It's rare that you find a company playing all ends of the market. Typically a brand will focus on one segment (think of Porsche, creating only exclusive cars with a sporting edge and, of course, high prices). But there are a few manufacturers creating a wide range of products, with inexpensive city cars that everyone can buy all the way up to exclusive sports cars or luxury SUVs. We take a look at the brands that play both ends of the market.
2010 Chevrolet Aveo

2010 Chevrolet Aveo

MSRP: $11,965 - $15,365

Fuel Economy: 34 mpg Hwy, 27 mpg City

The Chevrolet Aveo sedan and Aveo 5 hatchback combine a fuel efficient engine, seating for five, ample cargo space and a host of optional features.

The front-wheel drive Aveo and Aveo 5 are available in three trims. The LS comes standard with power steering, body-colored mirrors, 14-inch wheels, front cloth bucket seats and an AM/FM radio. The 1LT trim adds carpeted front and rear floor mats, air conditioning and a CD player. The 2LT trim further adds 15-inch wheels, satellite radio, cruise control, and power mirrors, windows and door locks with remote keyless entry. All trims come standard with a 108-hp 1.6-liter engine mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. Safety features include front driver and passenger airbags with dual-stage deployment and seat-mounted side airbags for the front row occupants.

For 2010, the Aveo receives minor equipment changes.
2010 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
  • Image Credit: General Motors

2010 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1

MSRP: $106,880

Fuel Economy: 20 mpg Hwy, 14 mpg City

The Chevrolet Corvette is the best high-performance value in America. The Corvette delivers supercar performance for the price of a midsize luxury sedan. New for 2010 is the Z16 Grand Sport Coupe and Convertible trims.

The Corvette is a two-seat sports car available as a targa-roof coupe, convertible, or the high-performance Z06 and new ZR1 hardtop coupes. The coupe and convertible come with a 430-hp LS3 6.2-liter V8 engine and six-speed manual transmission. A six-speed automatic with steering wheel paddle shifters is available. An optional dual-mode exhaust increases horsepower to 436-hp. The new Grand Sport trim adds a performance package to the coupe and convertible with a sportier suspension, wider wheels, tires, and fenders, and high performance brakes. The Z06 comes with a 505-hp LS7 7.0-liter V8 engine, a six-speed manual transmission, sport handling suspension, and bigger wheels and tires. The amazing ZR1 comes with a supercharged 638-hp LS9 6.2-liter V8, a six-speed manual transmission, Magnetic Selective Ride Control suspension, special carbon fiber components and Brembo ceramic brakes. All manual transmissions now include launch control.

For 2010, the Chevrolet Corvette adds the new Grand Sport trims to the coupe and convertible. The Z06 and ZR1 carry over from 2009.
2009 Nissan Versa
  • Image Credit: Nissan

2009 Nissan Versa

MSRP: $9,990 - $16,330

Fuel Economy: 31 mpg Hwy, 26 mpg City

The Versa is Nissan's entry-level car with the intention of attracting economy-minded buyers with its mileage, price and larger size than most other vehicles in its class.

In keeping with its positioning as Nissan's entry-level car, the Versa lineup is pretty straightforward. It is available as a hatchback or sedan in two trim levels, S and SL. All models are powered by the same 122-hp, 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine driving the front wheels. Both S trims as well as SL hatches come standard with a six-speed manual transmission. A four-speed automatic transmission is optional on the S trims and standard on the SL sedan, while an advanced Xtronic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) is optional on SL hatches. Safety comes from six standard airbags, while anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution are optional.

Effective in April 2009, the Versa hatchback will offer an FE+ 1.8SL trim featuring a 1MPG improvement to both city and highway ratings.
2010 Nissan GT-R
  • Image Credit: Nissan

2010 Nissan GT-R

MSRP: $80,790 - $83,040

Fuel Economy: 21 mpg Hwy, 16 mpg City

The Nissan GT-R is the fifth generation of this venerable Japanese supercar, but this is the first generation available to North American enthusiasts. Well known to video gamers in this part of the world as forbidden fruit, the GT-R brings new levels of performance and technology to Nissan's line-up.

Powered by a hand-built 485-hp twin-turbo 3.8-liter V6, the GT-R makes good use of all that thrust through a paddle-shifted, rear mounted six-speed dual clutch sequential gearbox and electronic all-wheel drive. Roads and racetracks are handled by an electronically controlled independent suspension that adjusts itself to changing conditions, or allows the driver to chose a preferred setting. Handling is also assisted by 20" forged alloy wheels surrounding 15" cross-drilled Brembo brakes at all four corners. The interior features performance bucket seats, a console mounted starter button and a centrally mounted video screen that can display several pages of mechanical and driving information as well as navigation and audio.

For 2010, the GT-R gains 5-hp, the braking system has been updated, the shocks have been redesigned and spring and damper rates have been revised. As well, the non-Premium trim now has standard side and curtain airbags.
2009 Dodge Caliber

2009 Dodge Caliber

MSRP: $16,460 - $24,840

Fuel Economy: 30 mpg Hwy, 24 mpg City

The Dodge Caliber is a fun, well-rounded package, combining the versatility of a sport utility vehicle with the value and fuel-efficiency of a compact car.

The Caliber offers a choice of four front-wheel drive trim levels: SE, SXT, R/T and SRT4. The SE and SXT trims are equipped with a 148-hp 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine; a 158-hp 2.0-liter engine is also available. The R/T is driven by a powerful 172-hp 2.4-liter engine. All are available with a 5-speed manual transmission or a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). The SRT4 boasts a 285-hp 2.4-liter turbocharged engine, mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. Standard safety features include multi-stage front airbags, an inflatable driver knee blocker and side curtain airbags for front and rear occupants; an electronic stability control system is standard on the SRT4 and optional on SXT and R/T trims.

For 2009, the Dodge Caliber carries over with minimal changes. All trims get upgraded standard audio systems with MP3 playback; R/T and SRT4 trims are further equipped with a 6-disc CD player and DVD-audio capability, and the MyGIG multimedia system with navigation is now available as an option. Additionally, the R/T trim is no longer offered in an all-wheel drive configuration.
2009 Dodge Viper
  • Image Credit: Dodge

2009 Dodge Viper

MSRP: $88,590 - $89,340

Fuel Economy: 22 mpg Hwy, 13 mpg City

The Dodge Viper is a very powerful, two-door, performance sports car. Since its original debut in 1992, the Viper has garnered a reputation as a serious high-end performance car with a very sleek and distinctive appearance.

The Viper comes as a two seat coupe or roadster with a standard 600-hp 8.4-liter V10 engine and a six-speed manual transmission. Some noticeable performance features include dual side exhaust, a limited slip differential, lightweight coil-over shock absorbers, anti-lock brakes with front and rear vented discs, "Z" rated performance tires on 18 inch front and 19 inch rear forged alloy wheels. Other notable standard features on the Viper include power mirrors, windows and door locks with remote keyless entry, high intensity discharge headlamps, and air conditioning.

For 2009, the Viper receives no major changes.
2010 Ford Focus

2010 Ford Focus

MSRP: $15,995 - $18,485

Fuel Economy: 35 mpg Hwy, 24 mpg City

Small, economical, and fun, the Ford Focus is a smart choice for those looking for a compact car.

Available as a coupe or sedan the Focus includes only minor changes for 2010. The engine is a 140-hp 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder available with a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. The interior features an available SYNC system that allows the driver to synchronize mobile electronic devices such as mp3 players and cell phones. Four airbags are standard, and rear seats include headrests. Ford offers two series on the coupe, the SE and SES; and four on the sedan, the S, SE, sporty SES, and luxury SEL. New for 2010, Ford's MyKey, Message Center, anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, remote keyless entry and power door locks are standard on all series.

The 2010 Ford Focus is a carryover from 2009.
2010 Ford Shelby GT500
  • Image Credit: Ford

2010 Ford Shelby GT500

MSRP: $46,325 - $51,325

Fuel Economy: 22 mpg Hwy, 14 mpg City

Redesigned for 2010, the Shelby GT500 builds on its 1960's muscle car heritage. This newest rendition features classic cues and aggressive modern styling touches, mixed with a massive dose of horsepower.

Available as a coupe or a convertible, the Shelby possesses an intimidating 540 horsepower, 5.4 liter, V8 engine and 6-speed manual transmission. With only one powertrain combination available, this cars reason for being quickly becomes clear. Modern amenities such as air-conditioning, a 6-disc CD changer and leather seats for 4 leave passengers wanting for nothing. Safety is addressed with technical features such as 4-wheel Brembo disc brakes, traction control and an assortment of protective airbags.

The Shelby GT500 has been redesigned inside and out for 2010. New sheet metal makes the new design appear smaller than the previous model. The engine is up 40-hp for 2010, now making a whopping 540-hp.
2009 Toyota Yaris
  • Image Credit: Toyota

2009 Toyota Yaris

MSRP: 12,205 - $15,125

Fuel Economy: 36 mpg Hwy, 29 mpg City

The Toyota Yaris manages to combine a well-tailored, roomy interior with agile performance and a fuel efficient engine in an entry-level car.

The front-wheel drive Yaris is available as a hatchback (three-door or five-door) or a four-door sedan; all are offered in either Base or S trim. The Yaris is powered by a 106 horsepower 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine. The five-door hatchback comes equipped with a four-speed automatic transmission. The three-door hatchback and sedan come standard with a five-speed manual transmission; the four-speed automatic is optional. The hatchback and sedan were designed separately and have subtle interior and exterior differences but have similar standard content. The base trim comes standard with P175/65R14 tires on steel wheels, cloth bucket seats, and manual tilting steering wheel. The S trim adds P185/60R15 tires and an AM/FM stereo radio with a single CD player.

For 2009, the five-door hatchback is introduced. Also, anti-lock brakes and side curtain airbags are standard equipment and some exterior features have been updated.
2009 Toyota Land Cruiser
  • Image Credit: Toyota

2009 Toyota Land Cruiser

MSRP: $64,755 - $64,755

Fuel Economy: 18 mpg Hwy, 13 mpg City

The Toyota Land Cruiser remains at the top of the class when it comes to luxury and off-road capability. It provides legendary durability and reliability thanks to Toyota's impressive level of quality control.

Redesigned for 2008 the Land Cruiser can seat up to eight passengers, and shares the Tundra's 381-hp 5.7-liter V8 engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Four-wheel drive is standard. The Land Cruiser has a new feature from Toyota called "Crawl Control". Driving at low speeds on rough or steep terrain, the Crawl Control system automatically controls the vehicle's engine and brakes so that the driver can focus on steering. The Land Cruiser boasts ten airbags and comes standard with four-wheel anti-lock brakes, brake assist, active traction control, tire-pressure monitoring system, vehicle stability control, and active front headrests for whiplash protection.
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