Price, fuel efficiency, US government safety ratings, depreciation and residual value, and warranty coverage all determine whether a vehicle is a good buy. NADA Guides, a top provider of vehicle information and pricing, scores hundreds of vehicles each model year to determine the Best Car Buys.
Here’s the 2011 list for the most popular car categories —
Hybrid — 2011 Toyota Prius Five Door — If fuel economy is your priority, this is your car. Top rated for its best-in-class fuel economy up to 50 MPG combined city/highway, a Five Star NHTSA safety rating, and low depreciation.
Sedan — 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Four Door Sedan ECO — This new model from Chevy has a combined 34 MPG fuel economy rating, class leading safety features, and is a true bargain with a base price of just over $18,000.
Wagon – 2011 Ford Fiesta Four Door Hatchback SE –– The all-new 2011 Ford Fiesta achieves up to 40 MPG. The Fiesta also offers a smooth, sporty drive, good looks, a Five Star NHTSA safety rating, and a starting price of just over $15,000.
Luxury – 2011 BMW 5 Series Four Door Sedan 528i RWD — Stylish, loaded with BMW safety, technology and comfort features, this model also has a top a Five Star safety rating from NHTSA, and gets 27 MPG combined. The 5 Series offers a four year, 50,000 mile warranty along with low depreciation, and a starting price of just over $45,000.
Minivan – 2011 Kia Sedona Four Door LWB LX – Improved horsepower, more standard equipment than before, a class leading warranty with five years and 60,000 miles, and a great starting price of under $25,000. It all adds up to a great balance of features, safety and value.
Coupe – 2011 Honda CR-Z Three Door Manual — This sporty little coupe is fun to drive, looks good, gets an impressive 34 MPG combined, and pays back with a low depreciation rate.
SUV – 2011 Kia Sorento Two Wheel Drive Four Door I4 EX – Kia’s industry leading five year, 60,000 mile warranty combined with a Five Star NHTSA Safety Rating, 25 MPG combined fuel efficiency, great starting price of $24,995 and low depreciation. Also, the Sorento is produced in the United States, at Kia’s first US factory, in West Point, Georgia. make it a NADAguides Best Buy.
Sportscar – 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Two Wheel Drive Four Door CVT SE – This affordable model beat out names like BMW, Mercedes, Jaguar and Lexus costing two or even three times the price. This is a best buy in its category for the lowest price $21,695, combined with the highest fuel efficiency, 28 MPG combined, plus a great warranty.
Truck – 2011 Toyota Tacoma Two Wheel Drive Reg I4 MT – Top rated for its low price, $16,365, lowest depreciation rate in its class of 26 percent, and highest fuel efficiency in its class, 23 MPG combined.
I find it especially interesting that so many top-rated vehicles are under $20,000, which also means that monthly finance charges are more likely to be affordable, too.
Read more of my Green Car articles on Examiner.com.
posted by Evelyn Kanter