|15 new cars for less than $200 a
- Hyundai Elantra
-- Korean manufacturers have been the leaders in bargain-basement
pricing, so they offer a wide range of cars that can be bought for
$200 a month or less. Consider the Hyundai Elantra GLS, which is
a compact-sized sedan that lists for $13,844. Thanks to a $1,500
rebate offer, an Elantra with a long list of standard features,
from power windows to air conditioning, can be bought for $11,656.
- Hyundai Accent--
Need something less expensive? Hyundai also has the small Accent,
which, equipped with air conditioning lists for $12,039, can be
bought for about $10,625 after a $1,000 rebate.
- Kia Rio -- Because
this car's list price is so low ($10,735), it's possible to add
in automatic transmission, air conditioning and power windows and
locks and still buy it for $11,627.
- Kia Cinco Rio wagon
-- This is the only station wagon that makes our list, and while
it's not large enough to compete with a sport utility vehicle,
it will carry a lot of stuff on weekend errands. With air conditioning
and a manual transmission, expect to pay about $11,887 after a
- Kia Spectra
-- Larger than the Rio, this sedan can be equipped with air conditioning
and a five-speed manual transmission for $12,218 after $1,750 in
rebates and incentives.
- Nissan Sentra
-- A good bargain should be available at a Nissan dealer on the
Sentra, which lists for $14,280 with an automatic transmission.
But with dealer discounts and the $2,500 cash back and rebates Nissan
is offering can be bought for as little as $11,295. You can even
step up to the S model Sentra, which carries a base sticker price
of $15,480 but comes with air conditioning and other convenience
features, for as little as $12,039 after rebates and incentives.
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- Pontiac Sunfire
-- The Sunfire coupe may be the bargain of the year, provided you
can find one on a dealer's lot. It has a sporty look, even if it's
not the most refined. With special manufacturer rebates and employee
deals, it's possible to get a manual transmission Sunfire with air
conditioning for $10,792.
- Saturn Ion --
Yes, you can even own a Saturn for $200 a month. A Saturn Ion 1
sedan, with automatic transmission, can be bought for $10,619 after
rebates and the GM employee discount deal.
- Toyota Echo
-- If Saturn being on this list is a surprise, it may be even more
of a surprise to find a Toyota for $200 a month. The Echo is Toyota's
smallest sedan, and its styling is a little funky. But the price
is right: With air conditioning and a manual transmission, it's
possible to grab an Echo for $11,901. But these cars are not widely
found on dealer lots, so it will take some detective work to find
one. Toyota doesn't even list it on its Web site anymore.
Terry Jackson is the author of six automotive
books and has been writing about cars for 25 years. He is the former
editor-in-chief of AMI Auto World Magazine and NOPI Street Performance
Compact. He has written for many newspapers and magazines including
Automobile, Road & Track and AutoWeek. He races a vintage Mustang
in SCCA competition and evaluates as many as 100 new cars each year.