Best Small Cars
I like cars that manuever. Small cars can do that partially due to their size and partially due to whether they have front or rear wheel drive. In heavy traffic, small cars clear in the passing zone as well or better than expensive jazzy but larger sports cars due to their smallness. A faster take-off and quicker slow-down may help avoid crashing and fender benders but so does small size.
Mazda 626 and Newer
This is a great little car for the cost. You get a rear wheel drive which really grips the road, you can feel it, and, a 4 or 5 speed manual control. The car is also in automatic transmission. The most fun to drive is the 5-speed. Newer Mazdas sport a front wheel drive or four-wheel drive. Once again I would suggest the more rare four-wheel drive for control, feel and fun on the road. On top of the more rare features the Mazdas are great little all around cars for a college student, a business man or a small starter family. The latest Mazdas have earned a 9+ out of a possible 10 safety rating from critics. Air bags for passengers and driver, safety locks for children, brake assist and 4-wheel disc brakes are featured on the newest Mazdas. There is also an electronic stability control system engineered into the cars. Mazda is a Japanese based auto-maker from the Hiroshima Prefecture.
My first car was a sage green frost Ford Mustang 2-door with a three speed manual transmission. It was purchased by my father from a friend for $750. It was a 1967 model and this was in 1972. It got good gas mileage, about 25 miles a gallon. Mustangs are good for that. The 2014 Mustangs are amazing. Check out the electronic choices. Check out the turn signal and tail lights in LED. Super stuff that is list priced at 22 thousand. You could probably get a deal from your local dealer for less. This is not bad. 2014 Ford Mustangs have a base 6-speed manual transmission before customization and a 5 star overall crash rollover recovery rating.
The Volkswagon Rabbit is known for being affordable. The hatchback style of a rabbit is so useful for so many needs, like visiting the folks, treating kids to jumbo gifts on Christmas and birthdays as you can stuff it into your car and deliver it yourself freeing you from hassels about delivery and for letting the dog have leg room if he rides along.
The Kia Forte
The Kis Forte starts at $16.000, a price you can't beat considering the great mod style in its possession. The Kia Forte has a safety rating of 8.1 which is reasonably good for a small compact car. This car has a 6-speed manual transmission coming standard on this model of Kia. You can get automatic transmission if you prefer, also. Kia Forte sports front wheel drive. The Kia Forte gets around 26 miles per gallon when city driving. The Kia is made in South Korea.
The Chevrolet Sonic
The Chevrolet Sonic has a 9.4 safety rating perhaps the best among small economy cars. The small size of the wheels and tires is a fooler. The Sonic is touted for having ample leg room, a very good consideration if someone who will be using or riding in the car is very tall and good news for leggy people who think they can never fit into an economy-sized car. If you are looking for a car that looks something like an SUV and something like the latest compact foreign sports car this car's looks are satisfying, even though it is an American made Chevrolet. Here you have the best of three worlds. The chevrolet Sonic also delivers excellent gas mileage potential with 29 miles in city traffic and 40 miles on the highway on average.
The 2014 Fiat 500
You may never guess that you could own a Fiat for as little as $16,000 new. The Fiat is known for being Italian and for coming in racy colors. It also comes in realistic colors anymore, like black, white or red. The Fiat Pop has both front and rear end suspension and a front wheel drive plus all the safety features typical of the new cars including air bags, brake assist, stability control and traction control. The New Fiat 500 Pop is also a hatchback.
Ford Focus Electric Car
An electric car is going to run you a little more, but not that much more. The Ford Focus electric sells for approximately $34,000 new and is powered by electricity. The new 2014 models look suspiciously like any old gas-powered car, if the electric look just so happens to be embarassing to you. The home charging station will cost an additional $2,500 counting the installation. If you have a mobile device that has web capabilities you can use the MyFord app to find 240V electric stations to power up your vehicle. You need to know the off-peak hours for charging your car up to save money.
Nissan Electric Leaf
The Nissan Leaf has front and rear brakes. The Leaf is cheaper than the Ford Focus, starting at $22,000. The lowest priced Leaf Electric Car has a bluetooth phone and heated front and rear seats. The Leaf has a palm-shift drive selector which has two modes, one for driving forward called Drive, and another for everything else including reverse and neutral. The Nissan Leaf is an interesting car, a good one to learn about the ins and outs of electric cars on and then perhaps explore some more of them. The crash rating for the Leaf is overall 'good' with the top score going for the drivers seat of the car in all directions.
Go all out and be unique, get a Nissan Cube car. The Cube was the top safety pick for 2013 by the NIHS, which is the National Institute for Highway Safety. The cube features bluetooth phone capabilities, and a wrap around rear window that gives you extra visibility for sightseeing and for safety. The Cube starts at $16,700. The cube has a 6-speed manual transmission and a front wheel drive.
Audi A-7 Concept
From Germany, Audi A-7 Concept has an 8-speed overdrive. It is expensive at around $56,000. You can switch from gas to electric with this car. The engine is powerful turbo powered. The technology is advanced. It is designed to be 30% more fuel efficient than previous Audi cars. Several modes of operation to choose from make this the case.
Car manufacturers who have been around a long time seem to have the best record for improving on their product and coming up with safe, good-looking, maneuverable automobiles. But, look out for foreign newcomers as they are not doing so poorly either. You might like to see which country each car that interests you is manufactured in, obvious cars like Ford and Chevrolet are cars that we all know come from the United States while others may not be as recognizable. My choice for number 1 car here is the Chevrolet Sonic as I find small Chevrolets have need for only minor affordable replacement parts such as belts when something goes wrong.