2013 Kia SoulEnlarge Photo
While the Kia Soul doesn't return gas mileage that's on par with most other models in this group, it doesn't depreciate as severely as them either, and its insurance premiums, on average, are the lowest in this top-ten group. Perhaps more importantly, though, the roomy, fun-to-drive Soul gives cost-conscious shoppers a distinct, daringly different body style that combines just the right amount of crossover-vehicle influences with small-car sensibilities.
2013 Hyundai AccentEnlarge Photo
Hyundai used to be the price leader among small cars—and had the lowest-priced car in the U.S. market for some time—with its Accent; but this year especially it's repositioned this family of subcompact cars for a somewhat different definition of 'value.' The 2013 Accent, still closely related to the Kia Rio, but taking a completely different tack with respect to styling, now includes air conditioning, a sound system, and power windows and mirrors, even in the $14,545 base model. Figure in good gas mileage and a reputation for being trouble-free, and the Accent will keep your budget well under wraps.