On a budget but still looking to land a sweet vehicle? The editors over at Kelley Blue Book just put out the 2017 edition of their 10 Coolest New Cars Under $18,000 list.

KBB's annual list aims to show car shoppers that you can still turn heads on a budget. Their frugal-friendly car options are all fun to drive and own, giving them what they call a "cool factor."

Without further ado, here is Kelley Blue Book's 2017 list of the 10 Coolest New Cars Under $18,000.

  1. 2017 Mazda Mazda3
  2. 2017 Honda Civic
  3. 2017 Jeep Renegade
  4. 2017 Kia Soul
  5. 2017 Hyundai Veloster
  6. 2017 Volkswagen Jetta
  7. 2017 Toyota Corolla iM
  8. 2017 Subaru Impreza
  9. 2017 Honda Fit
  10. 2017 Chevrolet Sonic

Cool and affordable is a great combination for college students, recent graduates, first-time buyers, and others not looking to break the bank. These consumers should at least consider the options on KBB's list.

However, it should be noted that KBB is a little loose with their "under $18,000" criteria. Each vehicle on their list starts at under $18,000 (as of May 9, 2017) only if you are going by their exclusive Fair Purchase Price.

Most of these cars, when you factor in destination charges, start at over $18,000 if you go by regular old MSRP. Since we here at Auto Credit Express cater to car buyers dealing with credit issues, we decided to only focus on the three most affordable options from the list.

2017 Kia Soul

10 Coolest New Cars Under $18,000

  • Fuel Economy: 24 city/30 highway/27 combined mpg (base engine, manual transmission).
  • Starting MSRP: $16,995 (includes $895 destination charge).

It may be best known for its distinctive styling, but the Kia Soul packs a lot of punch. It's versatile, practical, reliable, safe, spacious, stylish and surprisingly affordable.

The five-seat hatchback offers near best-in-class cargo space and passenger room, a high-quality interior, and one of the longest warranties around. Thanks to those features and its crossover functionality, the Soul makes for a versatile daily driver.

This is the sixth consecutive year that the Soul has made this KBB list.

2017 Honda Fit

10 Coolest New Cars Under $18,000

  • Fuel Economy: 29 city/36 highway/32 combined mpg (base engine, manual transmission).
  • Starting MSRP: $16,965 (includes $875 destination charge).

The Honda Fit (2015 pictured) offers perhaps the best combination of value and quality in the subcompact car class. KBB notes that it is fun to drive, but where it truly stands out is on the inside.

The Fit's interior is comprised of quality materials and packs huge amounts of rear-seat space and cargo room. Plus, the seats are very supportive and comfortable. It is also uniquely versatile thanks to its folding rear seat that allows for many passenger and/or cargo configurations.

2017 Chevrolet Sonic

10 Coolest New Cars Under $18,000

  • Fuel Economy: 28 city/38 highway/32 combined mpg (sedan with base engine and manual transmission).
  • Starting MSRP: $16,020 (includes $875 destination charge).

The most affordable car to make the list, the Sonic is right on par with the Honda Fit in the subcompact car pecking order.

The Sonic boasts: refined handling; spacious seats, interior and trunk for the class; and standard features that few other cars in the class can match, such as a rearview camera and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility.

The Bottom Line

Kelley Blue Book's list of affordable fun-to-drive vehicles is a must check for car shoppers on a budget. Buyers with credit issues or on very tight budgets will find our breakdown of the three most affordable vehicles on that list even more helpful.

A final tip: Auto Credit Express helps consumers dealing with credit problems find financing by connecting them to a local special finance dealership. Our connections specialize in helping people in unique credit situations.

See what we can do for you next by filling out our free and easy car loan request form.