Best & Worst Value Cars

Car sales are moving at a brisk pace. Last month was the best November in more than six years. But before you consider a new car, it’s important to know how much it costs to operate and if it’s likely to wind up in the repair shop.

Consumer Reports is just out with its annual list of Best and Worst New-Car Values.

Go to buy a new car, and you think about the price you’re about to pay. But what about how well that car will serve you in the long run?

Each year Consumer Reports crunches the numbers to find the “best new-car values.”

Rik Paul of Consumer Reports says, "Just because a car is cheap to buy doesn’t make it a good value.”

Take the Nissan Versa. At around 15-thousand dollars, it’s one of the least expensive cars Consumer Reports has tested. But it’s a poor choice.

“The Honda Fit costs a little more, but it’s a better value. It’s more fun to drive. It’s more reliable and it’s cheaper to own.” said Rik Paul of Consumer Reports.

And the Subaru Forester costs two-thousand dollars more than the Hyundai Tucson, but Consumer Reports says the Forester is a better value.

Paul said, “Our value score is based on a car’s five-year ownership cost when you take everything into account, including insurance, fuel, depreciation and so on. And then we factor in how a car performs and how likely it is to have problems.”

Among the 200-plus cars Consumer Reports analyzed, the worst value is the Nissan Armada. It costs more than 55-thousand dollars, gets only 13 miles per gallon, isn’t very reliable, and it didn’t score well at the test track. Even the door handles are hard to reach.

The best value car — the Toyota Prius, with its 44 miles per gallon, comfortable ride, and outstanding reliability.

Large luxury vehicles get some of the lowest ratings for value in Consumer Reports’ study. They guzzle gas and have high depreciations, so they lose their value quickly.

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