The task at hand for analysts at NADAguides
, a website providing automobile information and pricing, was to identify the cars on the market that meet the needs of owners in their daily use and feature some comfort and convenience goodies, while staying within a tight budget. The result of the findings was compiled into a list of the top 10 most versatile vehicles that combine features, offer value and, perhaps most importantly, sell for under $20,000.
“Rising energy prices and economic concerns have instilled a greater sense of frugality in today’s car shopper,” says Tony Snyder, the company’s director of product development. “However, young professionals, families, and empty nesters alike still need transportation that will support a wide variety of lifestyle activities and something beyond just going from point A to B in the most inexpensive manner possible.”
The website singled out the cost of gasoline as the factor most impacting consumer shopping habits and that accounts for many turning to subcompact models. But that doesn’t have to be the case as NADAguides researchers found there are quite a few 2012 vehicles available that offer the functionality and features typically found in higher-end vehicles while delivering the always desirable fuel economy. Cars were judged on a variety factors from engine and transmission options to seating capacity, while taking into account fuel consumption and overall price of the vehicle.
According to NADAguides’ group of researchers, the top vehicles available on the market are (in alphabetic order): the Chevrolet Sonic LTZ 1LZ
; the Elantra Touring SE
; the Ford Fiesta SEL
and the Ford Focus SE
; the Jeep Patriot 4WD Sport
; the Kia Rio SX Five Door
, Kia Forte SX
and the Kia Soul Auto +;
the Nissan Versa Hatchback 1.8 SL
; and the Subaru Impreza Wagon 2.0i Premium
“What has been compiled by NADAguides is our recommendation for those budget-minded car shoppers that want a little of everything from features and fuel efficiency to versatility and value,” concludes Snyder.
Visitors to the NADAguides website can use the Lifestyle Vehicle Selector
that allows the user to search for a new or used vehicle based on a single factor or a combination of criteria.
The website also offers information on classic cars, motorcycles, recreational vehicles, boats and mobile, modular and manufactured homes.