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Cool doesn't have to be expensive. At least that's what the folks over at Kelley Blue Book figure. The website of the authoritative car-buying resource has put together a list of what they figure are the ten coolest cars you can buy with less than $18,000.

There are some definite good choices on the list, but some of their choices – and how they arrived at them – leave us scratching our heads and wondering if their cool-meter doesn't need recalibration. Rather than taking the entirely subjective Top Gear "Cool Wall" approach and anointing a car cool or not based purely on image, KBB.com came up with a list of criteria. A cool car, they figure, should have folding seats. Huh? Yeah, versatility was their first criteria, including such features as "clever cubbies and innovative storage solutions" as a prerequisite for classifying a car as cool or not. (That way you've got more places to hide your coolness.) Also taken into consideration were such factors as safety, fuel economy and cabin space, before subjective assessments came into the mix.

The resulting list includes a Chevy pick-up at the top, followed by a Focus, a tiny Honda, an Hyundai, a Jeep, a Mazda3, a Nissan hatch, a Scion, a Suzuki and a VW. Each was included in the sub-$18k list based on Kelley's own proprietary blue-book value; follow the link to find out what made each of these cars cool enough to make the cut.

[Source: Kelley Blue Book]



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  • 14 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      None of those vehicles are cool.

      • 8 Years Ago
      Too bad the truck they chose as "cool" is only available in a 6 cylinder.
      • 8 Years Ago
      It's hard to be cool for reasonable money. Your not going to get 911 or vette cool at this price. I like all on the list except for the Jeep. I still can't get it in my head that a Jeep can be car based. Sorry Jeep.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The Jeep Cherokee (1984) was a unibody - hence the first "car based" jeep was the one that became the most mainstream. As far as I am concerned, The new Patriot is a faithful extension of the brand. Maybe it doesnt have the same abilities as the XJ did, but the aftermarket can do wonders.
      Now the Compass is an abomination simply because of its styling......more like a bloated Caliber than anything Jeep.
      • 8 Years Ago
      cool is like porn: you can't define it, but you know it when you see it.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Rabbit is best by far.
      • 8 Years Ago
      ridiculous.
      utter nonsense.
      utterly meaningless.

      publishing rankings like this (and trust me, they know it's nonsense) are just attention-seeking behavior, so that people would pay attention to the organization (kbb in this case)
      • 8 Years Ago
      Out of all of those I'd probably only take the Mazda3 and Focus.
      • 8 Years Ago
      V-Dub... Jaaaa
      • 8 Years Ago
      No Jeep?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Hate on the Fit all you like, but it's a sweet car, and not just for the money.
      • 8 Years Ago
      For $18k you can get any number of used BMW, Audi, Merc and can't you get a new MINI for just over $18k ($18,700 I believe)? I think the Fit fits but it doesn't compare in cool factor to a clean pre-owned BMW. Talk about reliability all you want. I've had 7 BMW's thus far and they have been nothing but reliable and never expensive to fix (ok, once I broke something on an e28 M5 that WAS NOT CHEAP but otherwise, affordable).
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