When it was time for my teenage son to head to college, I realized that I could not prolong the process of adding another car into the family any longer. Being the resourceful dad I am, I agreed to subsidize his car purchase as long as I have a say in the final choice.
For me, it was important to find a good that not only had a reasonable purchase price but also have manageable expenses in terms of up keeping the car in the long run. What I then focused on was the value of these cars, which means I accounted for the resale value, overall value, fuel efficiency, performance, and the long term cost of maintenance.
Ford Fiesta – Fuel Efficiency
While it holds up to 40 mpg at a 400-mile range, the Fiesta is well known to be one of the most fuel-efficient cars in the market. It is a normal sedan that resembles a family van in its exterior looks but has the hatchback feel to it. It ranks number one in the affordable small cars category and starts at around $13,777-$17,518.
Not bad for a five-seater, four-door car, that saves you a ton of gas! The Fiesta has been said to have the high build quality, fun to drive, comfortable, has an upscale cabin for its price, and on top of all this its hybrid-like fuel economy. Unfortunately, the base model is sparsely equipped, so you will want to upgrade.
Honda CR-V – High Resale Value
The CR-V was ranked one of the best affordable compact SUV’s of the year, and there’s no doubt in that. It costs on an average $21,218-$29,067 right out the door and is a practical and fun car to be shuttling around in for its price and its size. It is spacious, has a roomy trunk, comfortable seating, and a good number of interior cubbies.
I see it on the road plenty, and it seems like the perfect mid-size SUV for all people to drive in. It is not the most fuel-efficient car in the market, and with the gas prices these days, we would probably prefer to stick to a car that hopefully is great in fuel economy and its resale value. However, it is an excellent price to pay for getting a bit of everything in a compact SUV.
Hyundai Sonata – Overall Value
Without looking at its hood ornament or car logo, you would probably mistake this car for a luxury sedan as it is deceivingly nice for its exterior. The Sonata was praised for its achievements of redesigning the usual and typical sedan and won the Popular Mechanics’ Value award.
It is astonishing to pay the base price of $19,195 for what it looks like. There are several options in picking a specific model for the Sonata if you don’t want to go for speed with the 200-hp four-cylinder or a turbocharged version with 274-hp.
For fuel efficiency, there is a hybrid model available that gets over 30 mpg when you hit the road. To add to the pros, it also includes antilock brakes, electronic stability control as its standard safety equipment, and traction control. It also comes with a ten year and 100,000-mile warranty.
Mazda MX-5 Miata – Performance
This car is a dream come true for sports car enthusiasts who are on a budget but looking for speed, agility, and fuel efficiency. The Miata held its value longer than its competitors and was picked as the Best Sports Car for the Money by U.S. News.
I know that it’s no brand name sports car, but who cares after you sit behind the wheel and experience its impressive handling? For the low base price of $22,619-$28,808, you get the full compact package of a two-seater convertible sports car that is available in a soft or hard retractable top.
Overall this little guy is cool enough to get my son the best of all worlds with its retractable top, quality interior, excellent sports handling, and impressive overall reliability.
— Mazda Motor Europe (@Mazda_Europe) February 7, 2020
Volvo C30 Hatchback – Long Term Cost of Maintenance
Never really took much notice on Volvos in general, but this one caught my attention. Volvos, in general, were ranked as one of the top cars that requires the least maintenance expense, coming down on a five-year maintenance cost of $617 to $969.
The C30 can go from 0 to 60 in a short 6.2 seconds and uses a 2.5-liter 218-hp, a trait that gives the sports package an aggressive, fast-forward position of a car. You can get this car at the base price of $24,600-$26,950, which is excellent for it being sporty enough but still quite comfortable for most drivers. Do read this awesome article on the best cars for long trips.