Percent change: +28.9 percent
Starting price: $10,690
Why it's a winner: Low price, high discounts
Despite a lot of hoopla about tiny, gas-sipping small cars, most small-car sales actually cooled off in the last several months, since gas prices subsided. Sales of the rival Toyota Yaris, for instance, were off more than 40 percent in 2009 through 10 months. The Hyundai Accent is an exception that proves the rule. Besides a low sticker price and up to 36 mpg on the highway, the Accent got a boost this year from promotions like a promise to take the car back if you lose your job; a $1.49-per-gallon gas offer; plus rebates and discount financing.