Carmaker Hyundai has made great strides in its bargain-car designs, steadily transforming itself from a maker of drab, unreliable cars into a leading import brand.
The recently redesigned 2010 Hyundai Tucson is a crossover SUV for penny pinchers. For under $20,000, it comes with a six-speed automatic transmission that helps it achieve a miserly 23 city/31 highway mpg, not bad for a four-cylinder engine that generates 176 horsepower.
The $20,000 base model isn't overly generous with standard features, but it does have the essentials: CD player with auxiliary jack, antitheft system, keyless entry and air conditioning. And nothing quite ruins a cheapskate's day more than an expensive car repair, so the Tucson comes with a 60-month/60,000-mile warranty, with a 100,000-mile/120-month powertrain warranty.