auto

4 affordable cars from Detroit auto show

Tara Baukus MelloThere was a lot of auto eye candy at the recent North American International Auto Show in Detroit, but much of the gleaming paint on display won't be headed to showrooms anytime soon.

But here are four very affordable cars you'll see at dealers later this year.

Ford Fusion

The popular Ford Fusion has been redesigned for 2013, after six years on the market. The new design has more of a European look with a sportier design than other midsize sedans. It will be available with four engine choices -- two four-cylinder options and two hybrids, a gas-electric hybrid and a plug-in hybrid, which will be introduced at a later date.

It will be equipped with numerous technological features including adaptive cruise control that adjusts the speed based on the car in front of you. It will come with a lane-departure warning system and active park assistance, which parallel parks the car at the touch of a button without the driver touching the steering wheel.

The 2013 Ford Fusion will go on sale this summer. Pricing has not yet been announced, but it's expected to start around $20,000.

Hyundai Veloster

Introduced last year, the sporty Hyundai Veloster has received some notable upgrades for 2013. A new turbo model has been added to the lineup, giving the existing 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine 161 horsepower. The engine will be mated to a new six-speed, sequential-shift automatic transmission, providing drivers with a sportier driving experience.

The new Veloster Turbo also received a reworked front grille and fascia to give it a look apart from the base model. The 2013 Hyundai Veloster will go on sale this summer. Hyundai executives say a "well-equipped" version will cost about $18,000.

Toyota Prius C

Toyota has further expanded its Prius lineup with the Detroit introduction of the Prius C. A smaller version of the current Prius, the Prius C is a five-door hatchback that seats five.

Toyota says the hybrid car will get 53 mpg in the city -- the highest city fuel economy of any vehicle that is not a plug-in hybrid -- and 46 mpg on the highway. Standard features include automatic climate control; tilt/telescopic steering wheel with controls for audio, climate and Bluetooth; remote keyless entry and nine air bags. Going on sale in March, the Toyota Prius C will be priced just below $19,000.

Volkswagen Jetta

Volkswagen has introduced its latest hybrid car, the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid. Combining a turbocharged gasoline engine with an electric motor to achieve 170 horsepower, the Jetta Hybrid is expected to get 45 mpg combined fuel economy and have a class-leading, zero-to-60 mph time of less than 9 seconds, according to the company.

It will be the first hybrid to use a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission. Other features will include LED taillights, satellite radio, six air bags and electronic stability control. The 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid is expected to go on sale in late 2012 and be available at all U.S. dealerships, unlike its Touareg Hybrid, which had limited availability. Pricing has not yet been announced, but it is expected to compete with the Toyota Prius, which starts at $23,520.

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If you have a car question, email it to us at Driving for Dollars. Read more Driving for Dollars columns and Bankrate auto stories. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.
 

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