2013 Kia Forte sedanEnlarge Photo
Normally, buying a model that's in its last model year before a major redesign (the redesigned 2014 is arriving as soon as next month) isn't a smart move; yet with Vincentric figuring on more than a $1,000 discount, and low insurance premiums in this established model, the base 2013 Forte LX has some impressively low ownership costs. While this model looks like less of a standout than it used to next to rivals like the new Ford Focus or Hyundai Elantra, or the rest of the even-more-Euro-stylish Kia lineup, it's perky-driving, well equipped, and smartly laid out—as well as very cheap over the long run.
2013 Toyota Corolla SEnlarge Photo
Of all the models on this list, the presence of the Toyota Corolla is one that's probably not at all surprising. Toyota has remained focused over decades in keeping this well-recognized nameplate's reputation as a low-priced, dependable sedan, with low running costs to boot. The current Corolla is one of the blandest, most innocuous compact sedans on the market, but its cabin is quiet and surprisingly comfortable—and even this base Corolla L now gets features such as power windows, keyless entry, and air conditioning.