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Jeep, Fiat get cheap/cool awards

by Bill Cawthon on

Kelley Blue Book has named the Jeep Renegade and Fiat 500 to its 2016 list of the 10 Coolest Cars Under $18,000.  The Renegade placed third, up from fourth last year.


The Fiat 500, which is also a repeat, moved up three spots to seventh in the rankings, beating the Ford Fiesta and Chevrolet Sonic.

“More of a city cruiser than a canyon carver, part of the little Fiat’s charm is that beneath the surface it’s simply a pleasant little two-door subcompact car. ” said the editors.

The Renegade and Wrangler were both in Kelley Blue Book’s 10 Best SUVs under $25,000;  FCA and Honda were the only automakers to have two vehicles on the top 10 list.

10 Coolest Cars Under $18,000
Rank Vehicle Notes
1 Mazda3 Repeat
2 Honda Civic Was No. 5 in 2015
3 Jeep Renegade Was No. 4 in 2015
4 Volkswagen Golf Was No. 2 in 2015
5 Kia Soul Was No. 3 in 2015
6 Hyundai Veloster New to list
7 Fiat 500 Was No. 10 in 2015
8 Honda Fit Was No. 7 in 2015
9 Ford Fiesta Was No. 6 in 2015
10 Chevrolet Sonic Was No. 8 in 2015

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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