Cool cars for less than $18,000

Kelley Blue Book released its annual list of cool wheels that won’t break the bank. The Mazda3 took the top spot for the third year in a row.
Kelley Blue Book released its annual list of cool wheels that won’t break the bank. The Mazda3 took the top spot for the third year in a row.
Mazda

For a car to qualify for Kelley Blue Book’s annual “10 Coolest New Cars Under $18,000” list the vehicle must fulfill two key requirements: It must be “fun-to-drive” and “fun-to-own.”

Now in its 13th year, the list aims to prove to consumers that coolness and affordability can coexist.

“Cool sure has come a long way,” said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book, in a statement. “It’s incredible to see all of the amazing tech features and amenities you can get on an affordable car these days compared to a decade ago.”

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Honda was the big winner this year with two models represented on the list, more than any other automaker.

This year, the Mazda Mazda3 took the top spot on KBB’s list for the third year in a row. The Mazda3 has appeared on the list every year since it was first devised.

“In our eyes, the combination of cool and affordable doesn’t get better than the Mazda3,” said Nerad. “Gorgeous and sporty outside as well as inside, the Mazda3 backs it all up with fun-focused driving dynamics and with praiseworthy fuel efficiency.”

Vehicles listed are available for less than $18,000 based on Kelley Blue Book’s Fair Market Range tool that indicates what consumers should “reasonably expect to pay” for the vehicle during a particular week. The tool considers market conditions, vehicle availability, local demand and seasonal buying trends to determine the price range.

Checkout out KBB’s list of cool cars under $18,000: