Best Cars For Your Money

Car companies are offering all kinds of deals these days-and they can look great. But Consumer Reports says they're often no deal at all.

It's crunched the numbers on hundreds of cars in its just=published annual auto issue to find which will give you the most bang for the buck.

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 Consumer Reports David Champion.

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 the 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.

And if you're wondering what's the absolute worst value Consumer Reports found--it's the Hummer H2.

To calculate the cost of ownership, Consumer Reports factors in the vehicle's depreciation, maintenance and repair, fuel costs, insurance, sales tax, and interest on financing.

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

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