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Edmunds' Top 10 'Dark-Horse' cars – Click above for high-res image gallery

We all know the typical sales winners of the automotive universe. Come hell or high water, Honda Civics and Toyota Camrys will still float off of the lot. Granted, that's good news for most automakers, but at the same time, there's a wealth of under-appreciated models languishing under the beady eyes of inflatable gorillas across the country. The good people of Edmunds have taken it upon themselves to wrangle up a top 10 list of those long forgotten winners and filed them under the collective banner of "Dark-Horse" candidates. Sexy.

We're absolutely down with cars like the 2010 Buick Lacrosse, 2010 Suzuki Kizashi and the 2010 Hyundai Genesis, but the 2010 Nissan Versa has us scratching our heads. While the car is a perfectly decent little compact, the market is awash with other excellent options. Need proof? Look no further than another Edmunds Dark-Horse selection, the 2011 Ford Fiesta. We suppose that with all the hype surrounding the new Blue Oval hatchback that it can't as easily be considered a forgotten option, at least at this point. Hop the jump for the full press blast and check the gallery below for the top picks.

[Source: Edmunds]

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Edmunds.com Picks the 10 Best Dark-Horse Cars of the Year

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Car shoppers should consider more than just the top-selling mainstream models when deciding on a new vehicle. Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive information, has put together an article entitled Top 10 Dark-Horse Cars which lists vehicles worthy of more serious consideration by car shoppers.

"Although they may not have the same level of recognition as say the Ford Explorer, Honda Civic or Toyota Camry, these cars offer great value and quality, and definitely should be on more consumers' shopping lists," said Karl Brauer, Senior Analyst and Editor at Large for Edmunds.com.
Edmunds.com's Top 10 Dark-Horse cars of 2010 are (in alphabetical order):

* 2010 Buick LaCrosse
* 2011 Ford Fiesta
* 2010 Ford Fusion
* 2010 Hyundai Genesis
* 2011 Hyundai Sonata
* 2010 Kia Sedona
* 2010 Mazda Mazda5
* 2010 Nissan Versa
* 2010 Suzuki Kizashi
* 2010 Suzuki SX4

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Legacy GT, Saab 9-3 Aero, Mazdaspeed 3, Volvo C30 T5, etc
        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree with two on your list but the 9-3 Aero isn't competitive in the least and the C30 isn't that great either. Both are very expensive for what you get.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I would add the Mazda 3 to that list. It is arguably the best drivers car in that segment and receives high praise from the motoring press but the public still craves their Civics and Corollas.
        • 5 Years Ago

        lulz canada. Be quiet up there, nobody cares about you.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Are you kidding me? It's a huge seller. How can it be a dark horse if it's on everyone's short list?

        'awesome' handling? Let's not get carried away. It's a good car in regular trim. Best driver's car in segment? Maybe. But 'awesome' handing?
        • 5 Years Ago
        You should read what I said again. I agreed it could be termed best driver's car in it's segment. And that's what your two sentences say also.

        But 'awesome' handling? Not in my experience.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @High. Don't be a jerk. Plenty of us respect our Northern neighbors. You know, because they're good people.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The Mazda 3, to me, is the best value in ANY four-door car class, and one of the best driving cars out there, period. For the small price you pay, you get a peppy engine, good mileage, a great transmission, awesome handling, a wonderful interior...I could keep going on. I wish my wife hadn't gotten rid of her 2006 3s...but the new Mercedes C280 4-Matic she's driving isn't half bad, either!
        • 5 Years Ago
        The mazda3 is no dark horse. It has become the top seller in Canada ahead of the civic.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I don't know that I'd say "good mileage" in regard to the Mazda3. That's it's weak point. It's gets the gas mileage of a midsize even though it's a compact.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ spin cycle

        Go drive one and compare it to its competition. You will see why that is said.

        The Mazda3 is the vehicle to beat in its segment.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yes, a car that is not yet for sale can't be considered a dark horse. And if it is for sale it's been barely a month. I still haven't seen one yet in the wild.

      And I agree with AB: the Versa? Give me a break. I'd take a Fit or an xD over the Versa any day.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I concur with what Alex said.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Suzuki SX4! YES!! It may not have as good gas mileage as the Honda Fit or the various mini-toasters, but it's such an enjoyable and nimble little vehicle to drive... and in its pricerange, being offered with keyless entry/ignition, Satnav, AWD, and tire-pressure monitoring, it's tough to beat. ...the space behind the rear seats in the wagon bodystyle is also larger than you would expect... I fit 5 big, full helium balloons in the back once (don't ask, long story), still having the rear deck-cover in place.

      Plus, I adore the Italian Giugiaro styling.
      • 5 Years Ago

      1) A car can't be overlooked yet when it hasn't even hit the sales charts so nix the Fiesta from the list.

      2) The Versa and Sedatea both deserve to be overlooked.

      3) The Kia Ronda would be a better choice in the overlooked category than the Sedatea.

      4) I think the Ford Flex is probably the biggest dark horse right now. Great reviews but lukewarm sales. Other Dark Horses that come to mind would be the Mitsubishi Outlander and Mazda in general in the US. I don't understand why Mazda doesn't have the same level of success in the US that they have elsewhere.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The Fiesta just came out. Give it 6 months. If nobody is buying it and it is as good as advertised then call it a dark horse.

      I think that the Lotus Elise should have made the list. It is very underappreciated - the most fun to drive car on the road and it gets over 30 MPG.
      • 5 Years Ago
      suzuki kizashi to me is the real dark horse here everything else is selling ...and kizashi has great value for the money
      • 5 Years Ago
      Oh, and let me add, for the INSIGHT:
      - No Annoying Torque Steer!
      - And a more balanced feel, with the battery over the rear wheels. None of that heavy front wheel drive, light rear end feel.

      Take a test drive.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Mitsubishi Endeavor


      Suzuki Vitara
      • 5 Years Ago
      where's the new regal?
      • 5 Years Ago
      The Fiesta is currently the most hyped car in America. How can it be a "Dark Horse"?
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