The Best Cars For The Money: July 2012 Edition
Shopping for a new car doesn't have to be a stressful and frustrating experience. Here at AOL Autos, we're working to make car shopping as easy and affordable as possible. That's why we pour over data every week to find out which cars are the best value for consumers.
With help from TrueCar.com, we've come up with a list of the ten best cars for the money. This means that car shoppers get a car with great driving dynamics, versatility, fuel economy and more for a low monthly lease payment.
These are the best values in the auto industry right now, so if you're in the market for a new car lease, take a look at one or more of these and let the savings begin.
But don't delay. Many of these offers are set to expire at the end of the month.
10. 2012 Acura MDX
$449 per month for 36 months with $2,599 down
Fuel Economy: 16 mpg City, 21 mpg Highway
The Acura MDX offers outstanding V6 power, standard seven-passenger seating and Acura's exclusive Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system. Compelling styling, attention to detail, comprehensive safety equipment and advanced technologies increase the appeal of this luxury SUV. The MDX is powered by a 300-hp 3.7-liter V6 engine, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with manual mode and paddle shifters. A power moonroof, power tailgate, 18-inch aluminum wheels, heated front seats, leather upholstery, tri-zone automatic climate control, satellite radio and HandsFreeLink (Bluetooth) wireless connectivity are standard on every MDX.
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9. 2012 Chrysler 200 Limited
$199 per month for 39 months with $2,999 down
Fuel Economy: 20 mpg City, 31 mpg Highway
The Chrysler 200 is a true contender in the ultra-competitive midsize car category, offering value through a high level of standard equipment, along with variety in a convertible model with available hardtop. The front-wheel drive 200 is offered in sedan and convertible body styles, as well as four trim levels - LX (sedan only), Touring, Limited and S. Two engines supply power: a 173-hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder and a 283-hp 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 with flex-fuel capability, mated to either a four-speed automatic or a six-speed automatic with manual shift mode.
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8. 2012 Volkswagen Passat
$209 per month for 36 months with $1,999 down
MSRP: $19,995 (w/ 6-speed manual transmission)
Fuel Economy: 22 mpg City, 32 mpg Highway
The all-new Passat is the largest passenger car in the Volkswagen line-up. It has all the refinements and technology expected of a sophisticated German vehicle, but is now built in the USA specifically for the North American customer. The Passat is offered as a front-wheel drive four-door sedan with three engine choices; a 170-hp, 2.5-liter inline five-cylinder, a 140-hp, 2.0-liter TDI diesel four-cylinder, and a 280-hp 3.6-liter VR6. Numerous transmissions are available, a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic with the 2.5L, a six-speed manual or six-speed DSG with the TDI, and a six-speed DSG is standard with the VR6.
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7. 2012 Cadillac CTS Coupe
$349 per month for 36 months with $1,999 down
Fuel Economy: 18 mpg City, 27 mpg Highway
The Cadillac CTS offers a range of vehicles to suit any lifestyle. The CTS Coupe, Sport Wagon, and the respected, award winning Sedan all offer optional all-wheel-drive, an impressively finished interior and a large dose of style. Available in two trims the 2012 CTS comes standard with either 17- or 18-inch alloy wheels. 19-inch polished alloy wheels are optional. The standard engine is a four-cam, 3.0-liter V6 with direct injection and variable valve-timing generating 270 horsepower. A direct injected 3.6-liter V6, now with 318 horsepower, is available.
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6. 2012 Mercedes-Benz C250
$369 per month for 24 months with $4,029 down
Fuel Economy: 21 mpg City, 31 mpg Highway
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class remains the most accessible of the brand's models sold in the United States, delivering the expected levels of advanced engineering, design and safety features that keep it highly competitive within the entry luxury segment. The C-Class is offered in three rear-wheel drive sedan and coupe configurations -- C250, C350 and C63 AMG -- and as a C300 4MATIC all-wheel drive sedan or C350 4MATIC all-wheel drive coupe. Additionally, the C250 and C300 sedans are available in either Sport or Luxury trim levels. The new C250 is powered by a 201-hp 1.8-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine.
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5. 2012 Lexus IS 250
$329 per month for 27 months with $2,999 down
Fuel Economy: 19 mpg City, 28 mpg Highway
The Lexus IS 250 is a true sports sedan. It's quick and fun to drive thanks to its balanced chassis and advanced electronic stability control system. Available in either rear-wheel or all-wheel drive configurations, the IS 250 is powered by a 204 horsepower 2.5-liter V6. The rear-wheel drive IS 250 utilizes a standard six-speed manual transmission, while a six-speed automatic with Formula 1 inspired paddle-shifters available as an option.
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4. 2012 Nissan Altima 2.5 S
$179 per month for 24 months with $2,999 down
Fuel Economy: 23 mpg City, 32 mpg Highway
The front-wheel drive, five-passenger Nissan Altima combines performance and an attractive exterior as either a two-door coupe or a four-door sedan. The Nissan Altima is powered by either a 175-hp 2.5-liter I4 or a 270-hp 3.5-liter V6 and the transmission choices include a six-speed manual or continuously variable transmission (CVT). The Altima trims include: 2.5 (sedan only), 2.5 S and 3.5 SR.
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3. 2012 Chevrolet Volt
$299 per month for 36 months with $1,399 down
Fuel Economy: 95 mpg City, 93 mpg Highway
The Chevrolet Volt is a four-passenger, five-door compact hatchback plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. For (up to) the first 40 miles, the vehicle drives gas- and tailpipe-emissions-free using electricity stored in its lithium-ion battery. When the Volt's battery runs low, a gas-powered, engine/generator seamlessly operates to extend the driving range another 300 miles on a full tank. The Volt is powered by an 115kW electric motor and 16kWh lithium-ion battery pack.
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2. 2012 Buick Regal Turbo w/ 1SN
$259 per month for 24 months with $2,589 down
Fuel Economy: 18 mpg City, 29 mpg Highway
The Regal is Buick's mid-size sport sedan, featuring sleek, aggressive styling, a high level of standard equipment, and impressive attention to detail. It seats five passengers in comfort, while providing responsive handling and a dynamic, yet refined, ride. The front-wheel drive Regal is available in three variants: Base, Turbo and GS. Available four-cylinder engines feature direct fuel injection, and include a 182-hp 2.4-liter, 220-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged and a 270-hp 2.0-liter High Output turbocharged.
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1. 2012 Ford Escape Limited FWD
$159 per month for 24 months with $2,898 down
Fuel Economy: 21 mpg City, 28 mpg Highway
The Ford Escape is a mid-size sport-utility vehicle with credentials that make it equally suited to urban commutes or weekend off-road outings. The Escape is available in XLS, XLT or Limited trim, with either front or four-wheel drive. The XLS features a 171-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and five-speed manual transmission. The XLT and Limited trims feature the same 2.5-liter engine with a six-speed automatic transmission. A 240-hp 3.0-liter E85 capable V6 is an available upgrade on XLT and Limited models.
Potential lessees should keep in mind that while the 2013 Ford Escape is currently under two different recalls, the 2012 Escape, which is a completely different vehicle, is not.
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