Category Archives: Under $15,000

Nissan Versa Note has the agility and pep to handle city driving.

New Nissan subcompact reaches the highest Note

The Nissan Versa is a lot like a singer in a successful choir, who can carry a tune but would rather blend into the harmony than hit the high notes. It’s a formula that helps the Versa lead the subcompact segment in sales, but it is about to take on a new member, one that is ready to grab the spotlight and hit the high notes. It is, appropriately enough, …

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Nissan’s Versa Simple, Inexpensive

Nissan’s 2012 Versa 1.6 SV Sedan is simple. That can cut both ways. A simple car is good when it means inexpensive, useful, good gas mileage, good interior and trunk room. Simple may not be quite as positive a trait when it means lackluster acceleration, hard seats and vague steering. Versa is truly an entry-level compact sedan. The base 1.6 S model with manual transmission is among the lowest priced …

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Kia Rio

Expected Pricing: $12,500-$16,500 Release Date: Summer 2011 (Hatch), Fall 2011 (Sedan) Overview Not many years ago, most U.S. buyers scoffed at small, economical cars. Fuel- and space-conscious models made for Europe and Asia never saw these shores because automakers feared they just wouldn’t sell. Times have changed. With fuel prices on the rise (again) and steeper fleet fuel economy standards, manufacturers are rushing to compete in the subcompact market. Enter …

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2012 Chevrolet Sonic

Expected Pricing: $12,000-$15,000 Release Date: Late 2011 The Chevrolet Sonic chassis will feature electronic power steering, MacPherson strut front and torsion beam rear suspension, ABS/EBFD disc brakes and wheel sizes up to 17-inch. Inside, the Sonic carries what Chevrolet calls a motorcycle-inspired digital instrument panel layout, with the rest of the interior recalling current GM luxury brands like Buick, similar but not matching. Standard equipment will include 10 airbags, traction …

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Hyundai Elantra

Hyundai elevates Elantra to head of compact class

The 2010 Hyundai Elantra is a nice, competitive sedan, worthy of consideration against the Toyota Corolla, Nissan Sentra, or even the Honda Civic or Mazda3 among stalwarts of the compact class because of its inexpensive price sticker and impressive warranty. However, as seems to be the case in recent Hyundai philosophy, why stay with competitive when superlatives can be attained? For 2011, the totally renovated Elantra is, in a word, …

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