Asian Automakers Top Consumer Report's 'Best Value' List

Honda Fit, hybrid modelAsian automakers have traditionally fared well in tests conducted by Consumer Reports magazine, and this year is no exception. Overall, eight Japanese and Korean models were named "best values" in their segments, the publication said Monday.

Honda Motor's (HMC) Fit subcompact scored as the best overall value of the 200 vehicles analyzed by the product-testing organization for its 2011 annual auto issue. The venerable Jeep Wrangler, made by Chrysler Group, though known for its off-road capability was named the overall worst value and the worst value among midsize sports-utility vehicles.

The triumphant Fit also took the best-value honor among small cars, besting competing models such as General Motors' (GM) Chevrolet Aveo, which Consumer Reports named the worst value among small cars, though the vehicles are similarly priced at around $16,000.

Low Price Isn't Everything

The Aveo's higher ownership costs, low test score and below-average reliability makes its affordable sticker price no bargain, Consumer Reports said. The difference in owner costs could be $3,000 during the five years that Americans typically keep their cars.

"A low price doesn't necessarily make a car a good value," said automotive editor Rik Paul, in a statement releasing the findings. Consumer Reports used data, including information it compiles from subscribers surveys, to calculate scores based on performance, reliability and ownership costs, including depreciation, by far the largest owner-cost factor.

Several family cars and small SUVs also stood out as good values, including the Honda CR-V, Subaru Forester, Hyundai Sonata and several models from recall-saddled Toyota Motor (TM), notably the Camry, Prius and RAV4.

The magazine's annual auto issue hits newsstands on March 8 and can also be found at www.consumerreports.org.

Here's a look at the best -- and worst -- value in each of the eight vehicle segments analyzed by Consumer Reports:

Best Value
  • Small Car: Honda Fit
  • Family Car: Toyota Prius IV
  • Upscale Sedan: Acura TSX (4-cylinder)
  • Luxury Sedan: Hyundai Genesis 4.6
  • Sporty Car: Mini Cooper (base)
  • Wagons/Minivans: Mazda5 Grand Touring
  • Small SUVs: Toyota RAV4 (base, 4-cylinder)
  • Midsized SUVs: Hyundai Santa Fe GLS (4-cylinder)
Worst Value
  • Small Car: Chevrolet Aveo5 1LT
  • Family Car: Chevrolet Impala LT (3.5 liter V6)
  • Upscale Sedan: Buick Lucerne (V8)
  • Luxury Sedan: BMW 750Li
  • Sporty Car: Porsche 911 Carrera S
  • Wagons/Minivans: Kia Sedona EX
  • Small SUVs: Jeep Liberty Sport
  • Midsize SUVs: Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara

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