• Image Credit: dailyinvention, Flickr

Fearing all the news reports about $5.00 a gallon gas? Is it already that high in your zip-code? Think gas will find a new normal price above $4.00 a gallon? Thinking of buying a new more fuel efficient vehicle to cope?

These days, it pays to carefully look at the choices to determine whether it's better right now to buy a used gass sipper or a new one. That's because prices of pre-owned hybrids and compacts are on the rise.

Kelley Blue Book, after crunching the numbers, found 10 vehicles that have just barely more expensive -- or even cheaper -- monthly payments for the new 2012 version of the vehicle versus the used 2011.

In other words, it's actually OK to spoil yourself with a brand new car if you're buying one of these models.

Click through to see what they found. 

10. Toyota Corolla LE
  • Image Credit: Toyota

10. Toyota Corolla LE

MSRP: $16,130 - $17,990
Fuel Economy: 27 mpg City, 34 mpg Highway

Monthly Payment + Fuel (New): $434
Monthly Payment + Fuel (Used): $412

This perennial favorite in the small sedan segment is only $22 more per month for the 2012 versus the 2011 model.

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9. Nissan Juke S
  • Image Credit: Nissan

9. Nissan Juke S

MSRP: $19,990 - $25,780
Fuel Economy: 27 mpg City, 32 mpg Highway

Monthly Payment + Fuel (New): $519
Monthly Payment + Fuel (Used): $501

The polarizing design may turn off some car shoppers, but the fact that you can get in a brand new 2012 model for only $18 more than a used 2011 is pretty tantalizing.

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8. Mini Cooper
  • Image Credit: Mini

8. Mini Cooper

MSRP: $19,500 - $24,950
Fuel Economy: 29 mpg City, 37 mpg Highway

Monthly Payment + Fuel (New): $484
Monthly Payment + Fuel (Used): $468

The Mini Cooper is an AOL Autos favorite. You can get the fun to drive, gas sipping 2012 model for only $16 more per month than a 2011.

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7. Nissan Cube
  • Image Credit: Nissan

7. Nissan Cube

MSRP: $14,980 - $18,520
Fuel Economy: 25 mpg City, 30 mpg Highway

Monthly Payment + Fuel (New): $416
Monthly Payment + Fuel (Used): $401

Another polarizing design, but if you can get past its weird breadbox geek-mobile exterior, the Cube is a solid buy, especially new. An extra $15 a month will give you that new car smell.

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6. Chevrolet Equinox LT
  • Image Credit: GM

6. Chevrolet Equinox LT

MSRP: $23,530 - $30,970
Fuel Economy: 22 mpg City, 32 mpg Highway

Monthly Payment + Fuel (New): $589
Monthly Payment + Fuel (Used): $579

Recently picked as our Smartest CUV buy under $30,000, the Equinox is also one of the best vehicles to buy new.

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5. Hyundai Elantra GLS
  • Image Credit: Hyundai

5. Hyundai Elantra GLS

MSRP: $15,345 - $20,595
Fuel Economy: 29 mpg City, 40 mpg Highway

Monthly Payment + Fuel (New): $435
Monthly Payment + Fuel (Used): $427

The reigning North American Car Of The Year, and selected by AOL Autos as the best overall car under $20,000, the Elantra can be had brand new for a measly $8 more per month than the used 2011.

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4. Honda Civic LX
  • Image Credit: Honda

4. Honda Civic LX

MSRP: $15,605 - $26,155
Fuel Economy: 28 mpg City, 36 mpg Highway

Monthly Payment + Fuel (New): $424
Monthly Payment + Fuel (Used): $416

The 2012 Honda Civic hasn't received the best press, but that doesn't necessarily make it a bad car or bad buy. The Civic is still a Honda. It's going to be reliable, get great gas mileage and have very good resale value. Indeed, the monthly payment on a 2012 is only $8 more than the 2011.

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3. Honda Civic Hybrid
  • Image Credit: Honda

3. Honda Civic Hybrid

MSRP: $24,050
Fuel Economy: 44 mpg City, 44 mpg Highway

Monthly Payment + Fuel (New): $494
Monthly Payment + Fuel (Used): $490

It's hard to argue with 44 mpg on the highway and in the city. A brand new Civic Hybrid is just $4 more per month than a used 2011.

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2. Volkswagen Jetta SE
  • Image Credit: VW

2. Volkswagen Jetta SE

MSRP: $15,515 - $26,695
Fuel Economy: 24 mpg City, 34 mpg Highway

Monthly Payment + Fuel (New): $454
Monthly Payment + Fuel (Used): $450

The 2012 Jetta is a part of Volkswagen's impressive new lineup. You can get brand new German engineering for $4 more per month than a used Jetta. That's a deal. And with that you get more of the standard warranty.

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1. Subaru Impreza 2.5i
  • Image Credit: Subaru

1. Subaru Impreza 2.5i

MSRP: $17,495 - $29,095
Fuel Economy: 25 mpg City, 34 mpg Highway

Monthly Payment + Fuel (New): $444
Monthly Payment + Fuel (Used): $469

Incredibly, a brand new 2012 Subaru Impreza is substantially cheaper than a used 2011. If you're shopping Impreza, buying new is a no- brainer.

Subarus have long been terrific on resale value and reliability. A re-pricing of the all-new Impreza design has resulted in it being a better value than the used version of the previous design.

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