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Compact Cars for the Traveling Latinas

Car manufacturers know that women make most of the purchasing decisions for their families, and they know what these moms want in their cars. They look for low price, good fuel economy, dependability and cargo capacity. Hatchbacks such as the Nissan Versa, Toyota Yaris and the Honda Fit are perfect for travelistas like myself that love taking road trips and need to save gas from all those smalls trips to the grocery store and back home again.

Nissan Versa

Edmunds reports that the 2013 Nissan Versa hatchback has only minor changes from 2013, which primarily consist of upgrades in its standard list of features. This model has a roomy interior with a backseat that is comfortable for adults. It offers a comfortable ride with a large trunk and has excellent fuel economy. Working moms will be most likely to consider the S trim level of the Nissan Versa hatchback, which is the base trim level for this model.

The S trim level of the four-door hatchback is available with a six-speed manual transmission, which has a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $14,670, according to Edmunds. This version has a combined fuel economy of 28 miles per gallon with 26 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. The Nissan Versa hatchback has an MSRP of $15,870 when equipped with the four-speed automatic transmission. This version has a combined fuel economy of 27 mpg with 24 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway.
The 2013 Nissan Versa seats five passengers and has a cargo capacity of 17.8 cubic feet, according to Edmunds. Folding the rear seat down provides a maximum cargo capacity of 50.4 cubic feet.

Creative Commons image by cking

Hyundai Accent

While Hyundai's assertion that the Accent is "the king of subcompacts" may be a little bit of a stretch, it isn't too far off. Hyundai built its reputation in America with its 10 year, 100,000 mile warranty, which is still one of the best you can get. And while the warranty protects your wallet, six airbags and a vehicle-stability management system protect you and the little ones from road hazards.

Hyundai has really put a lot of work into the design of their cars in the past few years, and the Accent is a prime example. While prices begin at only $14,454, the design is sleek with strong lines that make the vehicle look more aggressive (and expensive.) The interior is quite spacious, with plenty of leg room and 111.3 cubic feet of storage space. The 37 combined MPG is a real plus, too.

Image courtesy of Cars at Chapman Hyundai

Toyota Yaris

The Toyota Yaris is a subcompact hatchback with a reasonable purchase price and excellent fuel economy. It also has low maintenance costs and a high reputation for reliability. The 2012 model received a total redesign, and the 2013 Toyota Yaris has only a few small revisions to its list of standard features. This model still has the same simple, stylish interior and comfortable handling from last year, according to Edmunds.
Edmunds reports that the Toyota Yaris has an MSRP of $14,370 when equipped with a 1.5-liter engine and a five-speed manual transmission. The manual-shift Yaris has a combined fuel economy of 33 mpg with 30 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway. A four-speed automatic transmission increases the MSRP to $15,095, with 32 mpg combined fuel economy — 30 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway. All versions of the Toyota Yaris have seating for five passengers with a cargo capacity of 15.6 cubic feet with the seats in place.

Creative Commons image by Autoviva.com

Honda Fit

The Honda Fit has a flat load floor when you fold the rear seats down, according to Edmunds. The feature sets this model apart from others in its class, with a maximum cargo capacity of 57.3 cubic feet. The Honda Fit seats five passengers when all of its seats are in place.

The Honda Fit has an MSRP of $15,425 when equipped with a 1.5-liter engine and a five-speed manual transmission, according to Edmunds. This model has a fuel economy of 29 mpg with 27 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. A five-speed automatic transmission gives the Honda Fit a combined fuel economy of 31 mpg with 28 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway and an MSRP of $16,225.

Creative Commons image by marlordo59


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