Mazda2 Sport hatchback
- Bonus: $15,000 to $20,000
- Price: $14,720
- Gas mileage:
- City - 29 mpg
- Highway - 35 mpg
Anyone with $15,000 in cash to pay for a new car won't do any better than the Mazda2. An engaging little runabout, it's the best car for a fun drive and easy on the wallet. Its sharp styling cues translate into a bit less room inside, but it's still comfortable and efficient.
A 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine delivers 100 horsepower to the front wheels via a five-speed manual transmission. A four-speed automatic is available as an extra-cost option for those who don't want to stir the transmission themselves.
A tidy interior features pleasing, stylish and simple-to-use controls. "Sport" is the entry-level version, but it is still well-appointed with such equipment as a rear intermittent wiper, 60/40 split-folding rear seat, and a four-speaker audio system with CD player and iPod interface.
To add goodies such as cruise control and trip computer, you must step up to the more expensive Touring trim.