• Feb 23, 2010

Honda Fit and Toyota Prius named Consumer Reports Best Values for 2010

Consumer Reports is set to ship its annual automotive issue out to subscribers, but before the dyed and bound dead trees make their way to subscribers, CR shot off a few press releases to let us know what to expect. While we already covered the six new members of their Top Picks charts this morning, we found their New-Car Best and Worst Values List equally newsworthy.

CR chose the Honda Fit and Toyota Prius as its top picks for best overall value in the marketplace, despite Honda recalling more than 650,000 Fits and the issue plaguing the Toyota Prius, among the myriad of things that have kept ToMoCo busy lately. So before the complaints come in, perhaps a look at CR's methodology is in order. According to the presser after the jump:
"To determine which cars are the best values, Consumer Reports looked at a combination of performance, utility, and reliability for the money, considering total owner costs over the first five-years. The better a car performs in Consumer Reports' road tests and reliability Ratings and the less it costs to own, the greater its value."
Consumer Reports says the Honda Fit and the Toyota Prius bested 280 other cars in eight different categories to grab their top spots. Each recorded a score of 2.08 on their tally sheets, representing values that are more than twice as good as the overall average for the group. It could be argued that the recalls affecting the vehicles might have come too late in the game and/or may have not impacted their rankings significantly enough to erase the inherent value of each vehicle. And lest we forget, CR isn't alone in recognizing the Prius, with MotorWeek and Intellichoice both naming the Japanese hybrid to their awards this year.

The full report on best and worst new-car values will show up March 2, but you can see the lists in the press release after the jump.

[Source: Consumer Reports]

PRESS RELEASE

Honda Fit and Toyota Prius Top Consumer Reports New-Car Best Value List

Annual Auto Issue Names Best and Worst New-Car Best Values in Eight Categories

YONKERS, N.Y., Feb. 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Honda Fit and the Toyota Prius topped the list of new-car best values according to Consumer Reports' 2010 Annual Auto Issue beating out more than 280 cars in eight categories.

The Honda Fit and the Toyota Prius each earned a value score of 2.08 and provided the best overall value despite being very different cars. Scores are expressed in relation to the value of the average vehicle (designated 1.00). A score of 2.00 represents twice the value of the average model.

While the Prius IV ($26,750) is more expensive than the Honda Fit ($16,020) and has a higher cost per mile (47 cents vs. 42), the Prius performed notably better in Consumer Reports' battery of road tests, earning a score of 80 versus the Fit's 68. Both cars have excellent reliability.

"A low price doesn't always equal a good value," said Rik Paul, automotive editor at Consumer Reports. "Our best value list can help consumers choose a car that will give them the best bang for the buck."

To determine which cars are the best values, Consumer Reports looked at a combination of performance, utility, and reliability for the money, considering total owner costs over the first five-years. The better a car performs in Consumer Reports' road tests and reliability Ratings and the less it costs to own, the greater its value.

Consumer Reports identified the best and worst values among the hundreds of vehicles it has tested in eight vehicle categories:

BEST VALUE

WORST VALUE

Small Cars

Honda Fit

Chevrolet Aveo5 1LT

Family Cars

Toyota Prius IV

Dodge Avenger R/T (3.5, V6)

Wagons/Minivans

Hyundai Elantra Touring

Dodge Grand Caravan SXT (3.8)

Small SUVs

Subaru Forester 2.5x

Dodge Nitro SLT (3.7)

Midsized SUVs

Hyundai Santa Fe Limited

Wrangler Unlimited Sahara

Upscale Sedans

Acura TSX (4-cyl.)

Dodge Charger R/T (V8)

Luxury Sedans

Infiniti M35 (RWD)

Mercedes-Benz S550

Sporty Cars

Mini Cooper

Chrysler Sebring Convertible Limited


The full report on best and worst new-car values as well as testing notes, top picks, best and worst performers and Ratings of the car makers are included in the Consumer Reports Annual Auto Issue on newsstands beginning March 2 and online at www.ConsumerReports.org.

APRIL 2010

Consumers Union 2010. The material above is intended for legitimate news entities only; it may not be used for commercial or promotional purposes. Consumer Reports® is published by Consumers Union, an expert, independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to work for a fair, just, and safe marketplace for all consumers and to empower consumers to protect themselves. To achieve this mission, we test, inform, and protect. To maintain our independence and impartiality, Consumers Union accepts no outside advertising, no free test samples, and has no agenda other than the interests of consumers. Consumers Union supports itself through the sale of our information products and services, individual contributions, and a few noncommercial grants.



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  • 53 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      I was going car shopping tommorow, I think I will pick up Consumer Reports as a guide... oh wait ;)
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm hoping TrueDelta reaches a level where they can possibly publish a magazine one day.

      http://www.truedelta.com/pieces/shortcomings.php
      • 4 Years Ago
      Meh, I really wish they would do two of these lists, costs over 5 years and costs over 10 years. The 5 year number is useless to me, because I don't sell my car after 5 years. Resale values after 10 years are close enough to zero for any nameplate, so it doesn't affect my ownership cost.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Actually resale does matter greatly, if for example your Toyota(just an example) is only worth 20% of it's original sale value in 3 years and your Vw is worth 65% of it's value in 3 years, if you totaled both cars your insurance payout would not get you a toyota but mearely a downpayment on one. At least with a higher resale value you would get more money back from the insurance and have to pay less out of pocket to re-purchase that same vehicle. This applies even if both vehicles start off at the exact same price. Resale value matters.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Read my previous statement. If I'm replacing the car with the same model car, the resale value does not matter. You know, because it costs the same as that car. It's not complicated.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I truely hope you do not think the resale value of your car is unimportant if you were to total it, or it was stolen.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I hope you never get hit and have your car totalled. That resale value applies there too.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Why do you assume that I'm buying a new car if my used car is destroyed? If I couldn't afford to buy a new car every 3 years, why would I buy a new car if my current car was totaled after 3 years? If I need to replace my car because of a crash, I buy a used car. Then that used car costs exactly the same as my insurance payout.

        This is really not complicated.
      • 4 Years Ago
      As a 2007 Fit owner with 50,000 trouble free miles I agree with the ratings. It's trouble free, delivers great mileage and is uber space efficient so I understand why CU rated it so highly. As thorough as CU is it obviously misses something important: it doesn't lift the floor mats. Honda has spec'd the US Fit with a molded non-woven and essentially bald carpet which wouldn't make the grade as an industrial wipe on the undercoating line in a Chrysler plant. Thankfully the floor mats do a good job of covering up most of what you can see. This hairless dilemma has no easy solution. You can't buy replacement molded carpet (except the same pathetic thing from the dealer), TV offers no automotive Minoxidil, and the thought of self molding the carpet with a heat gun over a very bumpy floor pan (front seats set on sheet metal pedestals which accommodate the front mounted fuel tank) is more than I want to handle. My best shot seems to be to send a new carpet set to the Middle East where 8 year olds can use it as a backing and hand tie a new covering of wool pile. I'm sure it'll be exactly like Wilton rugs in a Bentley...but completely different.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Maybe Toyota should recall Consumer Reports!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Does anyone else understand that resale value is solely affected by WHAT CONSUMERS WILL BUY? If Ford makes a car and consumers love and purchase them even after being used, the resale value would be great. Why? Not because the car is amazing and is the best car, but because people want it! Resale value is proof that advertising and marketing really detrmines how well a car is. Anyone remember the Mercedes ML's? Remember when the first came out they were highly rated? Yeah take a lok at them now. Unless they are imported, just like every import includeing the american domestics shipped to other countries, they were crap. An import tends to be better because the company doesn't want to pay for parts to ship out. A mustang exported out to Germany will far MUCH better than one built and sold here. COMMON SENSE PEOPLE!
      • 4 Years Ago
      JOKE !!!!!!!
      • 4 Years Ago
      I listened to Consumer Reports once on a washing machine purchase. Biggest piece of junk I ever bought.
      They are biased as hell on cars I don`t care what people say.
      If they can`t be trusted on washers how could I trust them on something as complex as a automobile?
      What really makes a Cobalt or Sebring so bad anyway other than perception and looks?
      My Chrysler minivans have served me as well as anyother vehicle I ever owned but what do I know? I don`t buy Japanese.
      CR is okay just for a guide to what products are out there.
      dan
      • 4 Years Ago
      Infiniti G is best upscale sedan, 4th yr in a row..............not acura tsx
      • 4 Years Ago
      So why didn't you post the Chevy Traverse which was named Family SUV?
      • 4 Years Ago
      A lot of things were said about GM, Chrysler, about their arrogance among other things.


      This is truly arrogance from CR. Not only they defend Toyota to death in their car blogs, they don't even have the decency to shut up while Toyota is getting grilled.

      Some changes are overly due at Consumer Unions, starting with David Champion who had the insolence of saying that Toyota will get their recommended status after the gas pedal recall. How does he know what will fix this condition?

      They reddotted Toyota wall to wall for the last thirty years. The red dot ins now on their own foreheads.

      They obviously want to sell more magazines to their own subscribers, telling them good news about Toyota. Of course. They don't want to lose face.
      CR is in denial
        • 4 Years Ago
        The notion that CR is biased is f-ing st*pid: If you can use a calculator and read, then you'll see that the operating costs and resale value on those two cars are simple, undeniable reality. Suggesting that all Toyotas should be banished isn't real reasonable either (though I'm not buying one 'till it's sorted). The Fit and Prius are both brilliant for what they were designed to do and make far better economic sense than haters who lack any objectivity are willing to admit. It is what it is dude.

        I want domestics to be up there too (and it appears Ford will likely get there soon) but don't be a tool and play the baseless "media bias!" card.
        • 4 Years Ago
        You can't call a predicted 5 year resale value undeniable reality. It's a firm prediction, nothing more.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @PorscheSpeed -100% on point. CR's system of collecting data absolutely invites bias. Not only that, but their subscriber base isn't representative of all new car buyers, so they have a second element of bias influencing their "results".
        • 4 Years Ago
        Except the road-test ratings given to cars are NOT based on subscriber data--you're thinking of the reliability ratings, which are separate. Road test ratings are based on road testers' subjective impressions and instrumented test data, just like any other mag.

        As much as people cry "bias" (and incidentally, I wish they'd learn to use the term correctly--it's "Consumer Reports is biased," not "Consumer Reports is 'bias'"), I really wonder how many have taken the time to put their butts in the seats of the cars whose ratings they object to. Having driven most of the cars on the market, I find CR to be one of the few whose driving impressions consistently square with reality--and they don't change from month to month depending on whether it's a "Preview" or a "First Drive' or a "Comparison Test".
        • 4 Years Ago
        Clearly you have no idea about consumer reports collects data. They receive survey data from their subscribers! If you know anything about statistics, you know that this invites bias. This is something you learn in a basic statistics / psychology class. So consumer reports is, in fact, biased!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Gee, I'm so shocked that a bunch of recalls would not keep them from picking Japanese cars as the best values and mostly American cars as the worst values.
        • 4 Years Ago
        They didn't pick just american cars as bad values. They picked a chrysler in every category except where chyrsler doesn't make a vehicle.
        • 4 Years Ago
        How can the domestics have good value when so much of the purchase price goes to union healthcare/etc?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Top picks: 5 Japanese, 2 Korean, 1 German.

        Worst picks: 6 American, 1 German

        :(... Is this the reality of the US auto industry/market?
        • 4 Years Ago
        So what if they picked almost all American cars as bad values?
        If you take a look at that list I'd say it's pretty accurate, is it not?
        • 4 Years Ago
        OK, opinions of CR vary, but... is anyone really going to argue that the Fit deserved to place anything but first in its class, and the Aveo any place but last?
        • 4 Years Ago
        You mean predicted resale values. The Fit hasn't been around 5 years, there is no figure for 5 year resale value yet.
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