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10 Coolest Cars under $18,000 - 2011

By KBB.com Editors on June 22, 2011 5:48 PM
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2011 Hyundai Elantra

Click here for the 2012 edition of this list

2011 Hyundai Elantra

Who knew good value could be so cool? The all-new 2011 Hyundai Elantra is an all-around package of slick design, convenient features and fuel-efficiency -- every Elantra gets 40 miles per gallon on the highway. And like every other Hyundai, the Elantra offers a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty to help ease the minds of Hyundai first-timers. It takes some panache to be fuel efficient, affordable and great looking, and the 2011 Hyundai Elantra pulls it off in style.

About the list

Getting a bargain is special in good economic times, but in economic times like these -- when the economy is teetering, home prices continue to fall and fuel prices inexplicably are up to near-record levels -- getting a bargain is more special than ever. That's a key reason why we are so proud and happy to bring you the latest edition of our 10 Coolest Cars under $18,000. Teen drivers and first-time car buyers - not to mention prudent downsizers - have never had a more exciting group of small sedans and hatchbacks to choose from.

Despite the rising specter of inflation, there are still plenty of new cars available for less than $18,000. But not all of them are cool and not all of them are fun, as any young driver will tell you. In fact, many might be described as being as fun as a top-loading washing machine, as cool as wearing plaid on your wedding day. In other words, not.

But then there are the select few, the cars not only do everything you want and need a car to do, but that also appeal to young drivers and those young at heart. As you might imagine, two criteria -- fun-to-drive and fun-to-own -- are critical in the roll-up to what we freely admit is a very subjective "cool factor," the over-arching Criterion Number One. Each of the cars on the list is, of course, available for purchase at $18,000 or less, using our exclusive Fair Purchase Price as the yardstick. Paying less than sticker is also pretty cool, so here, counting down from number 10 to number one, are Kelley Blue Book's 10 Coolest Cars Under $18,000.

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