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Each week, Boston.com profiles several cars that consumers can find for below a certain price point in an effort to help you find your dream car faster. The cars listed include new and used models and any financial incentives currently available. Prices posted here are either starting MSRPs for newer vehicles or based on Kelley Blue Book’s Fair Purchase Price for used vehicles.
2017 Nissan Versa Note
Starting MSRP: $15,480
Why it’s worth the price: The hatchback version of the Nissan Versa compact sedan is one of the most affordable new cars available. Introduced three years ago, the five-passenger Versa Note comes in four trims: S Plus, SV, SR, and SL. The standard powertrain is a 109-horsepower, 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a five-speed manual transmission. Note that the NissanConnect infotainment system, Bluetooth, leather upholstery, and power windows are available on upper trims only.
The Nissan Versa Note received a top rating in frontal crash tests from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. However, the four-door hatchback didn’t fare as well as rivals in tests performed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, earning just three stars in frontal crash testing and four stars in rollover testing.
Current incentives: Check offers and incentives with your local Nissan dealership.
2017 Kia Soul
Starting MSRP: $16,100
Why it’s worth the price: The boxy Kia Soul compact crossover packages performance, style, and comfort into one of the lowest starting prices on the market. The Soul’s standard powertrain is a 130-horsepower, 1.6-liter engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission. Buyers seeking more performance can upgrade to a 161-horsepower, 2.0-liter engine or a 201-horsepower, 1.6-liter turbocharged engine. The Soul comes well-equipped for its price point. Even the base model gets Bluetooth, a USB port, and satellite radio.
The five-passenger crossover earned top safety scores from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and a five-star overall rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The 2017 model year introduces optional rear cross traffic alert and blind spot detection.
Current incentives: Check offers and incentives with your local Kia dealership.
2017 Hyundai Elantra
Starting MSRP: $17,150
Why it’s worth the price: Hyundai’s smallest sedan has been redesigned for the 2017 model year to include more advanced technology and safety features. The five-passenger car comes with an array of powertrain choices, ranging from a 147-horsepower, 2.0-liter engine to a 201-horsepower, 1.6-liter engine. Rear heated seats and leather upholstery are available.
The Elantra was designated a Top Safety Pick+ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. It earned four out of five stars in safety evaluations by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A rearview camera, lane departure warning with lane keep assist, and blind spot detection with rear cross-traffic alert are available.
Current incentives: Check offers and incentives with your local Hyundai dealership.
2017 Volkswagen Jetta
Starting MSRP: $17,895
Why it’s worth the price: A mainstay on college campuses, the Volkswagen Jetta is practical and peppy. The five-passenger compact sedan’s turbocharged, 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine gets decent fuel economy and acceleration. The SEL trim gets a more powerful turbocharged 1.8-liter engine, while the GLI trim’s turbocharged 2.0-liter engine delivers 210 horsepower. The Jetta comes with an attractive cabin and large trunk. A 5-inch touch screen infotainment system is standard.
The Jetta earned top scores in crash tests from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and an overall five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A rearview camera is standard for the 2017 model year.
Current incentives: Check offers and incentives with your local Volkswagen dealership.
2013 Honda Odyssey
KBB.com Fair Purchase Price: $18,149
Why it’s worth the price: Honda’s popular minivan provides what minivan buyers are looking for: a spacious cabin, top-notch safety scores, a powerful engine, and strong resale value. The seven-passenger van is driven by a 3.5-liter V6 that delivers 248 horsepower. The 2013 Odyssey gets 18 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. It comes with Bluetooth, a USB port, and Honda’s Magic Seat cargo configuration system.
The Odyssey earned a five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and excellent scores from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for the 2013 model year. A rearview camera is standard.
Current incentives: Kelley Blue Book researchers indicate a 2013 Honda Odyssey in good or better condition can range from $17,036 to $19,261 and has a typical mileage of about 35,000. Search local used car dealerships to find one.
2016 Toyota Camry
KBB.com Fair Purchase Price: $17,011
Why it’s worth the price: A gently-used Toyota Camry provides the comfort, performance, and reliability of a new model for about three-quarters of the price. A standard 178-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine delivers an excellent 25 mpg around town and 35 mpg on the highway. A 3.5-liter V6 gets 268 horsepower but slightly lower fuel economy ratings. Toyota also makes a Camry hybrid.
The 2016 Toyota Camry earned top scores in crash tests performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and a five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, and automatic collision notification are available for the 2016 model.
Current incentives: Kelley Blue Book researchers indicate a 2016 Toyota Camry in good or better condition can range from $15,876 to $18,145 and has a typical mileage of about 18,000. Search local used car dealerships to find one.