Consumer Reports is out with its annual list of Best and Worst New-Car Values.
The value score is based on the car's five-year ownership cost when you take everything into account, including depreciation, fuel, and so on. And then factor in how well a car performs and how likely it is to have problems.
Among the more than 200 cars Consumer Reports analyzed, the worst value is the Nissan Armada. It costs more than $55,000, gets only 13 miles per gallon, isn't very reliable, and didn't score well at the test track.
The best value car is 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.
Just because a car is cheap to buy doesn't make it a good value. Take the Nissan Versa. At around $15,000, 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.
And the Subaru Forester costs $2,000 more than the Hyundai Tucson, but Consumer Reports says the Forester is a better value.