Friday
October 31, 2014

2013 Autos: The Right Car for You

|

2013 Autos: The Right Car for You

Here are some of our top recommendations based on budget and features for the 2013 model year.

With more than 250 different nameplates on the market — each sold in a variety of configurations — how do you find the vehicle that’s best for you? In this product lineup, we’ve put a focus on factors that will matter to real estate professionals, including roominess, fuel efficiency, and the sort of comfort and convenience features that will help improve a day spent behind the wheel.

Here are the guide categories:

 

On a Budget?

If you want to drive something sharp without spending a lot of money — or if you’re looking for an inexpensive second or third car — consider these options.

Dart

Dodge (REALTOR Benefits® Partner)

Prices start at $16,790

Old-timers may recall this once-popular nameplate, but the 2013 Dart is an entirely new take that blends a compact exterior, a nearly midsize interior, great style, and a surprising range of features you might not expect. You can even order a wireless charging system for your smartphone. Fuel economy is among the segment’s best.

Sentra

Nissan

Prices start at $16,780

This compact four-door has traditionally been one of the market’s stodgier entries, but not anymore. The 2013 Sentra benefits from Nissan’s “class-above” strategy, starting with a premium design, a surprisingly well-executed interior, a powertrain that delivers reasonable pep and as much as 40 mpg, and a package of features normally not found in this segment.

Forte

Kia

Prices start at $16,175

The South Korean maker is another brand taking buyers by surprise — especially those on a budget. Gone is the traditional, lackluster econobox. Kia products like the new-for-2013 Forte are getting stylish remakes that are both eye-catching yet extremely functional. The new sedan is wider, lower, and longer, with markedly better interior space and what Kia bills as “class-leading fuel economy.”

 

People Movers

Here are some great cars to consider if your size and space requirements go beyond those offered in compact.

Fusion

Ford

Prices start at $22,495

Traditionally a solid and reliable sedan, the new 2013 model is a definite standout. Start with its bold new design, a coupe-like silhouette; you might mistake for a midsize luxury model. The new Fusion also gains more room in its upgraded interior. And there’s plenty of new technology, including the MyFordTouch infotainment system — and both an optional hybrid and an even more fuel-efficient plug-in hybrid.

Altima

Nissan

Prices start at $22,490

The Japanese maker has been a strong runner-up in the midsize segment in years past but aims for the lead in 2013 with a midsize remake boasting a cool new look and hot features like blind-spot warning and the new EasyFill Tire Alert that makes it easier to fill up a flat. Its improved ride and handling are complemented by a benchmark 38 mpg mileage rating. A hybrid version is also in the works.

Accord

Honda

Prices start at $22,740

One of America’s best-selling passenger cars is back in all-new form for 2013 and once again provides a hurdle for the competition. The ninth-generation Accord doesn’t go for the radical styling changes of the Fusion, but it’s a nonetheless handsome car that, while slightly smaller outside, gains extra inches inside. It also picks up some intriguing new features, including a blind-spot camera system.

Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport

Hyundai

Prices start at $25,725 for the Santa Fe Sport; prices for the 2013 Santa Fe TBA

This functional and stylish crossover-utility vehicle helped redefine the Hyundai brand a couple generations ago — and it’s set to do it again for 2013. There are, in fact, two Santa Fe CUVs this year. Rather than compromising, Hyundai is offering both a two-row, five-passenger Sport model and a new three-row, seven-passenger Santa Fe.

Town & Country S

Chrysler (REALTOR Benefits® Partner)

Prices estimated to start at $45,000

Okay, we’ve all heard the minivan put-downs, but we challenge anyone to find a class of product that does a better job achieving what they’re designed for. And with the black-on-black version of Chrysler’s popular people mover, you’ll have form as well as function to crow about. Note some stylish new features including the segment-exclusive Blu-Ray player and the piano-black interior accents.

 

Green Machines

For real estate pros seeking autos that can run on something other than gas, here’s a list of next year’s standouts.

Prius C

Toyota

Prices start at $19,745

The original Toyota hatchback is now the world’s best-selling hybrid, but the Japanese maker is moving away from a one-size-fits-all strategy, introducing a range of different models earmarked for varying needs and budgets. That includes the big Prius V, the Prius plug-in hybrid, and now the compact Prius C — the smallest and most affordable of the expanding Prius “family.”

C-Max

Ford

Prices start at $25,995 for the C-Max Hybrid and $33,745 for the C-Max Energi (the latter qualifying for state and federal tax credits)

Ford takes a cue from rival Toyota’s Prius by offering its first model specifically available only with hybrid power. There are actually two versions of the roomy new Ford “people mover,” including the conventional hybrid-electric model — rated 47 mpg — and a more advanced plug-in version, the Ford C-Max Energi, which yields 20 miles per charge before shifting back to gas power, where it is rated at 100 MPGe.

Spark EV

Chevrolet

Prices TBA

The little Chevy is General Motors’ first pure battery-electric vehicle since the GM EV1 was dropped in 1999. The maker still hasn’t gotten final numbers from federal regulators, but expect somewhere between 90 and 100 miles per charge. Intriguingly, the Spark EV is about two seconds quicker, 0 to 60 than the conventional gas version.

Living in Luxury

If your business requires that you ride around in style, here are some models to explore.

ATS

Cadillac

Prices start at $33,990

The flagship GM division is aiming to kick off a big turnaround this year with a pair of key new products that includes the compact ATS. Reviewers have been praising the new model as the first Detroit sedan to have a shot at winning over BMW 3-Series loyalists. Quick, nimble, and fun to drive, it features a choice of three powertrains and a range of new high-tech features, including the Cadillac CUE infotainment system.

6-Series Grand Coupe

BMW

Prices start at $76,895

Critics have called the recently updated BMW 6-Series one of the market’s most beautiful coupes. But its two-door configuration made it impractical for many family buyers — or professionals who might need to chauffeur clients and customers. The new Grand Coupe solves that problem. It maintains the striking 6-Series silhouette but adds an extra set of doors and a number of additional standard features.

GL and GLK

Mercedes-Benz

Prices start at $37,995 for the GLK and $63,305 for the GL

The German maker also has recognized that buyers aren’t into the one-size-fits-all approach. So, it has a pair of stylish and extremely functional crossover vehicles that have both been completely updated for the 2013 model year. That includes the compact and reasonably affordable GLK as well as the bigger and more lavishly outfitted GL, which can be ordered in three-row, seven-passenger configuration.

Allroad

Audi

Prices start at $40,495

Audi aficionados will undoubtedly recognize the Allroad name. But the 2013 Allroad is a different animal from the model that was dropped in 2005. The new crossover/wagon has been downsized both in size and price. It’s now based on the compact Audi A4 platform, though it gets a bit more ground clearance and more rugged styling cues. It’s a bit smaller than the maker’s Q-series CUVs but is more nimble and nearly as roomy.