Cheap Cars for the Budget Minded Driver

The automobile market will always feature a segment of cars that are value priced. Targeting first time car buyers, manufacturers know that if they can hook buyers with one model then they are likely going to be able to win these same customers back. As their financial fortunes improve, or they get married, or start a family, etc. different and more expensive models will come into play. So, manufacturers sell what are considered to be ?loss leaders? which are vehicles that generate little to no profit or even produce a small loss on every sale. The following are the top bottom-priced cars for the 2006 model year.

Under $10,000 - If you can believe, two models still qualify for the under $10K category and they both are Korean imports. The Daewoo-made Chevrolet Aveo  starts at $9455 while the Hyundai Accent begins at just $9999 and slips under the magical ten thousand dollar mark. Taxes, tags, and dealer prep is extra, however. A side note: expect more entrants within the next few years as cheaply priced Chinese cars enter the U.S. market.

$10,000 up to $12,000 - Just two cars in this category, but one is American made. The Korean made Kia Rio is retailing for $10,750 while the Tennessee built Saturn Ion is retailing for $11,925. The ION has a nice bonus with it too: OnStar is standard with a free one-year subscription!

The Rest of Them - The remaining six models all retail for less than $14,000 and is led by the Scion XA at $12,730, the Kia Spectra at $12,850, followed by the Nissan Sentra, Hyundai Elantra, Ford Focus, and the base Toyota Tacoma pick up truck. Each of these last four models will retail somewhere in excess of $13,000.

As mentioned earlier, the American automobile market is poised to experience some significant changes later in the decade with the pending entry of budget pleasing small cars from China. As of this writing, one model from China?s Chery Automotive Group, the QQ, could sell for as low as $6995 in the US! The price pressure these cars will put on competing models could be a windfall for consumers, but a disaster for the automobile manufacturers. It is too early if the U.S. government will slap on tariffs to boost the price and give the American market some breathing room.

In the meantime, if your preference is for something new instead of something used, then one of these ?top ten? models may be just right for you. All prices listed do not include taxes, tags, and dealer prep, which can push their costs up and over previously, outlined thresholds. In addition, most models will not include air conditioning or an automatic transmission, which can add another two thousand dollars to the price of the vehicle when ordered together.

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