The 2012 model year offers car buyers a number of affordable compact automobiles, many of them equipped with features normally reserved for larger, pricier sedans. For 2012, cars are offering more safety features and better fuel economy than ever before. This can make buying a new car very compelling.
When considering which are the best 2012 cars for under $15,000, there many different models to choose from and you don’t have to make too many compromises. All of the models below have advanced safety equipment, are very fuel-efficient, and have a good resale value estimate.
2012 Hyundai Accent
This compact passenger sedan is offered with a starting price of about $12,500. There are three different trims available, with the SE 5-door being the hatchback version. The car comes with a very fuel-efficient 1.6L, 138-horsepower engine and 6-speed manual transmission.
For the price paid, Hyundai Accent SE 5-door offers a huge number of standard convenience features. These include traction and stability control, front power outlet, fog lights, rear spoiler, steering wheel-mounted controls and cruise control. Even the base GLS 4-door has such optional accessories as a CD player, manual air conditioning and rear heating ducts.
The 2012 Accent delivers over 40-mpg highway, outpacing most of the competition. The car also has an excellent powertrain warranty, which is good for 10 years.
2012 Chevrolet Sonic
With a base sticker price of about $13,800, the Chevrolet Sonic one of the most economically priced vehicles on the road. The Sonic is a compact 4-door, 5-passenger sedan with many standard features not found on its competitors. The Sonic is available in three trim levels, all of which have engine start/stop button, traction control system, front power outlet, air conditioning and cruise control.
The Sonic also has a full set of passenger safety features including child safety door locks, front and side airbags, and tire pressure monitor. The model averages 40-mpg highway thanks to its lightweight construction and smaller engine.
2012 Kia Soul
This car has a base sticker price of just under $14,100, but offers a lot in terms of performance and safety. Kia Soul is a 5-passenger new wagon vehicle that features full power accessories, automatic headlights, front air dam, stability control and air conditioning. Some optional equipment will drive the price up to some degree, but many consumers are quite satisfied with the base trim.
For 2012, the Soul has more power and better fuel economy. This vehicle achieves 36 mpg highway driving, and its 1.6L engine delivers a modest 125 horsepower. Like all Kia models, Soul comes with an extraordinary powertrain warranty and roadside assistance program.
2012 Honda Fit
With a sticker price of $15,000 on the base trim, Fit offers drivers a comfortable ride, plenty of advanced technology, and all of the usual safety features. The base trim 5-Spd MT has a 1.5L, 117-horsepower engine and a 5-speed manual transmission. This vehicle delivers over 35 mpg on the highway.
The 2012 Honda Fit has manual air conditioning with air filter, ABS brakes, child safety door locks, and a full set of front and side airbags. The drivetrain warranty is for 5 years.
2012 Ford Fiesta
The Fiesta continues to be one of the lowest priced cars on the market. This compact sedan is available in three trims, with the base S trim starting at about $13,300. The Fiesta has all of the standard safety equipment found on other current models. These include ABS brakes, daytime running lights, front and side airbags, and child safety door locks.
The best 2012 cars for under $15,000 have may have some drawbacks, but offer much in terms of fuel economy and passenger safety. These models can approach a price of near $20,000 if the up-level trim is selected, or if optional features such as Bluetooth® or premium audio packages are included.