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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 Fiat 500
Starting MSRP: $14,995
Why it’s worth the price: The Fiat 500 minicar clocks in just a shade under $15,000. The Italian-designed two-seater is powered by a standard 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine that gets 31 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway. It comes with Chrysler’s Uconnect infotainment system and a 5-inch touch screen.
The two-door hatchback scored well on most crash tests from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety but performed poorly on a type of frontal crash test that measures the impact when the car’s front corner collides with another car or object.
Current incentives: Check your local Fiat dealership for offers and incentives.
2010 Dodge Charger
KBB.com Fair Purchase Price: $10,231
Why it’s worth the price: The 2010 Dodge Charger is a performance-driven, rear-wheel drive sedan that still delivers reasonable muscle for a seven-year-old car. Powered by a standard 2.7-liter V6 engine, the 2010 model achieves 178 horsepower and is paired with a four-speed automatic transmission. It gets 18 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway.
The large four-door sedan seats five passengers. The 2010 model earned decent but not stellar crash test scores from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety. Leather seats, all-wheel drive, and a seven-inch rear-seat DVD entertainment system were offered as options for the model year.
Current incentives: Kelley Blue Book researchers indicate a 2010 Dodge Charger in good or better condition can range from $8,932 to $10,497 and has a typical mileage of about 55,600. Search local used car dealerships to find one.
2017 Chevrolet Spark
Starting MSRP: $13,875
Why it’s worth the price: The latest version of the Chevrolet Spark minicar is built for the city. The base model comes with a 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a manual transmission. The same model with an automatic transmission runs $14,975.
The four-passenger compact car scored well on crash tests from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The Spark’s safety features include a rear view camera and a three-month subscription to General Motors’ OnStar Guidance Plan with Automatic Crash Response. Chevy’s MyLink infotainment system with a 7-inch diagonal color touch screen, a built-in Wi-Fi 4G LTE hotspot, and smartphone connectivity come standard.
Current incentives: Check your local Chevrolet dealership for offers and incentives.
2012 Nissan Maxima
KBB.com Fair Purchase Price: $14,165
Why it’s worth the price: A five-year-old model from Nissan’s largest sedan still packs decent performance. The front-wheel drive Maxima runs on a 3.5-liter V6 that generates 290 horsepower, lending it a sports car-like feel. The 2012 Maxima delivers 19 mpg around town and 26 mpg on the highway.
The five-seat sedan earned strong scores in front and side crash tests from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety but did not fare as well in other trials. The Maxima is equipped with keyless entry, a power moon roof, and Bluetooth.
Current incentives: Kelley Blue Book researchers indicate a 2012 Nissan Maxima in good or better condition can range from $12,230 to $15,159 and has a typical mileage of about 73,500. Search local used car dealerships to find one.
2017 Kia Rio
Starting MSRP: $14,165
Why it’s worth the price: The subcompact Kia Rio ekes out 138 horsepower from its 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, more than most models in its class. However, the Rio is also less fuel-efficient than its subcompact rivals, delivering 27 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway.
The Rio’s crash test results are mixed. Though it’s not big on standard features, the Rio also gets Satellite radio, a four-speaker audio system, and a USB port.
Current incentives: Check your local Kia dealership for offers and incentives.
2016 Toyota Corolla
KBB.com Fair Purchase Price: $13,078
Why it’s worth the price: A one-year-old Toyota Corolla sedan costs only about two-thirds of a brand new one. Smaller than the Camry, the Corolla is a front-wheel drive car with a standard 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine and a four-speed automatic transmission. At 27 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway, the Corolla is extremely fuel-efficient.
The Corolla features a roomy cabin with plenty of head- and legroom for its five passengers. The 2016 model earned top scores in the majority of crash tests administered by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. A 6.1-inch display screen, an iPod interface, and a USB port come standard.
Current incentives: Kelley Blue Book researchers indicate a 2016 Toyota Corolla in good or better condition can range from $11,507 to $13,602 and has a typical mileage of about 56,700. Search local used car dealerships to find one.