Kelley Designates Top Ten “Cool Cars” for Thrifty Shoppers

The Kelley Blue Book company has just come out with a new list for today’s car shoppers, and what’s on it might surprise you: in scouring the market for low-priced cars with a “cool factor,”, the company’s auto valuation web site, put the 2011 Fiat 500 in the #1 spot.

The Fiat 500 represents part of the new matchup of American car maker Chrysler with the Italian Fiat company. We assume that in doling out this new endorsement of the car’s coolness, was giving  the nod to the general idea of a space-saving cabin and the “smartcar look” that comes along with this model’s dome-like interior and rounded-off snout. It’s fair to say that American customers are going to have their own radically different opinions about the cool factor of the Fiat, but most would agree that this car provides a lot for the price. The criteria for the list was “cool cars under $18,000” and many of the other choices also illustrate how new car buyers in today’s North American market can still get comfort, style and great functionality at reasonable prices.

The rest of the lineup features some of the vehicles that we have previously reported on as good buys in the 2011 market: second on the list is the 2011 Mazda3, with the Ford Fiesta coming in third, followed by the Honda Fit in fourth place. Ford and Honda each get two spots on the top ten; other car makers get only one. Some of these other buys include the 2011 Volkswagen Jetta, (though some might argue you can get a lot of “coolness” in a new-school Beetle for not much more), and the Nissan Cube. Also included is the 2011 Kia Forte Koup, which was probably chosen for its sleek, aerodynamic look. The Hyundai Elantra rounds off the list at #10, giving shoppers just one more reason to consider a car that’s currently getting lots of interest.

The newest guide is great for when you’re going down to the dealership looking for less expensive purchases, whether or not you are considering getting a Fiat, which used to be almost exclusively seen on European roads and other places around the world. For a Fiat, which many would consider an urban car (it’s easy to parallel park) or any of these other models, be sure to check out current manufacturer rebates and incentives, as well as competitive interest rates, and know your trade-in value, as well as your current credit score. Do some good negotiating, and you just might get one of these cars for under $18,000, beating the sticker price and taking home something you will enjoy driving.