The editors over at Cars.com put together a list of ten of these vehicles. Amid the dizzying amount of new car options in today's marketplace, these rides are often unfairly overlooked. They're fuel efficient, great to drive, safe and, above all, a great value.
Head on through to see the cars that you probably aren't looking at, but totally should.
Sticker Price: $21,190 - $29,895
Invoice Price: $20,235 - $28,235
Fuel Economy: 25 mpg City, 37 mpg Highway
Arguably the most attractive and fun-to-drive midsize sedan available right now, the Mazda6 tends to take an undeserved back seat to competitors like the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. That's not to say those are bad cars, but the Mazda6 offers a lot of bang for the buck, and consumers would be doing themselves a favor by taking one for a test drive.
The Mazda6 comes with a 2.5-liter 184-hp, direct injection, SKYACTIV four-cylinder engine, which provides a solid combination of power and fuel economy. Available features, depending on trim level, include 19-inch wheels, HD radio, an eleven-speaker Bose audio system, blind spot monitoring system, an intelligent key system, a power moonroof, LED taillights, power heated leather seats and automatic climate control.
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2014 Dodge Durango
Sticker Price: $29,995 - $43,395
Invoice Price: $29,506 - $41,304
Fuel Economy: 18 mpg City, 25 mpg Highway
With its spacious and comfortable interior, towing capability and burly good looks, the 2014 Dodge Durango suits a variety of lifestyles, from the outdoor enthusiast to the growing family. This SUV tends to be overlooked by consumers who flock to competitors like the Ford Explorer and Toyota Highlander.
Available with rear-wheel or all-wheel drive the seven-passenger Durango includes a 290-hp 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 as standard and has an available 360-hp Hemi 5.7-liter V8 engine. Available features include HID headlamps, a premium radio with Garmin navigation and DVD, a rear seat entertainment system, leather upholstery and a trailer tow package.
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2014 Hyundai Elantra GT
Sticker Price: $18,750
Invoice Price: $18,074
Fuel Economy: 24 mpg City, 34 mpg Highway
Hatchback shoppers tend to migrate towards the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus, but they would do well to take a look at the Hyundai Elantra GT, which comes with loads of standard features, great fuel economy and an attractive exterior, all for a low starting price.
The Elantra GT utilizes a 173 horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder to power the front wheels through a six-speed manual, or six-speed automatic transmission. Luxury items such as a panoramic sunroof, power heated leather seats, a cooled glovebox, navigation system and much more are available.
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2014 Volkswagen Passat TDI
Sticker Price: $26,675 - $33,395
Invoice Price: $24,791 - $32,026
Fuel Economy: 31 mpg City, 43 mpg Highway
The Volkswagen Passat TDI is overlooked in two ways. First, this is a really nice midsize sedan that, like the Mazda6, is often passed over for its competition. Second, it's uses diesel, which is a criminally misunderstood fuel here in the U.S. While many think it's dirty and too expensive, the reality is that it's very clean, super efficient, fun to drive and generally costs about the same as or just a little bit more than gasoline.
The Passat TDI employs a 140-hp, 2.0-liter TDI diesel four-cylinder engine that is good for 31 mpg in the city and 43 mpg on the highway. Standard creature comfort features include front and rear center armrests, trip computer, keyless entry, automatic headlights with coming home function, cruise control and Bluetooth phone connectivity.
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2014 Kia Optima
Sticker Price: $21,500 - $35,300
Invoice Price: $20,579 - $32,963
Fuel Economy: 23 mpg City, 34 mpg Highway
Yet another overlooked midsize sedan is the 2014 Kia Optima. This is one of the more sharply styled options in the class, and it comes with an interior and driving dynamics to match. If you're looking for something a little sportier that stands out on the road without sacrificing value, this is a great bet.
The Optima is available in three trim levels; LX, EX, SX, SX Turbo and SXL Turbo. The LX, EX and SX are equipped with a naturally-aspirated 200-hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. The SX Turbo and SXL Turbo use a turbocharged 274-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder. A panoramic sunroof, aluminum wheels, power heated leather seating, dual-zone automatic climate control, navigation system and rearview camera are just some of the features available on the Optima.
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2015 Hyundai Genesis
Sticker Price: $38,000 - $51,500
Invoice Price: $35,659 - $47,665
Fuel Economy: 18 mpg City, 29 mpg Highway
The Hyundai Genesis isn't super well known among car shoppers, but it absolutely should be, as it offers striking looks, a great luxurious interior and sporty driving dynamics for thousands less than its competitive offerings from Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Lexus.
The Genesis sedan can be had with a 311-hp 3.8-liter V6 or a 420-hp 5.0-liter V8. Both engines send power to the wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission with manual sequential shift capability. Luxurious power heated leather seats, automatic dual-zone climate control and woodgrain trim are just some of the appointments this car offers that are typically only found in vehicles costing much more.
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2014 Chrysler 300
Sticker Price: $30,995 - $48,900
Invoice Price: $29,781 - $47,268
Fuel Economy: 19 mpg City, 31 mpg Highway
The Chrysler 300 offers a bold sense of power and presence not generally found in other large sedans. With a variety of engines and trim levels, the 300 can be everything from a high-powered performance machine to a luxury cruiser suitable for nights out in the city.
The 300 is available in rear-wheel or all-wheel drive, with either a 3.6-liter V6 (Base and S) or an enormous 6.4-liter V8 engine (SRT8 only). Available features include heated and ventilated leather front bucket seats, navigation system, Bluetooth and automatic dual-zone climate control.
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2015 Volvo XC60
Sticker Price: $35,750 - $49,800
Invoice Price: $33,605 - $46,812
Fuel Economy: 24 mpg City, 31 mpg Highway
With a sharp design, super comfortable interior and wealth of safety features, the Volvo XC60 is a great option for luxury SUV shoppers, easily worth mentioning in the same breath as competitive offerings from BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz.
The front-wheel drive XC60 is powered by either a 240-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, or a 302-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged and supercharged four-cylinder engine. The "Instant Traction" all-wheel drive XC60 is offered with a 300-hp 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six-cylinder engine, or even a 325-hp 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six-cylinder engine. An impressive standard safety feature is "City Safety" which reacts at low speed to help prevent or reduce rear-end collisions by allowing the XC60 to automatically self-brake to a complete stop without driver input.
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2015 Volvo S60
Sticker Price: $33,300 - $45,700
Invoice Price: $31,302 - $42,958
Fuel Economy: 25 mpg City, 37 mpg Highway
Volvo isn't generally known for being sporty, but the S60 bucks that stereotype. This car is quick off the line and excellent around corners. With its great interior (it comes with the best seats in the business) and heavy amount of standard safety features, this car can rival its German competitors.
The S60 is available as a front-wheel or all-wheel drive T5, as a front-wheel drive T6, or as an all-wheel drive T6 R-Design. Engine choices vary depending on the trim, and include potent five- and six-cylinder options. Standard equipment includes dynamic stability traction control (DSTC) with advanced stability control, and corner traction control with torque vectoring, as well as creature comforts like Sirius satellite radio, a Volvo Sensus infotainment system and Bluetooth with audio streaming.
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2014 Lexus CT 200h
Sticker Price: $32,050
Invoice Price: $30,417
Fuel Economy: 43 mpg City, 40 mpg Highway
Hybrids don't have to be boring. The Lexus CT 200h, with its sharp styling and sportier driving demeanor, is a perfect example of that. Though its number one focus is being fuel efficient, the car doesn't sacrifice comfort or style. If you're looking for a luxury ride that doesn't have to fill up very often, this is a solid choice.
The front-wheel drive CT 200h employs a full hybrid powertrain technology that unites a 1.8-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder gasoline engine with a powerful electric drive motor, generating 134 combined horsepower. This hybrid system is mated to a continuously variable transmission (ECVT) with four selectable drive modes - Normal, Sport, ECO and EV (electric only). Every CT 200h is outfitted with a comprehensive list of standard features, including: a power moonroof, 17-inch alloy wheels, Smart Key passive entry with push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, satellite radio and Bluetooth wireless connectivity and audio streaming.
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