- Jul 31, 2013
The Consumer Reports Worst Value Cars of 2012
The BMW 750Li is the worst value for your dollar, Consumer Reports said recently.
The magazine, which recently ranked the Toyota Prius as the best value for your money, said the 705Li costs $1.80 a mile to drive. "With frustrating controls and a below-par ride, the 750Li didn’t score well enough to be recommended and racked up one of the worst predicted-reliability scores," the magazine wrote in its roundup.
Consumer Reports measures value by weighing five-year ownership costs, predicted-reliability scores and road test scores and coming up with a cost-per-mile figure. The biggest factor in five-year ownership costs is depreciation – how much owners can sell their car as used.
The winner, the Prius, costs just 49 cents per mile to own, compared to the BMW750Li's $1.80 a mile to own.
Click through to see more of Consumer Report's worst value cars.
Small Sedan - Nissan Versa SV
Fuel Economy: 31 mpg City, 40 mpg Highway
Consumer Reports called the redesigned 2012 Versa "disappointing."
"In a departure from its predecessor, the small car is now noisy, and the interior is blatantly cheap," they wrote. "The car drones as it gathers speed."
It costs 49 cents a mile to own, which is not bad by any measure and is below many of its competitors. But its reliability scores are below average, making it one of Consumer Report's worst values.
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Small Hatchback - Ford Focus SE
Fuel Economy: 26 mpg City, 36 mpg Highway
Consumer Reports seemed to like driving the Focus – they said it has "sporty handling and is fun to drive." And it gets solid fuel economy, coming in at 28 mpg.
But the five-year reliability scores are well below average, the magazine noted. It costs about 59 cents a mile to own, which is not too terribly far off from the winner in the small hatchbacks category: The Prius, which costs 49 cents a mile to own.
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Family Sedan - Chrysler 200
MSRP: $18,995 - $32,595
Invoice: $18,770 - $31,127
Fuel Economy: 21 mpg City, 29 mpg Highway
"The 200 is an outdated and outclassed design that is uncompetitive among family sedans," Consumer Reports wrote about the car, not holding its punches.
The car costs 72 cents per mile to own, the most among the other family sedans in its class, according to the magazine.
While they liked the car's V6 engine, the car gets below average reliability, is noisy inside, and its soft suspension leads to excessive body roll, Consumer Reports noted.
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Upscale Sedan - Dodge Charger
MSRP: $25,995 - $44,995
Invoice: $25,016 - $43,396
Fuel Economy: 18 mpg City, 27 mpg Highway
Although Consumer Reports seemed to like the Dodge Charger's handling and suspension, as well as its interior quality and its engine, the car still lands on the worst value list.
Other upscale sedans cost more per mile – the BMW 328i came in at 84 cents a mile compared with the Charger's 81 cents a mile – but those factors can't help overcome the Charger's reliability failings.
Consumer Report's chart doesn't explain why the Buick Lacrosse, which clocked in at 82 cents per mile and has equally poor reliability ratings, didn't get the ignominious worst value title.
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Luxury Sedan - BMW 750Li
MSRP: $86,300 - $93,000
Invoice: $79,395 - $85,560
Fuel Economy: 17 mpg City, 25 mpg Highway
By far, the BMW 750Li is the most expensive car to own, coming in at $1.80 per mile. Beyond scoring poorly on reliability, the car didn't do well with Consumer Reports reviewers either.
"Though laden with comfort, convenience and safety technology, the large 7 Series is no longer the crisp, sporty luxury liner it once was," the magazine wrote. The controls are frustrating and confusing to use, it lacked agility, and wasn't as cushy in the suspension.
"The long-wheelbase 750Li we tested didn’t shine at its limits," the magazine wrote.
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Sporty Car - Volvo C70
MSRP: $41,200 - $45,000
Invoice: $38,728 - $42,300
Fuel Economy: 19 mpg City, 28 mpg Highway
At 70 cents per mile, the Volvo C70 doesn't cost the most to own in the sports cars/convertibles category. That "honor" goes to the Chevy Corvette, which costs $1.20 a mile to own.
But the C70 gets worse reliability scores, making it Consumer Report's pick for worst value in this category. The car is being discontinued in 2013.
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Small SUV - MINI Countryman
Fuel Economy: 27 mpg City, 35 mpg Highway
The MINI Countryman costs 65 cents a mile to drive, which isn't all that much. And Consumer Reports likes the car, calling it fun to drive and coming with a "quirky" interior.
The magazine also liked its fuel economy, which was about 26 mpg overall in their tests.
But reliability again is a big sticking factor for a vehicle, bringing the Countryman to the worst value list because of its poor reliability scores.
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Midsize SUV - Jeep Wrangler Sahara
Fuel Economy: 17 mpg City, 21 mpg Highway
Like many other critics, Consumer Reports agrees that Jeep is making better vehicles now than it has maybe ever in its history. But that can't save the Wrangler from being considered a car maybe for off-road hobbyists.
"It's seriously outdated for everyday use," Consumer Reports wrote. "The ride rocks and jiggles constantly, and handling is very clumsy … Getting in and out is an awkward act."
The SUV costs 82 cents a mile to own, Consumer Reports said.
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Large/Luxury SUV - Nissan Armada
MSRP: $41,290 - $56,760
Invoice: $37,589 - $51,653
Fuel Economy: 13 mpg City, 19 mpg Highway
At $1.23 per mile to own, the Armada is one of the most expensive vehicles on the Consumer Reports worst-value list. The Cadillac Escalade, which costs $1.44 per mile to own, could've taken that title, but the Armada's poor reliability ratings pushed it to the bottom.
Consumer Reports says the truck-based SUV is "quick but not that refined … It is difficult for children to reach the high-mounted exterior rear door handles."
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Minivan/Wagon - Chrysler Town & Country L
Fuel Economy: 17 mpg City, 25 mpg Highway
This minivan costs 89 cents a mile to drive, Consumer Reports says, which is less than the Volvo XC70, but reliability issues again crop up, knocking another car to the bottom of the value list.
Consumer Reports says the Town & Country "still falls short of the best minivans."
"Everyday handling is sound by sloppy when pushed to the limits," they said. "Reliability has been well below average."
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