When you’re looking around for an extra set of wheels, before you ask yourself which is the Best 2nd Car to Own, determine your wants and needs. Do you need a second car to get you from point A to B while you save your uplevel wheels for special days? Or, do you want your second car to reflect more of your wants and desires – even if it sits in the garage most of the time?

When it comes to personal preference, car choices are unique. Here we’ll concentrate on getting the least expensive 2nd car to own (and most car for the money) models as reflected in the following three choices.

  • Chevrolet AveoU.S. News and World Report gives kudos to the subcompact Chevrolet Aveo for low sticker price, “good interior design and pleasing materials,” its “good fuel numbers” and “great visibility from the driver’s seat,” plus Aveo is “surprisingly roomy for its size.” Kelley Blue Book calls Aveo “smartly styled,” with “excellent fuel economy, a long list of standard features and a bargain-basement price.” The Post chevrolet_aveo_2010Chronicle hails Aveo as a “good little commuter car, suited perfectly for trips around town…it’s small, pleasant to drive and be in, and seems as easy to please as a new puppy.” Look for Edmunds True Market Value (TMV) base pricing starting at $5,568 (2006) to $10,558 (2009).
  • Honda FitThe subcompact 4-door hatchback Honda Fit, redesigned in 2009, has, according to Edmunds, “earned praise for its exacting and world-class design honda_fit_2010standards, and has definitely found its niche with consumers.” Edmunds goes further, commenting on Fit’s “crisp handling, adaptable interior, high quality fit-and-finish and a relatively low price.” U.S. News and World Report hails Fit as “fun to drive,” a “great value over time,” and possessing “quality and utility that few subcompacts can match,” and named it 2009 U.S. News Best Car for the Money in the subcompact category. Fit is also a Top Safety Pick of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and receives excellent crash test ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Edmunds TMV on 2007 models starts at $11,612, up to a starting base price of $14,600 for the 2009 version.
  • Volkswagen JettaNamed an IIHS Top Safety Pick for 2008 and 2009, the compact Volkswagen Jetta is, according to Edmunds, “the only discount priced European sedan.” Edmunds editors comment further that “any Jetta is a serviceable substitute for those who want a premium German sedan but don’t have the bankroll vw_jetta_2009needed to bring one home.” Edmunds TMV lists starting base prices of around $11,067 (2006) to $17,076 (2009). U.S. News and World Report says Jetta has “good power, great safety features and comfortable seating…and great mileage from the new TDI diesel trim.”

Other possibilities for Best 2nd Car to Own include Chevrolet Cobalt, Ford Focus, Mitsubishi Lancer, and Nissan Versa.

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