What is a hidden gem? According to Consumer Reports, a hidden gem is an excellent car that very few people are buying. These can range from a cabriolet to a massive 2-ton work truck. They make the grade with excellent handling and acceleration, confident safety, and decent predicted reliability. Consumer Reports chose some interesting cars to include in its list, some older than dirt while others are just beginning to hit their stride. These are some of the most compelling cars that made the list, with the current market price factored in.
Hyundai Veloster: hot hatch finesse
If having front-wheel drive doesn’t disrupt a good time, consider the Hyundai Veloster, specifically the turbo. It’s a nimble little car that still has a manual transmission. It reportedly falls victim to road noise, but has a lot of grip and gets off the line with urgency. Consumer Reports dubbed it a hidden gem for its impressive road test, and above-average predicted reliability and owner satisfaction. Brand new, the car costs $33,750 for the turbo. Manual-equipped Veloster Turbos from 2015-2016 abound for less than $20,000. Not a bad price for a 2,921-pound hot hatch with 200 horsepower.
Chrysler 300: last of a dying breed
It’s unbelievable that Chrysler has been reduced to just three vehicles. What’s even more unbelievable, is it still makes the 300. The 300 landed on Consumer Reports’ list for its luxury, comfort, and the fact that it still offers a V8 and all-wheel drive. It also suffers from old age. The car is primitive at best, down to its safety rating, and isn’t helping the environment. Over its 17-year lifespan, the 300 has changed owners more times than an Alfa Romeo changes oil, and it’s starting to show. The 300 from 2019 still remarkably sells for around $25,000.
Infiniti Q50: stale luxury
Arguably one of the more tame luxury sedans on this list is the Infiniti Q50. It looks great and has a powerful, responsive 3.7-liter V6. Perhaps more importantly, it’s tried and true. The Q50 made the list for its supreme reliability and gratifying powerplant. Unfortunately, that’s where the Infiniti’s agreeable facets start to drop off. It’s getting old, but it appears to be getting comfortable. It’s not pushing the boundaries of luxury as much as its rivals, despite its MSRP rounding out to $57,850. That price means it should be knocking on M3’s door, but by all accounts, it just isn’t. A 2018 Q50 nets roughly $20,000.
Many interesting cars made the list of Consumer Reports’ best hidden gems. They all met the criteria that they simply didn’t sell many units. BMW’s 2-series also made the list, as well as the Lexus UX and Audi’s A4. It’s obvious why some of these cars didn’t sell, but for the ones that didn’t, demand might be low enough for a good deal. Of course, today’s climate makes buying used cars more expensive than it has been in a long time, but that could change soon.