Toyota Prius received top honors for the second year in a row in Consumer Reports' ranking of the best-value new cars. The product-testing organization said that the Prius, which retails for $29,230, "has the right combination of performance, reliability and low estimated five-year ownership costs of 47 cents per mile."
To create its rankings, Consumer Reports tested over 200 vehicles currently on the market, looking at road-test scores, reliability and five-year owner-cost estimates. The Honda Fit, this year's runner-up, held the number-one spot in the Consumer Reports ranking for four years running before it was unseated by Toyota's Prius last year.
"Prius' 44 (miles per gallon) overall is the best fuel economy of any non-plug-in car that Consumer Reports has tested," said Consumer Reports Automotive Editor Rik Paul.
"Though it's not particularly cheap to buy, the Prius' depreciation is so low that it costs less to own over the first five years than its initial (price). We call that a bargain."
Coming in at the bottom of the ranking was the Nissan Armada SUV, which gets only 13 miles per gallon of gas and generated a large number of complaints from Consumer Reports subscribers.
As for brands, Toyota and its luxury brand Lexus emerged the big winners. They had the top models in three of the 10 categories. Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited scored highest among large cars and Lexus ES 300h was top luxury car. Vehicles from Subaru and Mazda also did well overall.