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Top 10 fun low-cost cars
Want cool but not costly? Check out this list of 2011 and 2012 cars priced in Canada under $18,000

In any economy, consumers like to drive a bargain, especially when shopping for a new car. An inexpensive new vehicle, however, may not provide everything a driver wants and needs. Fortunately, you may not have to sacrifice features, technology or even street cred, if you consider a select few cars that are reasonably priced, as well as engaging and enjoyable to drive.

To help, Kelley Blue Book’s compiled a list of cool cars that also are affordable for drivers on a budget.

The experts at had two criteria for each car named on the popular annual list — fun-to-drive and fun-to-own. Once passing the decidedly subjective “cool factor” test, each car also was judged on the same criteria many consumers use: safety, fuel economy, interior size, comfort and technology.

“There are great deals to be had on many new cars under $18,000 but only a handful of them really possess that cool, difficult-to-describe ‘it’ factor,” said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book’s “In ranking our top picks this year, the 2012 Fiat 500 took the top prize as our No. 1 choice.”

KBB's Top 10 Coolest New Cars Under $18,000 list (While KBB based its prices on actual new-vehicle transactions based on market conditions, we've updated this US list with Canadian MSRP [retail] prices as of August 2011; freight is not included):

10. 2011 Hyundai Elantra ($15,849)

9. 2011 Nissan Cube ($17,598)

8. 2011 Volkswagen Jetta ($15,875)

7. 2012 Ford Focus ($13,999)

6. 2012 Honda Civic ($14,999)

5. 2011 Kia Forte Koup ($15,999) [Cash-only price in Canada, as listed on If leased, the MSRP is $18,999]

4. 2011 Honda Fit ($14,480)

3. 2011 Ford Fiesta ($12,999)

2. 2011 Mazda3 ($16,295)

1. 2012 Fiat 500 ($15,995)

For more information, visit

Posted Sept. 10, 2011. ©



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