Fuel efficient, frugal and functional
The days of compact cars being snooze cruisers are long gone. While midsize sedans continue to hold a large portion of the automotive market, many companies are devoting more resources to their compact entries, and many can come equipped with top tiered amenities including navigation, heated seats and leather upholstery, while still keeping true to what makes compacts great.
Nearly every brand makes a compact car, but when you want the most for your money, here are three models that should rise to the top of your list:
The MAZDA3 is all-new for the 2014 model year and is available in both four-door and five-door models. Starting at an MSRP under $19,000, the MAZDA is affordable, too. US News named the MADZA3 to its “Best Cars for the Money” and “Best Cars for Families” lists. It’s also ranked the #1 Affordable Small Car, Affordable Compact Car and Hatchback. Edmunds.com noted, “Purposeful styling, fuel-efficient engines and an ideal ride and handling balance keep the 2014 Mazda 3 among the favorites in the compact car class.”
The MAZDA3 is highlighted by its SKYACTIV suite of technologies that maximizes fuel economy and power while reducing weight. There are two different engines that go along with the six-speed transmissions and fuel economy is rated at up to 41 mpg highway. Available amenities include a Bose surround sound system, Mazda navigation system, a moonroof, cutting edge safety technologies like Mazda Radar Cruise Control and Smart City Brake Support and the segment-exclusive i-ELOOP Regenerative Engine Braking System.
2014 Kia Forte
The Kia Forte is the Korean automaker’s entry into the compact sedan segment and is a fine example of what kind of value can be found. Starting at an MSRP of under $16,000 for the sedan, (the Forte also offers a five-door and coupe offering) you’ll find a host of standard equipment including heated exterior mirrors, Bluetooth Wireless connectivity, an audio system with USB and auxiliary outlets. Available equipment includes leather seating surfaces, a ventilated driver’s seat and even heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel.
Power is provided through either a 1.8-liter or 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces up to 173 hp and mileage estimates of up to 36 mpg (the 1.8-liter can achieve up to 37 mpg).
Kelley Blue Book added that “today’s Kia vehicles don’t offer the same price advantage they used to, but with better quality, more features and significantly improved resale values, they’re now a much smarter buy.”
2014 Chevrolet Cruze
The Cruze is an American entry into the compact segment and can compete with any import. AutoWeek summed it up well. “It’s simple – this is a nice car. From the sharp, crisp exterior lines to the quality interior and handling, the Cruze shined. This shine wasn’t in a flashy manner either; it’s classy, and economically classy at that.” Among the highlights of the Cruze is a new Turbo Diesel engine that provides a large 264 lb/ft of torque and a near-hybrid like 46 mpg highway.
Other available powertrains include a 1.8-liter four-cylinder and a 1.4-liter turbocharged engine. A 15 cubic foot trunk is also impressive in this segment. The Cruze is also available with remote start, push button start, a sport tuned suspension, the Chevrolet MyLink radio with seven-inch touchscreen and all models come standard with the OnStar suite of services.
Regardless of which model you choose, you’re sure to get a model that will provide years of worry free travel. How you pay for it is another story. Stop by to let us help you discover which of our financing options work best for you.
Used with Permission. Published by IMN Bank Adviser Includes copyrighted material of IMakeNews, Inc. and its suppliers.