Personal Finance

Here are the top 10 coolest cars you can buy for around $18,000


With the average price of a new car starting at $35,000, according to Kelley Blue Book, first-time buyers or recent graduates may feel easily discouraged in their search for affordable new wheels.

To address that, KBB analyzed more than 300 vehicles to compile its list of 10 that sell for a suggested retail price of around $18,000. KBB used criteria such as exterior styling and tech features such as Apple CarPlay in determining the "coolness" factor.

1. 2017 Mazda Mazda3

2017 Mazda Mazda3
Source: Mazda

Starting MSRP: $17,845

This stylish updated Mazda model is not only fuel-efficient, it's also filled with advanced safety and driver-assist features usually reserved for high-end luxury vehicles, according to KBB.

2. 2017 Honda Civic

2017 Honda Civic
Source: Honda

Starting MSRP: $18,740

The Honda Civic earned the title of "Overall Best Buy for 2017" in KBB for receiving 5 stars across the board (overall, front, side and rollover) for safety from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and fuel efficiency, topping out at 42 miles per gallon on the highway. The updated model is the best seller on the list and one of the best-selling vehicles in the country, according to KBB.

3. 2017 Jeep Renegade

2017 Jeep Renegade
Source: Jeep

Starting MSRP: $17,995

This compact SUV has the ability to go off-road and has a slew of customizable features and variations, allowing buyers to create personalized models best suited for their needs. Some of Jeep Renegade's available options include a heated steering wheel and navigation.

4. 2017 Kia Soul

2017 Kia Soul

Starting MSRP: $16,995

Kia has always prided itself on the Soul's funky exterior. The 2017 model has upgraded features that should appeal to young adult drivers. Its lineup now offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, blind-spot detection, additional USB inputs and more. This is the sixth consecutive year a Kia Soul model has appeared on the list.

5. 2017 Hyundai Veloster

2017 Hyundai Veloster

Starting MSRP: $18,100

This sporty compact car is packed with features such as Apple CarPlay compatibility and upgraded horsepower. Hyundai's 10-year/100,000-mile warranty makes the fuel-efficient 2017 Veloster an excellent choice for first-time buyers.

6. 2017 Volkswagen Jetta

2017 Volkswagen Jetta

Starting MSRP: $17,895

The Volkswagen Jetta has been one of Volkswagen's top-selling models since its introduction in the 1980's. The 2017 model is the most affordable European sedan and the best-selling European brand in the country, according to KBB.

7. 2017 Toyota Corolla iM

2017 Toyota Corolla

Starting MSRP: $18,750

The Toyota Corolla iM gives drivers a sportier vehicle than the traditional Corolla sedan, while being fuel-efficient on the road.

8. 2017 Subaru Impreza

2017 Subaru Impreza

Starting MSRP: $18,395

For those interested in going off road with an all-terrain vehicle, look no further. The 2017 Subaru Impreza's price of $18,395 makes it among the most affordable all-wheel-drive vehicles.

9. 2017 Honda Fit

2017 Honda Fit

Starting MSRP: $16,965

For budget-conscious consumers who are also interested in maximizing interior space, the Fit may be the perfect choice. The Fit's "Magic Seat" makes it easy for owners to increase cargo space and offers great front- and rear-seat room.

10. 2017 Chevrolet Sonic

2017 Chevrolet Sonic

Starting MSRP: $16,020

The Chevrolet Sonic boasts the title of "most affordable" on the list. The budget price doesn't mean sacrificing standard car features such as a rearview camera and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility. The model also includes other safety features such as forward-collision alerts and lane-departure warnings.