The US News Best Cars for the Money Award

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2012 Ford Fiesta

The 2012 Ford Fiesta is 2012's best deal in subcompact cars, according to U.S. News. Image: ben.chaney/Flickr/CC BY-SA

Last week, U.S. News and World Reports released its 2012 Best Cars for the Money Award picks. Ford was the frontrunner, carrying five of the top bang-for-your-buck cars in 10 different categories. The best bargains were also selected for SUVs, minivans and trucks.

Determining the best value

The winners were selected for 23 automotive categories. The value of each model was determined by projecting the total cost of ownership for five years. provided the average cost amounts.

Jamie Page Deaton, Managing Editor of U.S. News Best Cars, wrote:

“You don’t have to choose between a great car and a great value. The award-winning vehicles are both easy to live with and easy to afford.”

Best cars for the money

Ford, whose mission statement has always been about value and quality, was the clear winner among cars. The 2012 Ford Fiesta took the award for best sub-compact. The Fusion was named best midsize car. The 2012 Taurus was deemed the best value in large cars. The most affordable hatchback was the Ford Fiesta, and the Fusion took the honors for best deal on a hybrid.

Other cars to place were the Chevy Cruz for subcompacts; the Volkswagen GTI for upscale small cars; the Buick Regal for upscale midsize; Mazda’s MX5 Miata for sports car and the Subaru Outback went home with the value award for best wagon.

Best value in SUVs and minivans

Mazda was the only automaker to rank more thn once in the SUV/minivan class. The Mazda5 took the laurels in the minivan category. The Mazda CX-9 was frontrunner in the 3-row midsize SUV field.

Rounding out the other nine winners in the class were Chevy’s Equinox for affordable compact SUV with two rows; the Toyota RAV4 for affordable compact SUV with two rows; the Audi Q5 for luxury midsize SUV; the Lexus RX 350 for luxury midsize SUV; the Ford Edge in the midsize category with two rows; the Chevy Suburban came in first for large SUVs; the Cadillac Escalade was named the best value in luxury large SUvs; the Lexus RX won for hybrid SUV and the Jeep Wrangler walked away with the value award for off-road SUVs.

Best trucks for the money

There were only two categories in the truck class.  The Toyota Tacoma was dubbed the best buy in compact pickups and the Ram 1500 for full size pickups.


U.S. News and World Report
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