Consumer Reports Best Car Value

Consumer Watch It crunched the numbers on hundreds of cars to find which will give you the most bang for the buck.

The bad economic times led to a new category at Consumer Reports, "best car value". To calculate the cost, consumer reports factored in the vehicle's depreciation, maintenance and repair, fuel costs, insurance, sales tax, and interest on financing.

At consumer reports auto test track, every car goes through some 50 different tests, including handling … braking, fuel economy, and comfort. And each earns a total score between 0 and 100.

Along with testing well, you want a car that doesn't cost a lot over time. So in its annual auto issue, Consumer Reports has come up with the best new-car values.

The top cars on the list aren't necessarily the cheapest, but will provide the best bang for the buck over five years. "They've also got proven reliability and have done well in our tests," said David Champion with Consumer Reports.

At the top of the list; the touring version of the Toyota Prius. "The Toyota Prius holds its value extremely well. It also gets great gas mileage and excellent reliability," said Champion.

Right behind the Prius is the Mini Cooper, followed by the Volkswagen Rabbit Hatchback. Rounding out the top five best deals the Honda Civic EX and the smaller Honda Fit.

To come up with its list, Consumer Reports takes the cost of owning a vehicle for five years and divides it by the road test score.

When the math was done, other good value cars proved to be the Hyundai Santa Fe midsized SUV and the Toyota Rav4 small SUV.

If you're wondering what's the absolute worst value Consumer Reports found; no surprise, it's the Hummer H-2.

If you're looking for the best value with minivans, Consumer Reports said Honda Odyssey tops the list.


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