Top 5 Cars Under $13,000

Looking for a bargain basement price on a new car? Here are our top 5 picks.


5. Kia Rio – The Rio lags behind with nothing more than its $12,295 starting price and its 10 year, 100,000 mile warranty that does not justify its outdated design, stiff transmission, low quality interior, packed rear seating, and poor suspension. Plus, safety scores are well behind the Soul.


4. Kia Soul – The boxy $13,000 Kia Soul is the most eccentric on this list, offering more than 8 color options, an odd shape, and peppy performance. Its also a safety leader, with an IIHS Top Safety Pick for 2010 and a best safety pick by many auto publications. Look for it in four trims, its base with 1.6 liter 122HP and the Plus, the Exclaim, and the Sport with a 2.0 liter, 142H running on a paltry 26/31 mpg compared to others in its price range.


3. Toyota Yaris – the $12,000 base Yaris is a safety leader, offering an impressive package with optional brake override technology, the Toyota Star Safety System with traction control, stability control, and anti lock brakes coming as standard. It comes in three styles, a three door hatchback, five door hatchback, or a sedan with two choices of transmission on impressive 29/36 mpg numbers. If you want an ideal seating position, the Yaris' eccentricities with an oddly placed centered dashboard and awkward pedestal like seating for taller drivers.


2. Hyundai Accent – The Hyundai Accent trails the Sonata in product strength, ranking below average across the board. Starting at $9.900 for the three door model and #13,960 for the four door model in three times (GL, GS, and SE), its only engine is a 1.6 liter four cylinder with 110HP with poor acceleration, a boring ride, and excess body roll. The Accent's strengths is its 28/36 mpg, which is mid range for cars in the low priced small car segment.


1. Nissan Versa – The Nissan Versa starts at $9.990 MSRP, with a base model that has a 1.6 four cylinder for 107HP, a five speed manual transmission as standard, and 26/34 mpg. For $2000 more, you can upgrade to its 1.8 S trim that comes with more comfortable seating, auxiliary jacks, air conditioning, and antilock brakes. Plusses include impressive cargo room, spacious rear seating, and better than average handling and turning. Cons include stiff acceleration, abysmal safety scores (it rated two out of five stars in side crash and three out of four stars in front crash rating) and stiff acceleration.