If you’re looking to make a splash with your next car, consider an all-new 2011 model. Many of the most exciting 2011s are already on dealer lots or readily available for pre-order. Since these are brand new or redesigned from the ground up, chances are most people have never seen them before. Plus, manufacturers are already offering incentives on most of these models to get the buzz going and get people into showrooms.
Buy one of these cool 2011 cars and you’re sure to get a great car at a great deal -- not to mention a few jealous stares next time you’re cruising down the highway.
2011 Ford Fiesta
Starting Price: $13,320
Available for pre-order (on sale in summer 2010)
One of the most anticipated cars for 2011 is the Ford Fiesta, which has been on sale in Europe since 2008. Now North America is finally getting a version of this popular small car – and early test drives show it doesn't disappoint. In fact, at press time, the Fiesta is already ranked at the top of our Affordable Small Car class and gets our highest Overall score ever (9.6 out of 10).
So why is it so well-liked? Because it offers things many other small cars don’t, such as a fun driving experience and a comfortable, upscale cabin. The Fiesta has features rarely seen in its class -- from available heated seats to Ford's SYNC system to a driver’s knee airbag. On top of that, it manages to get hybrid-like fuel economy (but doesn’t cost nearly as much as most hybrids). Ford estimates the Fiesta will get 30 miles per gallon in the city and 40 miles per gallon on the highway.
2011 Hyundai Sonata
Starting Price: $19,195
Incentives: 2.9% APR for 60 months or 3.9% APR for 72 months; $500 coupon if you currently own a Hyundai; Expires 4/30/10
Completely redesigned for 2011, the new Hyundai Sonata is one of the most unusual-looking midsize sedans we’ve seen in years. But that’s not the only reason it stands out. The Sonata is now one of the cheapest cars in its class and continues to carry one of the longest powertrain warranties. It also comes with impressive standard features like XM satellite radio and Bluetooth. Reviewers like it so much that at press time, the Sonata was ranked at the top of its class.
Hyundai offers the Sonata with only a four-cylinder engine, though almost every other car in its class is available with a V6. Still, since the Sonata is a light car, it offers plenty of power. Even better is its impressive fuel economy. The 2011 Sonata is the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid car in its class.
2011 Kia Sorento
Starting Price: $22,395
Incentives: 0% APR for 36 months or $1,000 cash back in select regions; Expires 5/3/10
Previously an also-ran within its competitive class, the 2011 Kia Sorento has lost its truck-based platform and is now one of the most comfortable-riding and powerful compact SUVs. It’s even giving class leaders, like the Toyota RAV4, a run for their money. The Sorento has an optional third-row seat (rare in this class), class-leading warranties, and impressive standard features like Bluetooth.
Kia estimates its fuel economy at 21/29 mpg city/highway. This is about average for the class, but it’s quite good considering that the Sorento can accommodate up to seven passengers. In fact, few seven-passenger SUVs cost less or net more miles per gallon than the Sorento. And even fewer can touch its 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
2011 Nissan Leaf
Starting Price: $32,780 (before up to $7,500 in federal tax savings)
Available for reservation (starting May 15, with delivery in December 2010)
When the Nissan Leaf hits the streets, it will be revolutionary. It's an all-electric car with a relatively affordable price (and it's eligible for tax credits on top of that). The Leaf runs on an electric motor powered by a massive battery pack which can be charged by a standard 220-volt home outlet or a quick-charging station. The Leaf can travel up to 100 miles on a full charge -- more than most people drive in a single day.
It’s a four-door hatchback and seats up to five passengers, so you can use the Leaf as a family car. Since it doesn’t require gasoline, it is inexpensive to operate and should be ideal for commuters, too. According to Nissan, based on national average electricity rates, the Leaf should only cost three dollars to charge. Plus, initial test drives show that this electric vehicle drives just as well as any car, with smooth acceleration and braking.
2011 Infiniti M
Starting Price: $46,250
Incentives: 2.9% APR for up to 60 months on M37 trims; Expires 6/30/10
Long overshadowed by rivals like the BMW 5-Series, the Infiniti M has never received much attention. But it’s a different story for 2011 -- Infiniti has redesigned the M, and it’s now one of the best-performing full-size luxury sedans. The new model adds more power, sharper handling, and more luxurious interior materials. It also boasts a new look that’s difficult to ignore. Some reviewers love the look, while others think it’s hideous. Either way, the 2011 M is sure to get you noticed.
The M is also big on technology. Its suite of high-tech safety features include a blind spot warning system that will actually take over steering in order to avoid a collision. There’s also a class-exclusive, optional “Forest Air” system that varies the vent fan speed in order to replicate the effects of a breeze. Engineers say it can even detect and neutralize cabin odors.