Being equal-opportunity car enthusiasts, we at Klipnik love the idea of driving something that’s not only fun and relatively inexpensive, but also that doesn’t get as much time in the spotlight as its more popular peers. We’re here to give you the inside scoop on these unsung heroes, like the Ford Fiesta ST.
If you’re like most of us, you can count your car “collection” on one finger, so whatever you drive needs to do a lot of things well. It needs to get you back and forth to work without fail. It needs to keep your maintenance and upkeep costs to a minimum. And of course it needs to be fun.
Fortunately, you don’t have to take out a big loan or be Jay Leno to buy a fun set of wheels that can double as a practical daily driver. Indeed, there are some very entertaining choices out there to be found in nice shape with low mileage for less than $10,000 — whether you need something that seats the whole family, or you can make do with just room for two.
Shoppers often miss great bargains when they overlook the occasional used electric vehicle that pops up during their searches.
Electric cars — whether battery-electric EVs with no gas engine at all, or plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) that combine electric drive and internal combustion engines — are still a mystery to most Americans.
It would have been rare a few years ago for hybrids to show up on most used-car shopping lists. There weren’t that many in the market, and there wasn’t much choice. Toyota’s hybrids dominated, with gas-electric models from Honda and Ford in distant second and third place. But stuff happens. Things change.
Today there’s a wide selection of used hybrids available, from almost every manufacturer. Because of their often-stellar fuel efficiency, plus the high-end trim and standard equipment levels among many of the more recent models, they are cars – and crossovers, SUVs, and trucks – that most every used-car shopper should consider.
While there are some excellent battery-powered vehicles like the new Chevrolet Bolt trickling into our garages, the good, old fashioned, oil pumping, octane swilling, internal combustion engine is still at the heart of the automotive experience. It has been ever since, some 130 years ago, Karl Benz bolted a one banger of his own design onto the back of a three-wheeled cart.
And it’s been a glorious run. Sure, there were low points, like the anemic power plants that wheezed through the 1970s while automakers struggled to cope with strict new emissions and fuel economy regulations. Anyone remember the 1975 Ford Granada? Its 4.1 liter inline six had a California variant that puttered out just 71 horsepower. Folks, that’s less than 20 horsepower per liter.