Looking to purchase your next vehicle while ballin’ on a budget? If so, you’re not unlike millions of other Americans who are faced with a budget dilemma when they go to purchase their next vehicle. However, just because you don’t have Scrooge McDuck type money at your disposal, doesn’t mean you’re devoid of great vehicle options to suit your lifestyle. After all, scaling back and finding a car that won’t command a large monthly payment saves money that you could use for other life expenses. Below, we’ve compiled our list of the best vehicles in our inventory for individuals looking for budget-friendly buys.
- The cargo capacity for the Chevy Traverse registers in the upper tier for family-sized three-row crossover SUVs. Even with third-row seating in place, the Traverse has 24.4 cubic feet of cargo space. With the second and third row folded down, the Traverse allows for just over 116 cubic feet (116.3) of storage area.
- In Edmunds brake testing, the Traverse came to a stop from 60 mph in 119 feet; a better than average distance for vehicles in this segment. Additionally, the Traverse took home a five-star rating for overall performance in government crash tests, as well as the IIHS’ highest rating of “Good” in its moderate frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength tests.
- According to Autotrader.com, “Both front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive versions of the Traverse earned the NHTSA’s top rating. That’s not always the case; some vehicles require pricier all-wheel-drive systems to deliver the highest crash-test scores.”
- Per Edmunds: “The 2014 Chevrolet Traverse checks nearly all of the right boxes for a large crossover SUV and remains a worthy choice for consumers who need three rows of seating.”
- Along with earning a five-star rating for overall crash protection in government crash tests and a top rating of “Good” in IIHS testing, the 2012 Hyundai Sonata also posted above average numbers in Edmunds brake testing, coming to a stop from 60 mph in 120 feet.
- The interior design of the Sonata appropriately complements its sleek exterior. Knobs, switches and controls are manipulated with a greater sense of feel and precision, and the high-resolution touchscreen adds clarity and vibrancy to what is already a very driver-friendly system for operating and viewing climate control, navigation, audio, and phone functions.
- When it comes to all-around offerings, few stack up to the Sonata for the price. In Edmunds performance testing, the 2.4-liter GLS Sonata accelerated from 0 to 60 in 7.9 seconds – a full second quicker than the class average — while the 2.0-liter turbo trim made the same run in a class average 6.7 second. The impressive numbers are in addition to strong EPA estimates that peg the Sonata at 28 mpg combined (24 mpg city/35 mpg highway).
- Per Kelley Blue Book: “From its stunning sculpted exterior, to its modern and feature-filled interior, to a suite of powerful yet fuel-efficient 4-cylinder engines, the 2012 Hyundai Sonata hits every target with pin-point accuracy.”
2013 Chevrolet Volt
- When examining the Volt’s interior, the appearance of modern design and quality materials reveals itself. Per Kelley Blue Book, “With its cool and elegant styling, and even more cool and elegant interior, the 2013 Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid not only makes a statement about your environmental consciousness, it also says something about your good taste and appreciation for style.”
- Though it’s a resides in a clear second tier behind the Prius and its prodigious cargo volume for a hybrid or electric vehicle, the Volt very capably seats a family of four and offers 10.6 cubic feet of cargo space; large enough to solidly fit two bags of golf clubs.
- The Volt comes with excellent crash test scores, scoring an overall rating of five stars (the highest possible) in government crash tests.
- “[The 2013 Chevrolet Volt] has all the conveniences you’d expect in a compact car, plus some you wouldn’t. It’s fast, it rides well, it costs only pennies to run on electric power, and it’s enormously smooth and quiet.”
2012 GMC Canyon
- The Canyon offers a solid build and eye-catching looks, and 5.3-liter V8 models are available to those who prefer that kind of muscle in a compact truck package.
- When properly equipped, the V8 version of the Canyon can tow up to 6,000 pounds, though fuel economy hovers around 16 mpg combined for this particular trim. For four-cylinder regular and crew cabs, fuel economy bumps up to 21 mpg combined.
- In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) testing, the Canyon received disappointing marks in side-impact protection, earning the lowest rating of “Poor.”
- Says Edmunds: “The 2012 GMC Canyon looks sharp and offers good light-duty pickup truck value. But in just about every other area, it doesn’t measure up to its competition.”
2015 Dodge Grand Caravan
- Checking in with an EPA-estimated 20 mpg combined (17 city/25 highway), the Dodge Grand Caravan is average for its class in terms of fuel economy.
- Much like the Town and Country, the Grand Caravan offers “Stow ‘n Go” seating that speaks to the interior versatility of the vehicle. By dropping all the rear seats (second and third row included), the Grand Caravan offers an astounding 143.8 cubic feet of cargo space.
- The unrefined powertrain in the Dodge Grand Caravan can make the automatic shifting feel a little herky jerky and the lack of driver’s seat legroom can leave one feeling restricted during long periods of time behind the wheel.
- Says Edmunds: “The 2015 Dodge Grand Caravan is priced right and chock full of handy features, but its lack of refinement keeps it a notch below the Japanese-brand competition in the minivan segment.”