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Economy

Economy Cars at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show

Boring. Bland. Utilitarian. All of these words describe the economy cars of yesteryear. Today, economy cars are actually quite fun. Thankfully, they are still affordable and get great gas mileage as well.

Sub-$20,000 cars come in all shapes and sizes: two- and four-door sedans, two- and four-door hatchbacks, wagons, crossover utility vehicles and even a few sporty coupes. A few things they all have in common. They are small, frugal, and generally don’t have as many luxury items as their bigger cousins.

2016-Economy-12016-Economy-2

That last point is starting to change, as a new breed of subcompact cars are hitting the market aimed directly at today’s youth. Vehicles like the Ford Festiva and Toyota Corolla not only get great fuel economy and cost less than $18,000, but are available with Bluetooth cell-phone links, navigation systems, and push button starting. Many subcompacts are also offering Bluetooth-linked audio systems so you can stream online services like Pandora right on your car stereo.

Subcompacts also offer the latest stafety features. All offer six airbags (dual front, front side, and curtain side), antilock brakes and stability control. Many are adding features like blind-spot alert and rear-view camera.

Another highlight you might not except from an economy car is styling. Sure there are few plain econoboxes out there, but for the most part, manufacturers are making daring changes with these cars to attract attention and, in some cases, youthful buyers.

So whether you are in the economy-car market for high mileage, great value, or big fun there’s a car, hatch, wagon or crossover for you.

You can find the following economy cars on display at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show or at the Vehicles on Display section of the auto show Web site.

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