Decision Guide


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Rare and expensive vehicles and the stories behind their discovery.



Nov 20, 2012 4:52PM
Since Suzuki is leaving the car market in the U.S., why is Suzuki listed? Shouldn't you just stick with what's going to be available long term, MSN?
Nov 29, 2012 6:52AM

I agree with Clone, why is Suzuki as a car listed?  I also question any car MSN list that was with in the $500 mark of $16k.  Since there will be state taxes and other fees getting the car for under that will be next to impossible. 


Also finding many of these cars listed as "barebones" will be difficult.  Dealers do not want them on their lots, they aren't wanted, because they don't sell.


I don't need power everything,  The three requiements I have for a vehicle is:


1. Automatic Transmission (due to a broken hip I had a number of years ago I can't engage the clutch a long time without making it impossible for me to walk).


2.  Cruise Control, I took a 700 Mile round trip in a vehicle w/o it, Not going to have another vehile without it.


3.  A radio, while I have an MP3 Player todays technology allows someone to use an unused radio staion for it.


If one looks for a "new" car deal under $16K with a vehicle that has features it can be found.  In May of 2009 I got a 2008 Kia Spectra LX for under $13K(with taxes/fees)  My mother got one as well.  How you ask, well a dealer here where I live had bought up Kia's overstock and they were selling them $4K off sticker.  This car has power everything, heated mirrors, Am/Fm-CD-MP3-aux jack radio, AC, Rear defogger.


Due to the fact we have the internet now one can find deals if they look for it and find exactly what they want at a price they want as well.  The validity of this article is in question because they are putting vehicle that either will not be here shortly because the company is no longer going to sell them or so close to the $16K mark that unless you get it severly marked down one would never get for under that price.

Dec 10, 2012 12:55PM
30-35 mpg?  Whoopeee.  I have a 16-year-old Civic that gets 40 mpg.  $16,000.00?  Not that many years ago, you could get a REAL car, a NICE car for that.  Before I would buy any of these cars, I would find a 2-3 year old nice used car that I really wanted to drive.
Dec 10, 2012 11:43AM
All Hyundai Elantra owners got notices that they have put the wrong MPG on their vehicles.  We purchased an Elantra which was to get 43 Highway Miles.  Now we get a letter stating that was wrong.  I have not gotten higher than 29 miles per gallon.  I traded another car on this that got 38 miles to a gallon and because we do a lot of traveling I traded in on a car that was to get 43 miles to a gallon.  So now all of us Elantra owners are stuck.  I am furious and will never purchase another one just like my friend's It was dishonest advertising and all they are doing is given us a couple of pennies per gallon to help offset the difference which is a joke, with these gas prizes.  I think they should take these cars back from the ones who want to give them back as far as I am concerned I got a lemon.  I am wild about this.  SO I traded in a car that got much more MPG and am stuck with one that is beyond ridiculous.  I contacted them and they said they don't do that.  Many people I know that have gotten them are furious and do not want the car anymore but now we are stuck with it.  It is appalling and I would think extremely embarrassing to Hyundai.  NEVER AGAIN
Dec 29, 2012 5:02AM
The Focus and the Dart are the only two on the list that have the build quality and the options that I demand in ANY car.
Dec 29, 2012 7:49AM
How is it that my 1997 Geo Metro gets almost 50 mpg with basically the same engine as in the Smart 4 Two which gets less than 40 mpg on a good day with a tail wind?
Dec 10, 2012 11:59AM
Interesting 15 of the 20 are foreign manufacturers, 2 are American labeled now owned by that 17 outta 20....and only 1 out of the 20 that wasn't bailed out..........draw your own conclusions....
Dec 10, 2012 11:15AM

Be sure to check for unbiased professional reviews in consumer rating magazines.  Some of these cars get dismal marks for comfort and drivability.  For a modest step up in cost within this group of cars, you can get a much more comfortable and enjoyable ride.  Shop wisely.  Of course, when you go for a test drive, no doubt, you'll easily spot the cars that belong in the rogue's gallery of small nasty cars.


Surprisingly, some of the econo-box cars from well known Asian manufacturers get pretty low marks for comfort and utility.


Also, there should be a little truth in advertising in this article.  Most of the cars as pictured are nowhere near the entry level prices stated.  It doesn't take much slathering on of manufacturer and dealer installed options to add hundreds or even thousands to the bottom line.  If you want the cheapest of the cheap, you may find yourself waiting a long time for one to become available while its more profitable option laden brothers roll off the assembly line.


If you don't have a political agenda to support the manufacturing economy, maybe you could do better buying a slightly fancier several year old used car.

Dec 10, 2012 11:04AM
Picture for the sentra is wrong, its the Old model sentra
Feb 17, 2013 12:50PM
with as small and underpowered these cars are the gas mileage is not very impressive, 35-40 is what I'm seeing, and a smart car 35 mpg really what a waste.My wife has an 06 mustang 6 cylinder that gives her 27/35
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