Consumer Reports Names Top Auto Value
Posted Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 by
What car offers you the best bang for your buck? According to Consumer Reports, it’s the Toyota Prius. The consumer product testing and ratings group recently rated the Japanese-made gas/electric hybrid the top value in terms of overall operating costs, maintenance expenses, interior room, power, performance, comfort and reliability. The Prius takes over the top spot from the Honda Fit, which had been Consumer Reports‘ top pick for the four previous years.
“There are plenty of less expensive cars,” said Consumer Reports in a post on its website. “But they can’t match the Prius for its comfortable ride, competent handling, roomy interior, excellent reliability, and, of course, its great fuel economy.”
In picking the Prius, Consumer Reports emphasized that cost alone can never determine value.
“Like penny stocks, a low purchase price doesn’t make a car a good value,” noted the website posting. “The Nissan Versa sedan, for example, is one of the least expensive cars on the market, yet it had a mediocre score in our tests and is not reliable. So despite its low price, it’s not worth the money, especially when you could buy a Hyundai Accent for just $500 more. That would get you a much nicer and more reliable car.”
The Prius was the first mass-produced gas/electric hybrid vehicle when it appeared in Japanese dealerships in 1997. Available worldwide in 2000, the car is by far the best-selling hybrid in the world, having sold 2.8 million units as of October 2012. It’s one of the most fuel-efficient and cleanest vehicles (in terms of smog emissions) sold in America, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The standard Prius has an MSRP of approximately $24,000. The car is also available in compact, station wagon and 100-percent electric plug-in versions with MRSPs ranging from $19,800 to $32,800.
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