Small cars: Loaded but affordable
Cars.com estimated the cost of a dozen new small cars by pricing them with power windows, air conditioning, electronic stability control and other typical extras, then adding the cost of a year's worth of gas: 15,000 miles of city and highway travel at $3.96 per gallon. The average worked out to $18,918 $16,885 for the car and $2,033 for gas. Here are the cars and where they stood on the affordability scale. Get the full story: What's the most affordable small car?
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2011 Smart ForTwo
Price as tested: $15,440 Gas for a year: $1,751 Total cost: $17,191
Cars.com does not recommend ForTwo, but its estimated 41 mpg on the highway look interesting. The catch is that many 2012 small cars hit 40 mpg on the highway, including the Chevrolet Sonic, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Hyundai Accent and Kia Rio. Many competitors also have things the tiny ForTwo doesn't, like rear seats.