These stylish new cars may be worth the wait

Automobile styling apparently is in again.
After years of emphasis on economy (read: miles per gallon), soon-to-be-released models show a distinct turn for the better for car lovers who want a dash of style with their mpg.
“Fuel efficiency is still important, but style is back for the new cars sporting 2013 and 2014 model years,” writes Michael Frank for Popular Mechanics online article and slide show “12 More New Cars Worth Waiting For,” a follow-up on a similar article posted online earlier.
“Sportiness is taking center stage once more,” Frank writes, “and a fierce competition is about to happen between $20,000 and $30,000 – so if you can’t afford the $100,000 Viper, fear not.”

Granted, affordability is an important factor for most in choosing a new car – but what is affordable for one car buyer may not be affordable to everyone. Then again, a vehicle’s style can go a long way toward whether I think a car is worth waiting for.
(I tend to favor nimble vehicles in the mid-price range below, such as the Dodge, Subaru, Audi and Mercedes-Benz, over muscle cars such as the Corvette, Shelby, Jaguar and Viper.)

Following is the list of most affordable cars – depending on who’s doing the calculation – on the Popular Mechanics list, followed by pricier models, from both lists for late 2012 and 2013, with vehicle name, expected price tag, and introduction date:

  • Ram 1500, Start around $22,000, late 2012
  • Chevy Sonic RS, $22,000 max. (PM guess), late 2012 (pictured above)
  • 2014 Jeep Liberty, $22,000 to $24,000, mid-2013
  • Dodge Dart R/T, $23,290, October 2012
  • Subaru WRX, $27,000 to $28,000 (PM guess), early 2013

Pricier:

  • 2014 Audi A3, $30,000 and up, mid-2013
  • 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA, mid-$30,000s to $45,000, late 2013
  • 2013 BMW i3 Electric City Car, $35,000, early 2013
  • 2014 Porsche Macan, low $40,000s, mid-2013

Priciest:

  • Chevy Corvette C7, $50,000 and up, fall 2013
  • 2014 Jaguar F-Type Roadster, $50,000 to $60,000, Summer 2013
  • 2013 Ford Shelby GT500, $70,000+ (PM guess), October 2012
  • SRT Viper, $100,000 (PM guess), December 2012

Other cars on the earlier Popular Mechanics list are: Ford Focus ST, Mitsubishi Evo XI, Toyota Prius C, Volkswagen Golf R, Chevy Camaro ZL1, Mini Paceman, Cadillac ATS, Hyundai Veloster Turbo and Ford Fiesta ST.

Perhaps the most intriguing car (and strange looking) on the list is the BMW i3 Electric City Car, which reportedly (by BMW) will have a 99-mile range and a 100 mph top speed. Which is your favorite vehicle in the Popular Mechanics preview?

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