Another bonus is Kia’s excellent five-year limited warranty. Negatives are few but include a bit too much wind and road noise on the highway.
Preferred pick: Soul S, $21,710
SPORTY SMALL HATCHBACK: 2021 Hyundai Veloster
Small but fun, the Hyundai Veloster is a unique pick because of its three-door layout. It has a single door on its driver’s side and two doors on its passenger side. This configuration creates a sporty, coupe-like appearance with the added benefit of an extra rear door to make it easier for rear passengers to get in and out.
The Veloster’s standard 147-horsepower engine is fine, but consider getting the available turbocharged engine. It makes a stout 201 horsepower and gives the Veloster quick acceleration. The extra power is also a pleasing complement to the Veloster’s sharp handling. Just like Kia, Hyundai offers a five-year limited warranty. On the downside, the Veloster’s ride quality is a little stiff, and the cabin can get noisy at highway speeds.
Preferred pick: Veloster Turbo R-Spec, $24,445
SENSIBLE MIDSIZE SEDAN: 2021 HONDA ACCORD
Few vehicles get closer to “no-brainer” pick status than the Accord. It’s consistently one of the top-selling cars in America, and the latest-generation Accord is one of Edmunds’ favorite midsize sedans. It’s roomy, upscale and enjoyable to drive. The Accord’s standard turbocharged engine provides pleasing power and above-average fuel economy. The Accord Hybrid is even more efficient, sipping fuel to the tune of 48 mpg in the EPA’s combined city/highway estimate.