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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 Kia Optima
Starting MSRP: $22,200
Why it’s worth the price: There’s a version of the five-passenger Kia Optima to suit all tastes – the midsize sedan comes in five trims ranging in horsepower and cabin quality. A 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission powers the base trim and returns 25 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway. Satellite radio, Bluetooth, and a USB port are standard.
The Optima earned top scores in crash tests by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety and a five-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Advanced safety features including blind spot monitoring, a rearview camera, and forward collision warning with automatic braking are available.
Current incentives: Check offers and incentives with your local Kia dealership.
2017 Volkswagen Passat
Starting MSRP: $22,400
Why it’s worth the price: The Volkswagen Passat offers midsize sedan buyers hearty performance coupled with a quiet, spacious cabin. It runs on a 170-horsepower, 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that returns 23 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. Buyers can upgrade to a 280-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6. The five-passenger sedan comes with Bluetooth, a USB port, and Volkswagen’s MIB II infotainment system with a 5-inch touch screen.
The Passat earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s top score of “good” in all five crash tests. Forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking are standard for 2017.
Current incentives: Check offers and incentives with your local Volkswagen dealership.
2017 Ford C-Max hybrid
Starting MSRP: $24,120
Why it’s worth the price: The Ford C-Max wagon is one of the most spacious gas-electric hybrids on the road. It runs on a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor to deliver a combined 188 horsepower and return an impressive 42 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway. Ford also makes a plug-in hybrid version, the C-Max Energi.
The C-Max hybrid earned top scores in most crash tests performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The wagon comes standard with a rearview camera. Blind spot monitoring and front and rear park assist are available.
Current incentives: Check offers and incentives with your local Ford dealership.
2017 Chevrolet Trax
Starting MSRP: $21,000
Why it’s worth the price: The Chevrolet Trax is a cute and capable subcompact SUV built for the city. The base model comes with a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. It gets average fuel economy for its class, at 25 mpg around town and 33 mpg on the highway. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity are standard for the 2017 model year. A 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot is available.
The Trax 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. A rearview camera is standard, and advanced safety features including rear parking sensors and lane departure warning are available.
Current incentives: Check offers and incentives with your local Chevrolet dealership.
2015 Honda Odyssey
KBB.com Fair Purchase Price: $21,953
Why it’s worth the price: If you need a lot of cargo space and seating for seven, the Honda Odyssey minivan is one of the safest vehicles you’ll find. The Odyssey runs on a 248-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 paired with a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission. The 2015 model comes standard with Bluetooth, a rearview camera, and an 8-inch display screen. The mid-level EX trim seats eight, and the upper EX-L trim comes with leather trim. One drawback to the Odyssey: all-wheel drive isn’t available.
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 2015 model year.
Current incentives: Kelley Blue Book researchers indicate a 2015 Honda Odyssey in good or better condition can range from $20,655 to $23,250 and has a typical mileage of about 35,000. Search local used car dealerships to find one.
2016 Cadillac ATS
KBB.com Fair Purchase Price: $21,715
Why it’s worth the price: The Cadillac ATS received a number of upgrades for the 2016 model year, making the sedan a formidable competitor vis a vis midsize models from BMW and Mercedes. The base ATS is powered by a 202-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. A 333-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 is also available. The 2016 model upgrades its six-speed automatic transmission for an eight-speed. It comes with the Cadillac CUE infotainment system, Apple CarPlay and a 4G LTE Wi-Fi connection.
The 2016 Cadillac ATS earned a five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. An optional Driver Awareness Package includes forward collision alert and lane departure warning.
Current incentives: Kelley Blue Book researchers indicate a 2016 Cadillac ATS in good or better condition can range from $19,262 to $24,167 and has a typical mileage of about 41,000. Search local used car dealerships to find one.