7 cheap alternatives to hybrids

2014 Ford Fiesta SE Sedan

Price: $17,340
Mileage: 29 mpg city/39 hwy/32 combined
Estimated Annual Fuel Cost: $1,550

Although nicely equipped in its base trim, we stepped up to the mid-level SE version for our pick to get must-haves such as cruise control and power windows. Spending the extra coin also added a few other goodies like trip computer and keyless entry. Every Fiesta comes with seven airbags, six-speaker audio system and voice-recognition technology. We like the spunky 120 horsepower, 1.6-liter engine paired with the optional six-speed, driver-shiftable automatic transmission. Acceleration isn't quite neck-snapping, but the responsive steering and better-than-average handling crank up the driving dynamics. Techies with deeper pockets can add upgrades, such as MyFord Touch with its 6.5-inch color touch screen and systems interface.

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