Consumer Reports: Best Value Cars

Before January 1 is a great time to buy a 2013 car. Consumer Reports says that you can save hundreds of dollars if you take advantage of end-of-the-month, as well as end-of-the-year, deals.

Sticker price is one thing, but how much will a car really cost you? The Nissan Versa, for example, is one of the least expensive cars sold, but Consumer Reports says its poor reliability means it could cost you in the long run. Turns out paying $500 more for the Hyundai Accent is a better value, with better reliability, and it’s a much nicer car to boot.

Consumer Reports is just out with its list of the “best new-car values.” The rankings are based on three elements: Consumer Reports’ road-test scores, predicted reliability from its Annual Auto Survey, and an estimate of how much it’ll cost to own the car for five years.

Consumer Reports says the Toyota Prius offers the best value, with a sticker price that’s under $30,000, and over time the Prius costs a very economical 49 cents a mile to own.

On the other end of the spectrum is the BMW 750Li. Its sticker price is almost $100,000, and it’s a whopping $1.80 a mile to own—the worst value on Consumer Reports’ list.

Every category from compact car to SUV has good and bad performers. But if you need space and want a good value, Consumer Reports recommends a wagon, a minivan, or a small SUV.

Some good choices include the Toyota Sienna and the Mazda5.

If you’re looking for a smaller vehicle, Consumer Reports says the Mini Cooper’s base model is another great value—it costs 49 cents a mile to own. And it has plenty of luxury features and is a lot of fun to drive, too!

Complete Ratings and recommendations on all kinds of products, including appliances, cars & trucks, and electronic gear, are available on Consumer Reports’ website.

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