Third-best car for cheapskates: Chevrolet Spark
Five-year cost of ownership:
Fair purchase price:
A new model for 2013, the Spark represents Chevrolet's first U.S. foray into the so-called "mini-car" segment, which includes such tiny cars as the
Fortwo and the
Not to be confused with the electric-powered Chevy Volt, the Spark runs on gas -- although the car doesn't need much of it.
That's because the Spark gets 32 mpg/city and 38 mpg/highway with a manual transmission or 28 mpg/city and 37 mpg/highway as an automatic. On average, KBB estimates you'll pay just $9,252 to fuel up your Spark over five years.
Factor in a low $9,556 estimated depreciation and modest projected costs for financing, insurance, maintenance and other expenses and the Spark's five-year operating costs are roughly half of the average 2013's.
The youth-oriented car also offers very hip styling. "It definitely looks different from a plain Jane subcompact," Gutierrez says.
And if you're really into energy efficiency, Chevy plans to roll out an electric-powered Spark later this year.