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2010 Toyota Priuis

Price: TBD

Availability: Spring 2009

The outlook: The Toyota Prius set the standard for hybrid cars, and this update represents the third generation of the car for the U.S. market.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET
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2010 Honda Insight

Price: $19,800

Availability: March 2009

The outlook: Honda launches the hybrid Insight as the less expensive alternative to the Toyota Prius. With fuel economy 5 mpg less than the Prius, the Insight undercuts the price by thousands.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Corinne Schulze/CNET
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2009 Nissan Cube

Price: $13,990

Availability: May 2009

The outlook: The Cube competes directly with the Scion xB, offering a cheap economy car with many practical virtues. Expect good optional cabin tech such as Bluetooth phone support and iPod integration.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Corinne Schulze/CNET
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2010 Kia Soul

Price: $13,300

Availability: Spring 2009

The outlook: Kia rolls out the Soul, another small box car with a sporty look. The base model will be pretty stripped down, but upscale trims will offer satellite radio, USB and iPod connections, and Bluetooth support.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET
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2009 Audi Q5

Price: $37,200

Availability: February 2009

The outlook: Audi fills a gap in its product lineup with the Q5, a small SUV built for on-road use. A new cabin tech package features hard-drive-based navigation with traffic.

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