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Honda Fit, Toyota Prius get top value honors, Lexus best overall in Consumer Reports annual auto issue

Honda Fit, Toyota Prius get top value honors, Lexus best overall in Consumer Reports annual auto issue 1The Honda Fit and the Toyota Prius topped more than 280 vehicles in eight categories to earn best new car values, according to Consumer Reports’ 2010 Annual Auto Issue. It’s the fourth straight year Honda has been at top of the best value list.

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The Honda Fit and the Toyota Prius each earned a value score of 2.08 and provided the best overall value despite being very different cars. Scores are expressed in relation to the value of the average vehicle (designated 1.00). A score of 2.00 represents twice the value of the average model.

In total points, based on the magazine’s average road test scores and predicted reliability scores, Honda and Subaru tied for first with an overall score of 77 out of 100 points in Consumer Reports’ ranking. Toyota and Hyundai finished second and third while Nissan and Volkswagen tied for fourth.Honda Fit, Toyota Prius get top value honors, Lexus best overall in Consumer Reports annual auto issue 2

The ratings were calculated despite the recent recall issues for the Prius and Fit.

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Chrysler fared the worst, although Consumer Reports recommended one of its vehicles, the Ram pickup. It did not recommend any Chrysler vehicles last year.

While the Prius IV ($26,750) is more expensive than the Honda Fit ($16,020) and has a higher cost per mile (47 cents vs. 42), the Prius performed notably better in Consumer Reports’ battery of road tests, earning a score of 80 versus the Fit’s 68. Both cars have excellent reliability.

“A low price doesn’t always equal a good value,” said Rik Paul, automotive editor at Consumer Reports. “Our best value list can help consumers choose a car that will give them the best bang for the buck.”

To determine which cars are the best values, Consumer Reports looked at a combination of performance, utility, and reliability for the money, considering total owner costs over the first five-years. The better a car performs in Consumer Reports’ road tests and reliability ratings and the less it costs to own, the greater its value.

Consumer Reports identified the best and worst values among the hundreds of vehicles it has tested in eight vehicle categories:

Small Cars
Best value, Honda Fit; Worst value, Chevrolet Aveo 1LT

Family Cars
Best value, Toyota Prius IV; Worst value, Dodge Avenger R/T (3.5, V6)

Wagons/Minivans
Best value, Hyundai Elantra Touring; Worst value, Dodge Grand Caravan SXT (3.8)

Small SUVs
Best value, Subaru Forester 2.5x; Worts value, Dodge Nitro SLT (3.7)

Midsized SUVs
Best value, Hyundai Santa Fe Limited; Worst value, Wrangler Unlimited Sahara

Upscale Sedans
Best value, Acura TSX (4-cyl.); Worst value, Dodge Charger R/T (V8)

Luxury Sedans
Best value, Infiniti M35 (RWD); Worst value, Mercedes-Benz S550

Sporty Cars
Best value, Mini Cooper; Worst value, Chrysler Sebring Convertible Limited

The full report on best and worst new-car values as well as testing notes, top picks, best and worst performers and ratings of the car makers are included in the Consumer Reports Annual Auto Issue on newsstands beginning March 2 and online at www.ConsumerReports.org.

To view new car reviews, videos and other automotive content, visit: dev.theweeklydriver.com.

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