By on June 18, 2006

surfbus2.jpgThe original idea: interview Jack Nerad about the type of cars parents buy for their teens.  When I finally got's Executive Editor on the blower, he immediately informed me that A) He had no idea what we were scheduled to talk about and B) The press release about teen whips was released months ago.  So the guy works without a net and I'm behind the loop.  Shifting gears, I asked for their latest media mitzvah. "Cool Cars under $18k."  And then we get going and I discover that Jack's definition of "cool" takes us into some pretty strange areas.  Still, it's the journey that counts.  [Apologies for the audio levels.  We're working on it.]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

4 Comments on “KBB: The Coolest Cars under $18k...”

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    The Honda Fit is cooler than the Mazda 3 — however, forget about new cars — the coolest car for under $18,000 is a BMW 850i.

  • avatar

    wow, the VW point was completely ungrounded. Then again- my weird friends and I considered our modified Garrett thumping torque steerin’ mid 80′s 900′s the epitome of Erik Carlsson wannabe cool. Still a staple in highschool and college parking lots across New England and there’s nothing cooler than the safety, fuel economy, and IKEA styling of an upside down bathtub that can take out a moose.

    Then again, I wholeheartedly agree with Jonny, screw new cars. It only takes a quick trip to Hemmings and Mr. Nerad might see one or two ‘cooler’ cars than a Mazda3 for under $18k…

  • avatar

    well i got a 96 teg a couple years ago for $5500 with only 40k miles on it. if i put $12k of mods into it it would be a pretty hot tuner, but as it is i like it. don’t see any need to buy a new car when you’re 18, you get a lot more for your money to buy a quality “cool” car that’s used. dodge caliber? bleah. not really feelin the fit either. cant go wrong with a mazda 3 though. you get a lot for that money.

  • avatar
    Terry Parkhurst

    There are tons of cool cars for under $18,000 (pun intended). Just go to a collector car auction – and not one of those sucker circuses such as Barrett-Jackson has. Attend a regional auction in some podunk such as Puyallup WA or even a city the size of Portland, Oregon. That’s where you can find 1971 through ’73 Buick Riviera “boat-tails” for less than $5,000, ready to turn into a lowrider or custom, or just keep it real (and stock).
    There’s mid-Sixties Ford Mustangs, Ford Falcon, Mecury Comer Caientes and all manner of Detroit iron that easy to fix, won’t have to go through emissions and are fun to drive (if you’re OK with door handle scrapers).
    From the other side of the pond, you can find Volkswagen Beetles, Things and buses for much less than the ridiculous money paid for that 1966 VW microbus in Monterey CA last summer. Heck, at an auction Mitch Silver had in Portland, Oregon in March of this year, someone got a good 1967 Citroen DS-21, three-quarters restored, admittedly spotted with primer but no rust, ready to go to the grocery store or the beach.
    New autos and trucks have their place. If you don’t like to work on vehicles, the warranty of them is for you. But as we all know, they’re aren’t particularly inexpensive these days.
    Last point, an auction is best live. You can see the machine you’re bidding on in the metal, touch it, maybe sit in it and maybe talk to the owner – all in one place. Besides, an eBay auction is as exciting as watching grass grow. A live auction is dynamic, fun and maybe the place you’ll find your idea of a “cool car.”

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

  • Re: 2015 Honda CR-V Adopts CVT

    Zykotec - Considering the Euro CRV is allowed to tow more than 3000 pounds (depending on model) I’d say it’s probably the legal team. It’s recommended to stay...
  • Re: 2015 Honda CR-V Adopts CVT

    Suto - I think it is because the Escape is a car that is already “towing” all the extra stuff needed to jack it up and make it look more like a truck. I am an...
  • Re: Lord, I Was Born A Ramblin Van

    Sutures - If you stare at the camo long enough, you can see a space shuttle… or is it a trombone?
  • Re: 2015 Acura NSX Spied At The Burgerkingring

    NoGoYo - The new NSX has become the Duke Nukem Forever of cars.
  • Re: Rental Review: Cadillac ATS 2.0T AWD

    stevelovescars - Agreed, unnecessarily large wheels and super-low profile tires have jumped the shark from a cost/benefit perspective. A well-balanced car...
  • Re: 2015 Acura NSX Spied At The Burgerkingring

    Astigmatism - Sorry, Acura doesn’t release cars any more. They just make enough for journalists to get seat time in, then let the extras sit on a lot in...
  • Re: Junkyard Find: 1982 Volkswagen Scirocco

    CoreyDL - They were cheaper than the Supra, 280ZX, or Z28 because it was a class down, FWD, with a much smaller engine, and entirely less sporty. The Scirocco was...
  • Re: Galhotra Takes The Reins As Lincoln’s New President

    PrincipalDan - Kumar Galhotra, Lincoln Motor Company and Carriage Works LTD, INC. a Division of the Ford Motor Company. I think your first move...
  • Re: Rental Review: Cadillac ATS 2.0T AWD

    carguy - I have posted this before, but it bears repeating here… One of the unkindest deeds GM ever did to the ATS is to allow its marketing department to hail...
  • Re: Junkyard Find: 1982 Volkswagen Scirocco

    Superdessucke - Yea, the last owner was broke a-s and the car got towed after he drunkenly left it in a no parking zone in some city somewhere, or something like...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote


  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • Tycho de Feyter, China
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India