9. Toyota Yaris L 3-door: $15,240
Good value? Not particularly
The best reason to buy the Yaris is its rock-solid reliability -- not that the other cars aren't well built, but the Yaris is about as close to a sure thing as you're going to get. Unfortuately, you have to be willing to pay a little extra: The basic 3-door model includes air conditioning, a USB-compatible stereo, and nine airbags, which seems like a good deal until you consider that the Chevrolet Spark gives you all that plus alloy wheels, power windows, and an extra airbag and two extra doors for $2,245 less. Oh, and it's worth mentioning the Yaris' automatic transmission, an old-tech 4-speed unit that robs both acceleration and fuel economy. If you're planning to keep your cheap wheels for a decade or more, the Yaris is a good choice -- but if you're anticipating a change in circumstances that will let you trade up for something nicer, the Yaris isn't the best way to spend your money.
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