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New Car?

I’m looking to get the best new inexpensive but really good automobile. I’m used to driving Nissans (Infiniti, in particular) but need to downsize - mostly in terms of pricing. I don’t mind buying used but it has to be relatively new with lower mileage. What’s out there? I’ve been driving Infinitis for 15 years now. Hyundai? Kia? Thanks!

For the price of a new Hyundai or Kia you could get a slightly used Toyota Corolla or Honda Civic; two of the most reliable, economical cars on the planet.

The Toyota Yaris is the best and most value for money in the subcompact, followed closely by the Honda Fit. The Hyundai Accent is one of the cheapest, but although good, can’t quite match the Fit and Yaris.

If you do a lot of highway driving, I would go for the basic Corolla, Hyundai Elantra, Mazda 3, or Honda Civic. All 4 are at least as reliable as your Infinfiti and will cost a lot less in maintenance. And they are large enough to be comfortable. The Elantra is oustanding value for money in a compact.

To put that another way, for the price of a used Corolla or Civic you can get a brand new Hyundai with 5 year bumper-to-bumper warranty, roadside assistance, and a pretty good reliability rating.

If you plan on keeping it a long time, a Chevy Cobalt LT1 might work for you. The repair and maintenance costs are similar to the Hyundai Elantra and better than the Kia Rio. It does have a huge depreciation in the first year; likely due to the $2500 rebate. You can either get the rebate if you qualify or buy one that is a year or two old. I saw a loaded 2008 Cobalt LT1 in the paper for $9770 yesterday. Also take a look at the Ford Focus.

A valid point.

What size vehicle are you driving now? What’s the price range?
You might be able to find a decently loaded 09 Ford Fusion for under $20k, since the 2010 models are out now.

A Consumer Reports New Car Buyers’ Guide from the local bookstore will show you everything available and give you lots of information.

I’d look at a used Camry/ Accord as they have been best sellers w/o depending upon fleet sales for more than fifteen years. ALL those people can’t be wrong about these best values in sedans. Unless you need something special like bigger or AWD, everything else is a “wannabe” incl. Hyundai, Kia, Fords and GM. When Ford or GM brag they now are equal to a Camry or Accord, it’s usually true but only compared to their model year 5 years ago that they finally managed to copy. Nothing has their long term track record. Why skimp on comfort with a smaller car when these are economical and reasonably priced used .