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The problem with low-cost models like the Accent is that their low advertised price translates to few frills — or even basic amenities. Pricing for the 2010 models starts at the same low $9,970 price of the 2009 base model and both come without air conditioning or a stereo. Our somewhat-loaded SE test car had power windows and, thankfully, air conditioning, along with a pretty decent stereo. It also had larger 16-inch wheels, antilock brakes and a sportier suspension. Its final price was $15,790, including a $720 destination charge.

That's why those low prices are deceiving; while the Honda Fit starts much higher, at $15,610 after a $710 destination charge, it comes standard with almost everything in the SE version I tested.

The Fit is also bigger, more fun to drive and has a vastly superior interior, including comfier seats.

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