Best and worst value cars

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Car sales are way up, but getting a good deal doesn't mean you're getting a bargain. Some inexpensive cars are not a good value in the long run. Consumer Reports crunched the numbers on hundreds of cars to come up with the best and worst value cars.

Consumer Reports puts vehicles through nearly 50 different tests to come up with a road test score. It also collects data on over a million vehicles to determine a car's reliability. Then, all major expenses are factored in to calculate the five-year ownership cost.

"We put all those factors together to determine the best values. The cars that are at the top of our list aren't necessarily the cheapest to buy, but they'll give you the greatest bang for your buck," said Jennifer Stockburger with Consumer Reports.

This year's best value car is the Toyota Camry Hybrid. It gets 38 miles per gallon overall, is extremely reliable, and performs very well.

The four-cylinder Honda Accord LX and Toyota Camry LE are next on the list.

Rounding out the top five - the Subaru Legacy and Subaru Forester.

"What makes both the Legacy and the Forester a good value is the combination of their reliability and their high-performance in our tests," said Stockburger.

Among the worst car values is the Mercedes-Benz S550, and not just because of the $114,000 price tag.

"It performed well in our tests, but is expensive to maintain, and reliability is well below average," said Stockburger.

The Fiat 500L is an even worse value, although at $24,000 it's a fraction of the cost. It isn't reliable and has a stiff ride, uncomfortable seats, and a jerky transmission.

The worst value vehicle of all goes to the Jeep Wrangler. Consumer Reports says it doesn't perform well in tests, is very uncomfortable for everyday driving, handling is clumsy and reliability is well below average.

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