Next Year’s Best-Selling Cars

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16. Hyundai Elantra
> Forecast 2013 sales:
215,721
> YTD 2012 sales:
167,087
> Base price:
$16,815
> Vehicle type:
4-door sedan, 4 cylinder

The Elantra is one of two cars that Hyundai, a relative newcomer to the market, has on the list. Despite entering the U.S. market many years after foreign owned manufacturers like Toyota and Honda, Hyundai has done extremely well with its low-priced cars. The South Korean company now has a 4.9% share of the U.S. market.  Hyundai says the Elantra gets 38 mpg in highway driving which is probably one of its attractions. Although the Elantra was historically just a sedan, the 2013 Elantra also features hatchback and coupe models.

15. Hyundai Sonata
> Forecast 2013 sales:
235,218
> YTD 2012 sales:
192,119
> Base price:
$20,995
> Vehicle type:
4-door sedan, 4 cylinder

The Sonata, Hyundai’s slightly more expensive four-door sedan, can cost over $32,000 when all of the possible accessories and packages are added. Hyundai’s marketing claims about the tremendous mileage its cars get was severely damaged recently when it had to change inaccurate mpg claims, according to a government investigation. Both Hyundai and Kia Motors Corp., which has also been implicated in the lawsuit, have agreed to give both current and former gas owners prepaid debit cards containing the estimated amount of additional money spent on gas due to lower gas mileage.

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14. Ford Focus
> Forecast 2013 sales:
243,965
> YTD 2012 sales:
205,006
> Base price:
$16,200
> Vehicle type:
4-door sedan, 4 cylinder

Ford, the only one of the Big Three U.S. car companies that did not go bankrupt during the recession, has a small fleet of high mileage cars. The Focusand its stablemate the Fiesta get 38 mpg and 39 mpg in highway driving, respectively. The Focus is available in a high performance ST verion, and an electric model, which is priced at $39,200 but gets 99 mpg in highway driving. Ford released its new Focus in 2011, the first redesign in 11 years. It also completely revamped the Detroit plant where the vehicle is made.

13. Chevy Equinox
> Forecast 2013 sales:
247,468
> YTD 2012 sales:
182,249
> Base price:
$23,755
> Vehicle type:
4-door SUV, 4 cylinder

GM’s largest division by sales has 17 basic models, which include cars, crossovers, SUVs, and pickups. The Equinox is the least expensive of the crossover/SUVs in the group, with a base price of just $23,755. The vehicle seats five people, and higher-end models have a V6 engine.  Chevy boasts that the Equinox has gotten good marks from Kelley Blue Book, a leading industry research resource. The car has estimated fuel efficiency of 32 mpg in highway driving and 182 horsepower, ranked third and fourth, respectively, out of 18 four-door 2013 SUVs rated byKelley Blue Book.

12. Chevy Cruze
> Forecast 2013 sales:
247,870
> YTD 2012 sales:
199,721
> Base price:
$17,130
> Vehicle type:
4-door sedan, 4 cylinder

The Cruze is one of Chevy’s anchors in the high mileage car race and gets 38 mpg in highway driving. According to parent company GM, the Cruze has the “best fuel economy of any gas engine in America.” The Cruze comes in nine versions, the most expensive of which, the LTZ Auto, has a base price of $23,550. Compared to most of the vehicles on this list, the Cruze is expected to grow quite modestly. Chevrolet is projected to sell  239,665 models in all of 2012, which is around 8,000 cars more than were sold in 2011 and  around 8,000 less than projected 2013 sales.

11. Chevy Malibu
> Forecast 2013 sales:
251,403
> YTD 2012 sales:
189,094
> Base price:
$22,390
> Vehicle type:
4-door sedan, 4 cylinder

Chevy markets the Malibu as its sporty but modestly priced sedan. The GM division says the Malibu is “inspired by the athletic stance of Camaro,” one of the Chevy sports cars. There is also a high-mileage four-door version, the Malibu Eco, which gets 37 mpg in highway driving. The Eco gets some of its power from energy stored in a lithium-ion battery. The redesigned 2013 Malibu, which came out in the Spring of 2012, went on sale in nearly 100 different countries. Although the new car was slightly shorter than previous models, it was wider, helping to improve interior room.