Cheap Cars Aren’t Boring Cars touts top 10 vehicles under $18K.

by on May.18, 2015

For the second consecutive year, the Mazda3 topped's best vehicles under $18k list.

With new vehicle sales going strong in 2015, much of the focus has been on pricey vehicles like full-size trucks, small luxury crossovers and SUVs. Some of these vehicles can surpass the $60K mark.

What’s a person to do if they want a good new car for cheap…or at least less? Kelley Blue Book’s 12th annual best cars for under $18,000 has the answer. For 2015, their top recommendation is the Mazda3.

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Redesigned for this year, the small car has been on the list every year, notes.

The website uses two basic criteria to determine what vehicles make the list: fun-to-drive and fun-to-own. That is likely to pare many vehicles from the list in a hurry.

The Kia Soul's utility and versatility got it named one of's best vehicles under $18,000.

“This year’s budget-smart cool cars includes a repeat winner, an all-new Jeep and a few cars that have been redesigned for 2015,” said Jack Nerad, executive editorial director for “All of them are fun, stylish and versatile to varying degrees, and each is enticingly affordable.”

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Joining the Mazda3, which is the repeat winner, on the list:

  • Volkswagen Golf
  • Kia Soul
  • Jeep Renegade
  • Honda Civic Coupe
  • Ford Fiesta
  • Honda Fit
  • Chevrolet Sonic
  • Subaru Impreza
  • Fiat 500

KBB described the Mazda3 as “fun-to-drive, gorgeous and tech savvy” and said was the “king of compact cars.” The Japanese compact may have topped this year’s list once again, but there the rest provide plenty of competition.

FCA introduced its 2015 Fiat 500c 1957 Edition hatchback and cabrio models. The 500 is considered one of the best vehicles for under $18k.

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The Impreza may be the most impressive as it’s the only vehicle on the list that offers all-wheel drive as standard equipment for less than $18K, according to the site. Many of the list focus on utility.

“Some cool vehicles aren’t very versatile, but the Kia Soul made our list of the 10 Coolest Cars Under $18,000 just because it is so versatile,” said Jack Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book’s

(To see more about TDB’s first drive in the 2016 Camaro, Click Here.)

“On the road the Soul’s funky, squared-off shape won’t be mistaken for anything else, and standing out is cool. At the same time, its collection of useful features and its interior versatility at a very affordable price add significantly to its overall cool quotient.”

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