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Best Small Cars for Your Money

Compact sedans like the Ford Focus, Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic are very popular right now due to their reasonable price and solid fuel economy.

However, although a base model may start at a price you're happy with, once you start adding options like automatic transmission, remote entry and cruise control, the price can start to rise and suddenly not seem so reasonable.

Cars.com took all of these factors and put together a list of what they consider to be the most affordable compact sedans available today, even when factoring in five-years worth of fuel cost.

At the top of the list is the 2013 Nissan Sentra SV, which after everything was added in total $27,180, almost $2,000 lower than the average.

As always I recommend you use the free to get the best deals on any compact sedans.

VehicleOptionsTested PriceFuel CostTotal
2013 Nissan Sentra SVDriver's Package$19,180$8,000$27,180
2013 Hyundai Elantra GLSPreferred Package$19,410$8,500$27,910
2013 Toyota Corolla LEN/A$18,975$9,250$28,225
2013 Honda Civic LXN/A$19,755$8,500$28,255
2014 Kia Forte LXPopular Package$19,100$9,250$28,350
2013 Ford Focus SEN/A$20,090$8,750$28,840
2013 Mazda3 iSportN/A$20,020$9,000$29,020
2013 Subaru Impreza 2.0i PremiumN/A$21,065$9,000$30,065
2013 Chevy Cruze 1LTN/A$20,465$10,000$30,465
2013 Dodge Dart SXT 2.0Bluetooth; Popular Equip Group$20,830$10,000$30,830
2013 VW Jetta SEConvenience Package$22,225$10,500$32,725

3 Steps Every Car Buyer Needs to Take to Save Maximum Money

The key to getting the best deal is to gather price or lease bids from as many local dealers as possible. Then shop that best price around until no one can beat it. Here are the steps:

Step 1 Get Prices From My Trusted Network

Select the vehicle you're interested in to see if there are local dealers in my network who will provide you with their best upfront price. You will get direct access to an internet sales manager who you can further negotiate with online (no need to visit dealership).
Select Vehicle to Get Local Pricing

Step 2 Get Prices From TrueCar / CarsDirect

TrueCar, and CarsDirect are my top 2 online price quote recommendations. These services show you pre-negotiated prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually pretty decent. But remember, you can still negotiate further.

Step 3 Complete my Checklist

Follow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.
- Gregg Fidan

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About The Author

Gregg Fidan Gregg Fidan is the founder of RealCarTips. After being ripped off on his first car purchase, he devoted several years to figuring out the best ways to avoid scams and negotiate the best car deals. He has written hundreds of articles on the subject of car buying and taught thousands of car shoppers how to get the best deals.

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