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Consumer Reports rates 2013 cars for best value

December 28, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Now is a great time to buy a 2013 car. You can save hundreds of dollars if you take advantage of end-of-the-month as well as end-of-the-year deals. The latest Consumer Reports list of best value cars shows there's more to getting a good price.

Consumer Reports just released its list of the best new-car values.

Sticker price is one thing, but how much will a car really cost you? The Nissan Versa, for example, is one of the least expensive cars sold, but Consumer Reports says its poor reliability means it could cost you in the long run.

Turns out paying $500 more for the Hyundai Accent is a better value, with better reliability, and it's a much nicer car to boot.

"Our value scores are based on three elements: our road-test scores, predicted reliability from our Annual Auto Survey, and our estimate of how much it'll cost to own the car for five years," said Rik Paul, Consumer Reports automotive editor.

Consumer Reports says the Toyota Prius offers the best value. With a sticker price that's under $30,000, Consumer Reports says over time the Prius costs a very economical 49 cents a mile to own.

On the other end of the spectrum is the BMW 750Li. Its sticker price is almost $100,000, and a whopping $1.80 per mile to own, the worst value on the Consumer Reports list.

"Every category from small cars to SUVs have both good and bad performers," said Paul. "But if you want some space and want a good value, we recommend a wagon, a small SUV or a minivan."

Some good choices include the Toyota Sienna and the Mazda 5. So next time you're shopping for a car, pick one that'll save you money in the long run.

If you're looking for a smaller vehicle, Consumer Reports says the base model Mini Cooper is another great value. It costs a low 49 cents per mile to own, and it has plenty of luxury features and is a lot of fun to drive, too.