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Vehicles With the Best Value for 2013

January 3, 2013

A wise man (or woman) once said, "You get what you pay for". That goes for everything, including cars. Just because a car is low-priced does not mean it's necessarily a good value. A low-priced vehicle could end up costing you a lot more on maintenance, repairs and depreciation cost.

So how do you determine which cars have the best value? Luckily, Consumer Reports has done the research and has just released their picks for 2013.

They started with 200 vehicles, separated them into 10 categories, and picked the best values based on 5-year ownership costs, reliability ratings, and road tests. This year's winners was dominated by Toyota, which took half the field, as well as the #1 best overall value spot with the Toyota Prius, unseating the four-time champion Honda Fit.

The following are the best and worst vehicles when it comes to value. If you're in the market for a new car, make sure to include the winners in your consideration and test-drive list and be sure to use the CarWoo Deal Finder to get the best deal.

Best Value Winners

CategoryBest Value
Small HatchbacksToyota Prius Four
Small SedanToyota Corolla LE
Family SedanToyota Camry Hybrid XLE
Upscale SedanAcura TSX (I4)
Luxury SedanCadillac CTS
Sports Car/ConvertibleMini Cooper
Wagon/MinivanToyota Prius V Three
Small SUVHonda CR-V EX
Midsize SUVToyota Highlander Limited (V6)
Large/Luxury SUVLexus RX 350

Worst Value Losers

CategoryWorst Value
Small HatchbacksFord Focus SE
Small SedanNissan Versa SV
Family SedanChrysler 200 Limited (V6)
Upscale SedanDodge Charger SXT Plus (V6)
Luxury SedanBMW 750Li
Sports Car/ConvertibleVolvo C70 (T5)
Wagon/MinivanChrysler Town and Country Touring-L
Small SUVMini Countryman
Midsize SUVJeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara
Large/Luxury SUVNissan Armada

My Recommendation for Car Shoppers

TrueCar No-Haggle, Edmunds Price Promise, and 1-800 Car Show are the quickest way to see the lowest car prices in your area. These sites show you no-haggle prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually really good. This should be the first step you take when negotiating your car price. Follow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.

California Residents - Important:

There is a new online car buying service called Roadster, available only to California residents, which I highly recommend you try - especially if you hate the stress of haggling with a car salesman. They provide an expert concierge who negotiates the price of the car and delivers it to your home with zero hassle - you never have to interact with a dealership. Here is my in-depth review of Roadster and why I recommend it.

- Gregg Fidan

Gregg Fidan

About: Gregg Fidan

Gregg Fidan + is the founder of RealCarTips. After being ripped off on his first car purchase, he devoted several years to figuring out the best ways to avoid scams and negotiate the best car deals. He has written hundreds of articles on the subject of car buying and taught thousands of car shoppers how to get the best deals.

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