The folks at Kelley Blue book decided to compile a list of the coolest cars under $18,000. Their criteria was the same that consumers would use in examining vehicles they might purchase -- safety, fuel economy, interior size, comfort, and technology- plus that extra oomph that separates these 10 cars from all the others.


2011 Ford Fiesta

Width: 66.8 in.
Height: 58.0 in.
Length: 173.6 in.
Wheel base: 98.0 in.
Base engine size: 1.6 L, 4 Cylinders
Horsepower: 120 hp
Drive type: front wheel drive
Transmission: 6-Speed PowerShift Automatic Transmission
EPA mileage est. (cty/hwy): 28/37 mpg
MSRP: $13,320

2010 Honda Civic

Width: 68.9 in.
Height: 55.0 in.
Length: 175.5 in.
Wheel base: 104.3 in.
Base engine size: 1.8 L, 4 Cylinders
Horsepower: 140 hp
Drive type: front wheel drive
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
EPA mileage est. (cty/hwy): 25/36 mpg
MSRP: $14,500

2010 Honda Fit

Width: 66.7 in.
Height: 60.0 in.
Length: 161.6 in.
Wheel base: 98.4 in.
Base engine size: 1.5 L, 4 Cylinder
Horsepower: 117 hp
Drive type: front wheel drive
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
EPA mileage est. (cty/hwy): 28/35 mpg
MSRP: $15,500

2010 Hyundai Elantra Touring

Width: 69.5 in.
Height: 59.8 in.
Length: 176.2 in.
Wheel base: 106.3 in.
Base engine size: 2.0 L, 4 Cylinders
Horsepower: 138 hp
Drive type: front wheel drive
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
EPA mileage est. (cty/hwy): 23/30 mpg
MSRP: $15,500

2010 Kia Soul

Width: 70.3 in.
Height: 63.4 in.
Length: 161.6 in.
Wheel base: 100.4 in.
Base engine size: 2.0 L, 4 Cylinders
Horsepower: 142 hp
Drive type: front wheel drive
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
EPA mileage est. (cty/hwy): 24/30 mpg
MSRP: $15,000

2010 Mazda MAZDA3

Width: 69.1 in.
Height: 57.9 in.
Length: 180.7 in.
Wheel base: 103.9 in.
Base engine size: 2.0 L, 4 Cylinders
Horsepower: 148 hp
Drive type: front wheel drive
Transmission: 5-speed shiftable automatic
EPA mileage est. (cty/hwy): 24/33 mpg
MSRP: $15,000

2010 Mitsubishi Lancer

Width: 69.4 in.
Height: 58.7 in.
Length: 180.0 in.
Wheel base: 103.7 in.
Base engine size: 2.0 L, 4 Cylinders
Horsepower: 152 hp
Drive type: front wheel drive
Transmission: continuously variable-speed automatic
EPA mileage est. (cty/hwy): 23/30 mpg
MSRP: $13,500

2010 Nissan Cube

Width: 66.7 in.
Height: 65.0 in.
Length: 156.7 in.
Wheel base: 99.6 in.
Base engine size: 1.8 L, 4 Cylinders
Horsepower: 122 hp
Drive type: front wheel drive
Transmission: continuously variable-speed automatic
EPA mileage est. (cty/hwy): 27/31 mpg
MSRP: $17,500

2010 Scion xB

Width: 69.3 in.
Height: 63.0 in.
Length: 167.3 in.
Wheel base: 102.4 in.
Base engine size: 2.4 L, 4 Cylinders
Horsepower: 158 hp
Drive type: front wheel drive
Transmission: 4-speed shiftable automatic
EPA mileage est. (cty/hwy): 22/28 mpg
MSRP: $16,500

2010 Suzuki SX4

Width: 69.1 in.
Height: 63.2 in.
Length: 162.8 in.
Wheel base: 98.4 in.
Base engine size: 2.0 L, 4 Cylinders
Horsepower: 148 hp
Drive type: front wheel drive
Transmission: continuously variable-speed automatic
EPA mileage est. (cty/hwy): 23/30 mpg
MSRP: $15,500

If I had my pick, I would go with the Scion xB. The specs for that car is the best...