Video: Top 10 bargain rides

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Cheap doesn’t necessarily equate to bare bones with today’s new vehicle models.

Here’s video of the top 10 bargain rides of the 2008 model year:
1. Chevrolet Aveo 5 SVM 6. Kia Spectra LX
2. Hyundai Accent GS 7. Nissan Versa S
3. Kia Rio 8. Suzuki Reno
4. Toyota Yaris 9. Hyundai Elantra GLS
5. smart fortwo 10. Honda Fit
9. Hyundai Elantra GLS  
4-door sedan
24 city/33 highway (5-speed manual), 25 city/33 highway (4-speed automatic)
4-cylinder, 2.0 liter, 138 horsepower
5-year/60,000-mile basic, 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain
Standard equipment:
Dual front air bags, front-seat mounted side-impact air bags, anti-lock brake system, power steering, power windows, power door locks, heated mirrors, keyless entry, tilt steering wheel, tire pressure monitoring system, tachometer, variable intermittent wipers, air conditioning.
Safety data:
“Good” in front impacts, “acceptable” in rear impacts, not tested for side-impact collisions.
Safety data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, or IIHS.

Price data: Manufacturers and Kelley Blue Book.

“It’s amazing how good the least expensive cars are these days,” says Jack Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book and “The level of the least expensive cars in the American market these days would have been at least mid-level 10 or 15 years ago. They’re really quite good in all kinds of aspects, from driving dynamics to just the interior treatments that you get. They’re pretty doggone well-equipped, even at the bottom of the price range.”

That’s a reflection of the competition in the automobile market, which is forcing manufacturers to add more, even to base models for those priced at less than $15,000, he says. Compact sizes are drawing buyers to vehicles such as the “smart fortwo,” an 8.8-foot long, 5.1-foot tall and 5.1-foot wide car manufactured by Daimler AG that went on sale in the U.S. in January 2008.

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