy Fords (one-time Ford owner) so can't really recommend one, but it seems like others have had a good experience so I'd just suggest really scrutinizing the recall and repair record of whatever you buy. My problem with Ford is that though they've improved since I last owned one, their record of reliability is just not as consistent long-term as the Japanese car makers.

Finally, I would never recommend buying a Kia. I was in the market oh, about ten years ago for a new car (that's how I got my Corolla, which was lightly used) and looked at Kias because they're dirt cheap. For a reason. I'd think there are lots of cute, safe, reliable cars that are also cheap and new that you could buy in your price range before purchasing a Kia.
posted by librarylis at 10:07 PM on November 8, 2011

libraylis, reliability and safety on kia/hyundais has improved significantly since a decade ago. It's worth it to take a test drive to compare build quality and research into standard safety features for the price--OP might be surprised, particularly comparing Toyota to the Korean brands.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:21 PM on November 8, 2011 [2 favorites]

We just purchased a new Fit under the 0.9% financing, although it looks like the Fit is no longer covered under the deal. You might want to check at your dealer to be sure. It's a bit outside your price range, but it was outside the price range I'd initially set for myself too. After researching everything, I went with the Fit because I know and trust Honda to make good cars. The resell value remains high (we saw certified pre-owns that cost more than my new), the gas mileage is good (30+ always so far), and the space is amazing for such a small car. I love big cars, but I also wanted something economical. The Fit was the perfect compromise for me.

It's hard to haggle on Fits because there aren't many out there, but we managed to get $3k knocked off our price, putting it just above MSRP ($16k) in an area known for the high prices on cars and when half of the dealers I called didn't have any. Call around to all the local places, even ones that are over an hour away and get them to price compete. Once you've gotten the best price possible, go in to the local place and tell them that you'll buy the car then and there if they beat your lowest price. My guy had me call and confirm the offer in front of him when we were negotiating, but in the end, he beat it.
posted by avagoyle at 10:46 PM on November 8, 2011

I spent all day this past Sunday on new car lots, looking at SUVs. In a couple of instances, the small compacts really caught my eye in terms of fit and finish, projected gas mileage, and features. They were the Kia Soul, the Chevrolet Sonic (totally different car than the Aveo), and the Mazda2.

f I were in the market for thsi kind of vehicle, I'd be considering one of those. I didn't look at the Ford Fiesta, but based on online reviews, I'd also check that one out.
posted by imjustsaying at 2:29 AM on November 9, 2011

Want to buy a cheap NEW car. Any suggestions?

Reconsider. If you buy a new car, you burn about a quarter of what you paid for it just by driving it off the dealer's lot.

If you want cheap, reliable transportation, just about any small Japanese used car will work well for you for many years, and save you enough off the purchase price of any new car to fund even major mechanical work should you decide to keep the car for long enough that such becomes required. Body work, not so much; buy something not many years old with no sign of rust and no traces of having been in an accident.

I drive a 1995 Daihatsu Mira four-door, which I believe sold for around AU$12,000 new in 1995; I bought it last year for AU$3500. The body is in beautiful condition - it looks new. It's got 190,000km on it now, and having spent roughly $2500 on major mechanical works it runs like new as well. I think I'm a gentler driver than the previous owner and I fully expect the car to last at least another 200,000km before I need to look at major mechanical spending again. I would expect to pay maybe AU$16,000 for a comparably reliable and economical new car now, which by my reckoning leaves me ten grand better off for having bought the used one.

The main trick with keeping mechanical costs under control with a small used front-wheel-drive car is to remind yourself that the fact you bought used has saved you enough to allow a strategic approach to funding repairs. Instead of trying to minimize the cost of any particular repair, get them done in bunches even if they're not strictly necessary yet provided doing so will save time and labour costs overall. For example, if you're going to spend $1500 on an engine rebuild, spend $2000 instead and replace the clutch as well while the motor is already out of the car.
posted by flabdablet at 3:34 AM on November 9, 2011

My wife really likes her Honda Fit Base. Good gas mileage, and you can haul some impressively large loads in it.

I like it just fine, too, though I find the things Honda leaves off the car irritating. Like, you have to purchase separately a security cover for the rear storage area, leaving anything you have back there in full view otherwise. And, the base model comes with the factory security system disabled (it's enabled in the Sport model) WTF???
posted by Thorzdad at 4:04 AM on November 9, 2011

Love my Yaris. It's a 2007 with ~60,000 miles on it and has never needed any work beyond routine maintenance and new tires (I've owned it for a year and a half). I usually get around 37 mpg, which makes me happy.

It's small but I find I can haul much bigger stuff than people with larger cars because of hatchback magic.
posted by mskyle at 5:46 AM on November 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

I bought my new Soul last summer, and I love it so much. I got the + model with audio upgrade package, floor mats, cargo tray, and cargo cover for about $16500 out-the-door. It drives like a small car, excellent turn radius, but everyone who gets in the back comments on how big it actually is. Plus Kia's cars come with some great warranties. If you've got some specific questions about the Soul, feel free to MeMail me.
posted by specialagentwebb at 6:35 AM on November 9, 2011

Best answer: This is easier said than done, but I would give up the mindset that one manufacturer is better or worse than others. Specific models are made in different factories, possibly designed by different designers with different goals in mind. And yes, Kia is related to Hyundai, the cars are mostly identical. (Although my research indicates that Kias are sometimes a year "older" in technology- the 2012 Hyundai Accent has a GDI engine, while the 2012 Kia version doesn't seem to.)

On paper, flabdablet is right about the losing value thing. But look at the whole picture. When you buy a car, you aren't buying an asset, you are buying an expense. It provides a service to you, and you measure the cost of that service in money per interval. ($ per mile, $ per year, etc.) When you buy a used car, you are saving dollars now, but you are also losing a couple years of service. You are also losing a significant portion, or all, of the factory warranty.

It's a risk/reward thing. Buying new guarantees that you will pay more, but it also guarantees that you shouldn't have to pay for repairs for the first few years. Buying used risks that you will have more repair costs. And guarantees that your maintenance costs (brakes, tires, belts, hoses, etc., are all X years older and X years closer to needing to be repaired. If you like fixing cars and can do it yourself, it likely does pay off in the end. If you don't or can't, it may not.

Finally, being a misanthrope, I suspect used cars that are only a few years old. Why does someone get rid of a car that's not that old?

Anyway, if you liked your Ford, I would buy the Fiesta. It gets pretty good ratings and I haven't heard anything bad about it. If you don't like Hyundai, don't buy the Kia. But I would also suggest checking out the Hyundai Accent, it has been getting excellent reviews and is best-in-class in a lot of categories. My second choice would be the Chevy Aveo/Sonic.
posted by gjc at 6:36 AM on November 9, 2011

I drive rentals for work ~6 times a month. Everything from tiny subcompacts to 16 ton box trucks.

An Aveo is a rebranded Suzuki, or at least it was a few years ago. NO.

Honda Fit is a nice car with good utility, but IMO they're a little overpriced. I'd buy a corolla or a yaris for the same money. (I own a 2010 corolla that I'm in love with.)

Kia. No. In the words of a friend who used to sell them "Kia's are disposable cars."

Versa is an OK car, but I'm not a fan.

Scions aren't bad cars, but the only one I'd want to drive daily is a tC. That's personal preference though, and you're not going to find one for 10-15k.

Hyundai has come a LONG way. I am very impressed with their recent offerings. I'm not a huge fan of Elantras but the Sonata isn't far from your price range. Sonatas are surprisingly nice. has come a LONG WAY. Especially because they're the only American producer who didn't take a bailout...and they're doing GREAT. The Fusion is actually beating the CAMRY and the ACCORD in reliability and overall value---and that's unheard of. They're also amazingly nice cars. Even the new focus's are nice. The Fiesta (really wish they're renamed it) is a pretty fun little car with great mileage that's fun to drive. Of your list, it would be my first choice.
posted by TomMelee at 7:05 AM on November 9, 2011

My Honda Fit was awesome. I had one (a Sport) from the first model-year to hit the US, and sold it at CarMax after I no longer needed it, about five years later. Purchase price - sale price = ~$3,000. I couldn't be happier with the experience.

(Just as long as your local terrain isn't composed exclusively of steep hills. I got into the habit of chanting "I think I can I think I can I think I can...")
posted by tsmo at 7:07 AM on November 9, 2011

All of y'all who are recommending Fits and Corollas (and I would lump Civics in here too) obviously haven't been car shopping in a while! These start at 18K...they are no longer the bottom of the market. Neither are Scions. And the market for slightly-used versions of those models isn't great either.

I was in your situation almost a year ago. I ended up with a 2011 Nisan Versa hatchback for 14K and I'm very happy. I feel like I got a lot of bang for my buck. I got the middle trim level, called the SL - 1.8L engine, A/C, regular automatic transmission (they also offer a CVT transmission), power windows. It drives really nicely - I was really attached to my 2000 Jetta (which I totalled, thus the purchase) and I felt like the Versa had a similar feel.

I think the Versa is meant to be a cheaper rip-off of the Fit, so the interior is really well-designed. The console layout is clean and the seats fold down easily. I moved recently and was able to shuttle a lot of stuff in the Versa.

My only complaint is that it doesn't have the best suspension - at least I think that's what you call it. It's a lot bumpier than most cars. Part of that has to do with being a small car that's low to the ground, I think. Oh also the gas tank is only 11 gal.
posted by radioamy at 8:10 AM on November 9, 2011

I like your idea to get a Nissan.
I bought a Nissan Sentra new in 1991. I drove it for ten years and it only needed brakes, tires and fluids during that time. No mechanical failures at all. It was way fun to drive.
(Now hear this, that car got anywhere from 35 to 48 miles per gallon! Sometimes I wish I still had that car!)
posted by No Shmoobles at 9:01 AM on November 9, 2011

Bought a new 2010 Versa for my wife last year, black hatchback with all options except nav and sunroof, for about $15k, and she loves the hell out of that vehicle. I don't mind driving it either, when I have to. Pretty good on gas(compared to my Altima), not too sluggish, relatively comfortable.

In contrast to radioamy, I consider the stiff suspension a feature, not a bug. It makes the car really fun to take around corners. Also, SL is the Versa's top trim level, with S being middle, and no letter being base. It doesn't really change a whole lot on that car, though. As long as you get the S or SL you'll get the 1.8L engine.

Also, the gas tank is 13 gallons. It should take you well over 300 miles on a fill-up.
posted by owtytrof at 9:09 AM on November 9, 2011

Regarding the Nissan Versa, for 2012 the sedan version was updated to a new generation and it seems...kinda cheaper and uglier than before. The hatchback version is still the previous generation and more worthy of consideration, in my opinion.
posted by Pryde at 11:01 AM on November 9, 2011

I just bought a new Hyundai Accent (it's the sister to the new Kia Rio) - 10 years ago I wouldn't have bought either, but quality and support has come miles. For me, the Accent had way more features and polish than the other small cars in the same price range. GDI, 6-speed transmissions (I was going to get a manual, but the auto is the same mileage, shiftable if needed, and I decided with my commute and traffic, I'd give it a shot.

Between my mother and I we've owned 13 Toyotas since I was born, and people are shocked that I went somewhere else, but it really does seem like more car than the Yaris for less money.
posted by pupdog at 11:17 AM on November 9, 2011

Why the scunner on Hyundai? Pretty much every reviewer I've read says they're the best value for money package out there. Reviews of the recent Accent redesign are out of this world.
posted by yoink at 11:28 AM on November 9, 2011

When you buy a used car, you are saving dollars now, but you are also losing a couple years of service hastening your first spend on major overhaul works. But for small Japanese cars in particular, what you'll spend on that overhaul is generally far less than the difference between the new car price and the used car price, and after the overhaul the reliability and economy difference between used and new will be negligible.

In my experience, used cars whose fair purchase price is around $3500 beat new cars hands down when you look at total cost per km traveled over the whole time you own the car. "New car smell" is the world's most expensive perfume.
posted by flabdablet at 3:02 PM on November 9, 2011

In my experience, used cars whose fair purchase price is around $3500 beat new cars hands down when you look at total cost per km traveled over the whole time you own the car. "New car smell" is the world's most expensive perfume.

in 2008 I would have agreed with you. However the market here in the US has really changed since the recession and Cash for clunkers. The cost of desirable, well maintained used cars has gone way, way up. In a few cases a 2 year old car can cost the same as a new car (due to differences in financing options, but still), especially for something like a corolla, fit or civic. The used car market in the US is vastly different than it was 4 years ago. For small, fuel effecient cars when the owner is not a car person and probably won't or can't do the maintenance themselves then buying a new car here is NOT a bad idea at all and when looked at over a 5 or 10 year period of ownership is actually a better deal. I expect this will change in the next 2-3 years to a more normal state of affairs.

Now, if you want a large SUV, pickup or minivan I totally agree with you, and the market has not changed much. But for anythign that has a good reputation for reliablity and good gas mileage, the prices are kinda strange.
posted by bartonlong at 4:46 PM on November 9, 2011 [3 favorites]

I have a 2010 Chevy Aveo that I bought new last year, and I love it, but I've heard even better reviews about the new Sonic that's replacing it. Also, like many other commenters have been saying,you should definitely consider looking into the Honda Fit as well.
posted by sabira at 4:32 AM on November 10, 2011

All of y'all who are recommending Fits and Corollas (and I would lump Civics in here too) obviously haven't been car shopping in a while! These start at 18K...they are no longer the bottom of the market.

I bought new Fit last month for $16k and I could've gotten lower than that if I had lived in a different city. You don't have to pay the sticker price on the car, especially towards the end of the year when they are trying to clear their stock. My dad bought a new CRV last year for under the MSRP by playing hard ball.

I never thought I'd buy a new car, but used car prices are currently stupidly expensive. In June I shopped for and bought a used car and people were asking and receiving well-over the KBB value. I only acquired my car, a 2001 Honda Accord, at a decent price because I responded to his ad an hour after he put it up. When we were purchasing our new car, people who thought we were selling the Accord gave us generous offers. I could sell the 2001 Accord for 1/3 the price of my new Fit. You only lose a lot of money on a new car if you purchase one that has little resale value.

OP, if you are willing wait, I'd suggest car shopping in December.
posted by avagoyle at 7:28 AM on November 10, 2011

owtytrof is correct, I have the S level Versa
posted by radioamy at 7:41 AM on November 10, 2011

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