Posts from ‘Smart’
In 2015, there are no truly bad new cars. You can argue the veracity of that statement if you wish, but at no point in automotive history has it been harder to pick a car you might call “bad.” Sure, the current-generation Mitsubishi Mirage has its detractors, and not without cause, but what would you say is the 2nd-worst car?
In an automotive world where many vehicles look too much alike, the Smart ForTwo stands out. Like a baby shoe surrounded by sneakers, wingtips, and cowboy boots, the Smart’s diminutive size almost always elicits a smile. But just like that baby shoe, it really doesn’t fit the needs of most American buyers.
Unlike the Volkswagen Beetle, the Smart FourTwo never caught on with Americans as a small, affordable, counter-culture transportation option. Like Volkswagen, however, Smart is known for an amusing and clever ad campaign, though few Americans have ever seen it. We’re correcting that here. Smart ads…
For those who crave a new car but are on a tight budget—and who isn’t, these days?—we present the 10 most affordable cars for 2013. Of course, it’s not always smart to bite at the lowest price. Some of these low MSRPs are teaser rates. For example, the base Ford Fiesta doesn’t even include a radio, and the base Smart ForTwo lacks several utterly basic features—a backseat, for instance. For more on these 10 bargain-basement specials, click the name of each vehicle, which will take you to the car’s review page on Consumer Guide Automotive’s website.
1) Nissan Versa
Base MSRP: $11,990
With Automatic: $12,990
Class: Compact Car
The 2011 Versa sedan started $9,990, and the ’12 models began at $10,990. Now the price is up to $11,990, but it’s still the lowest-priced car you can buy—at least for the sedan; the hatchback starts at $14,380. Unlike the 2012 model, the base 2013 Versa sedan actually comes with a radio. However, you can’t get power door locks or power windows unless you move up to the SV trim, which starts at $14,990. Except for its low-budget interior (lots of hard plastic), Versa earns solid scores across the board.
It may look as cute as a trick-or-treater, but this car will give you the willies when you actually have to drive it. ForTwo needs 14.6 seconds to go from 0-60, which gives you just enough time to make out your will while merging onto the turnpike. (JK!) Actually, this car is solidly built (it has performed well in crash tests), but at 1,800-pounds it has the potential to be knocked around the highway like a pinball if whacked by an SUV. ForTwo is hard to keep composed at high speeds, and city drivers are cursed with a transmission that, according to Consumer Guide’s John Biel, “bogs down at every upshift as if it were a manual being driven by a beginner.”