For the second consecutive year, the Toyota Prius liftback topped Consumer Reports’ annual list of vehicles giving buyers the best bang for their automotive buck. The hulking Nissan Armada SUV won the prize for the worst value.
Consumer Reports said the Prius had the best combination of reliability, resale value, fuel economy and driving performance of the cars measured.
The five-year ownership cost of the hybrid amounts to 47 cents per mile. The Armada will set its owner back $1.20 a mile. It gets only 13 mpg overall and scored poorly in the magazine’s reliability survey.
“The Prius’ 44 mpg overall is the best fuel economy of any non-plug-in car that Consumer Reports has tested,” said Consumer Reports Automotive Editor Rik Paul. “Though it’s not particularly cheap to buy, the Prius’ depreciation is so low that it costs less to own over the first five years than its initial MSRP (manufacturer’s suggested retail price).”
Indeed, inexpensive cars didn’t always fare well in the Consumer Reports assessment.
“Just because a car is cheap to buy doesn’t mean it’s a good value. The Nissan Versa Sedan, for example, is one of the least expensive cars that Consumer Reports has tested,” Paul said. “For about $1,500 more, we’d go with a Honda Fit, which is fun to drive, cheaper to own, more reliable, and provides almost twice the value.”
The Fit scored second to the Prius in the magazine’s compact/subcompact car category; the Versa scored near the bottom of the pack. The Volkswagen Beetle with the 2.5-liter engine scored the lowest.
For large cars, Consumer Reports scored the Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited as the best value and the Ford Taurus Limited as the worst.
In luxury cars, the Lexus ES 300h hybrid ranked at the top and the BMW 750Li was at the bottom.