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So you’re in the market for a new car. You want the absolute best value for your dollars, but you don’t know where to look? No worries! We've got you covered.
To help you locate the best low-cost, high-value car to meet your specifications, we’ve consulted three major automotive websites. We reviewed Kelley Blue Book, the auto website Edmunds.com and Consumer Report’s survey of the best and worst values among new cars.
Ready to shop for your new car? Click here to apply and get shopping tips to ensure you get the best deal.
The Rio is Edmunds’s choice for sedans that cost less than $20,000. Consumer Reports test drivers praised the redesigned Rio, rated a healthy 29 mpg in city driving and 37 mpg on the highway. It starts at a very good price, from $13,600 for the base model to $17,900 for the high-end version.
Rated by the EPA for 27 mpg in city driving, 33 mpg on the highway, the Fit starts at $15,245 with a higher-end model listing for $17,160. The Fit also holds its resale value unusually well, like other Hondas, according to rankings from Kelley Blue Book. And the Fit—alone among small cars—appears on Insure.com’s list of the cheapest cars to insure at a national average of $1,235.
A low-cost small sedan to own, according to Edmunds.com, is the Volkswagen Jetta, which has a rating of 24 mpg in the city, 34 mpg on the highway. Aiding the low overall cost is the starting price of the base model at $15,545.
The Sonata is a repeat winner in the Kelley Blue Book list. Its base four-cylinder engine is rated at 24 mpg in city driving and 35 mpg on the highway. List price on the base model starts at $20,020.
A close runner-up to the Sonata in the Kelley list, the Altima has been completely redesigned for 2013. Its four-cylinder engine is rated for 27 mpg in the city and 38 mpg in highway driving. The Altima starts at $21,760 list price for the base model.
Consumer Reports’ current top pick for Best Value in hybrids is the Toyota Prius. The EPA rates the Prius at 51 mpg in city and 48 mpg on the highway. List price for the Prius ranges from $23,215 to $30,005. Average insurance cost nationwide is $1,330
Small SUVs and wagons
The mileage rating looks attractive at 23 mpg in city driving and 31 mpg on the highway. List price runs from $22,495 to $27,245, and it has the strong Honda resale value. The average nationwide insurance cost each year is $1,255.
This small wagon with the distinctive squared-off design was cited by Edmunds for low total cost. The Cube is rated for 27 mpg in city driving and 31 mpg on the highway. With roomy passenger and cargo capacity, the Cube starts at $17,533.
The Explorer is this year’s lowest cost-to-own among midsize SUVs in the Kelley Blue Book. The Explorer is rated for 17 mpg city driving, 27 mpg on the highway. List price for the base model starts at $29,100.