Considering buying a new car, but concerned about the price? You might want to consider one of the models featured in Autoweek’s recent list of bargain vehicles priced under $16K. Granted, the choices don’t feature all the bells and whistles found on higher priced models, but they are highly reliable rides that will get you safely from point A to point B, without busting your budget.
Among the recommended 2014 models are the Ford Fiesta SE, Mitsubishi Mirage, Kia Soul, Chevrolet Sonic, Nissan Versa SV and Versa Note SV, and Mazda 2 Sport
The 2014 Ford Fiesta SE sedan is both stylish and mechanically sound, and with a base sticker price of $15,745, it’s one of the best-selling subcompact models on the roads. The Fiesta SE sedan features a 1.6-liter 16-valve I-4 engine that delivers a combined fuel efficiency of 31 mpg.
If the Fiesta is beyond your budget, you might consider the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage, with its base sticker price of $13,790. Mitsubishi is promoting the all-new five-door model as the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid, gasoline-powered vehicle available in the U.S. The Mirage is available with a 1.3-liter engine and five-speed manual transmission that delivers with a combined highway / city fuel-efficiency of 37 mpg.
Splitting the difference, in terms of price, is the 2014 Kia Soul. With a starting price of $14,700, The Soul features a 1.6-liter 130-hp engine and six speed manual transmission, and has an EPA estimated fuel-efficiency of 23 mpg city and 30 mpg on the highway.
With a comparable base sticker price of $14,770, the Chevrolet Sonic offers impressive handling and ride characteristics found in higher-priced models. The Sonic’s 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine delivers a respectable 138-hp and 125-lb-ft of torque, and is teamed with a manual 5-speed gearbox. The Sonic gets an EPA estimated 26 mpg city and 35 mpg on the highway.
The 2013 Versa SV sedan was one of Nissan’s best-selling models, and the 2015 model is expected to perform equally well in the subcompact market. The new model features a 1.6-liter DOHC 16-valve four-cylinder engine teamed with a four-speed automatic transmission that gets an impressive 31 mpg city / 40 mpg highway. The 2014 model is priced starting at $15,240.
Nissan’s Versa Note is essentially a Versa with a hatchback, a 5-speed transmission and, at $15,990, a slightly higher sticker price. Fuel economy estimates for the Note are identical to the Versa sedan.
Also making the list is the Mazda2 Sport. Even though the model isn’t due for a redesign until possibly 2015, the magazine included it in its list of 2014 models because “frankly it’s just fun to drive.” With a base sticker price of $14,720, the Mazda2 Sport features a 1.5-liter DOHC 16-valve four-cylinder engine that delivers an impressive 100-hp and 98 lb-ft of torque. When teamed with the 5-speed manual gearbox, the Mazda2 Sport gets an estimated 29 mpg city and 25 mpg on the highway.