4. Ford Fiesta S: $13,995
Good value? Yes, especially if you love to drive
The Ford Fiesta is one of my favorite inexpensive cars. Its sub-$14k price -- unchanged from last year -- includes air conditioning and an AM/FM radio with an auxiliary input jack, although the color palette is limited (white, black, gray or silver; the red car in the photo is a higher trim level) and you'll still have to crank down your own windows. What sets the Fiesta apart is the fun-to-drive factor, a rarity in such an inexpensive car. Designed in Europe, the Fiesta lives for curvy roads and delivers great fuel economy, even if you spring for the automatic transmission (a high-tech six-speed twin-clutch transmission priced at $1,095). The Fiesta is cute, cheeky and eager, a thoroughly lovable car.
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