Owners judge their cars' value.In its annual survey, Consumer Reports asks owners of one-to-three-year-old cars all about their experience. This time, a question was added to get the owners' perception of the car's value since they bought it. This list shows the results in fourteen categories, with the cars owners thought were the best values and those they felt were the worst. So keep in mind that these ratings don't come from any measurements or expert reviews, they're the opinions of regular people who drive these cars every day. Click through to see what they think.
Best Subcompact Car Value: Toyota Prius C
The Prius C is Toyota's smallest hybrid model and also its simplest. Owners appreciate the high fuel economy and small footprint. It's not quick, but you're not expecting that when you buy a Prius.
Worst Value: Nissan Versa Note
The Versa Note is one of the least expensive cars on the market, but owners apparently don't feel they're getting a lot for a little.
Best Compact Car Value: Hyundai Elantra
Hyundai's newest Elantra offers all of the features most buyers could want at a modest price. It's attractive enough, quick enough, and there's really nothing offensive about it. That makes people happy, apparently.
Worst Value: Fiat 500L
In addition to being ungainly, the Fiat 500L can feel cheap inside, while popular options drive the price up pretty quickly. This quasi-crossover is relatively versatile but not a crowd pleaser.
Best Midsized Car Value: Kia Optima
Kia's Optima family sedan, much like the Hyundai Elantra, gives buyers the options they want for not too much dough. Things like Apple CarPlay/Android Auto capability and several powertrain choices, including a hybrid, provide plenty of choice.
Worst Value: Chevrolet Malibu
Chevy's latest Malibu brings a lot of updates and new powertrains, so it's tough to see where owners found fault. Remember, they might like the car but just not judge it to be worth everything they paid.
Best Large Car Value: Chevrolet Impala
Unlike the smaller Malibu, the Impala is relatively simple but refined. Its big advantage is a roomy back seat and sizable trunk, and it offers most of the tech buyers might be looking for.
Worst Value: Nissan Maxima
Nissan's Maxima is somewhat confusing, as it's about the same size as the cheaper Altima sedan. So you're paying for styling and a slightly sportier chassis tune. It's also not really that large inside, so space per dollar it isn't comparable to competitors like the Impala and Toyota Avalon.
Best Luxury Compact Value: Buick Regal
It's getting on in age, about to be replaced by a new generation, so the Regal has become a decent value over time. It isn't the most advanced car in the segment, but it delivers a sporty ride and decent power.
Worst Value: Infiniti Q50
The Q50 may have been a bit overambitious for Infiniti. It shed the G37 name and replaced it with a very different chassis that verges on technology overload for some.
Luxury Midsized/Large Car Value: Hyundai Genesis / Genesis G80
The Hyundai Genesis was recently rechristened as the G80 under the new Genesis luxury brand. All Genesis sedans have been focused on value compared to the German competition, and this latest version arguably does the best to deliver on that promise.
Worst Value: Cadillac XTS
Cadillac's XTS hasn't gotten much love in the past few years, and some are put off by the CUE infotainment system that it brought to the market. It can feel less like a Cadillac and more like a fancy Chevy, which in some ways it is.
Best Sporty Car Value: Mazda MX-5 Miata
The Miata is almost in a class by itself, which makes its value tough to judge on a relative scale. That said, there's really no way to have as much fun for the money. This rear-drive roadster can put a smile on anyone's face.
Worst Value: BMW 2 Series
BMWs are expensive to begin with, and adding options drives the cost up. Expensive maintenance could also lead to an owner's low opinion of the perceived value.
Best Minivan Value: Chrysler Pacifica
The Pacifica is the brand-new replacement for Chrysler's Town & Country, and it's the most advanced minivan on the market today. Chrysler has always done a good job of packaging its vans in clever ways, which makes them useful for families of all sizes.
Worst Value: Ford Transit Connect / Toyota Sienna
The Transit Connect is smaller than a minivan and a bit expensive by comparison, while Toyota's Sienna has only seen mild updates over the years.
Best Compact SUV Value: Subaru Forester
Subaru offers the Forester with standard all-wheel drive and a choice of engines. The styling and layout are simple and useful, and feature content is good. The EyeSight safety package can even lower insurance premiums, paying for itself over time.
Worst Value: Jeep Cherokee
Getting active safety items on the Cherokee really drives up the price
Best Midsized SUV Value: Hyundai Santa Fe
Hyundai offers the Santa Fe in two sizes: the Santa Fe Sport (left) is a bit shorter than the Santa Fe (right). The smaller version has two rows while the larger one has three, albeit with little room in the way back. Like the other Hyundais and Kias on this list, feature content per dollar is high.
Worst Value: Nissan Pathfinder
Nissan's Pathfinder has seen few major updates recently. No features or items really stand out, but it's a solid three-row midsize crossover by every measure. Except value to its owners.
Best Luxury Compact SUV Value: Infiniti QX50
You may know this little crossover as the Infiniti EX. It grew longer recently but the package is still about the same; because it has been on sale for so long, p[rices have remained low compared to newer competitors, which may be why the perceived value is high.
Worst Value: BMW X1
Another expensive BMW. You get what you pay for here, but maybe buyers of this crossover wish they hadn't paid so much.
Best Luxury Midsized/Large SUV Value: Lincoln MKX
While it is essentially a fancier version of the Ford Edge crossover, the MKX seems to have the right upgrades to make owners feel it's worth the coin. The MKX was recently redesigned and looks more handsome than ever.
Worst Value: Tesla Model X
Interestingly, Model S sedan owners are happy with that vehicle's value, but the larger crossover version doesn't fare as well. Maybe it's the styling, or the finicky falcon-wing doors.
Best Pickup Truck Value: Nissan Frontier
One reason the Frontier pickup seems like a good value is because it's the cheapest pickup you can buy in the US right now, and by a good margin. That's in part because it hasn't been touched in years; it's simple, reliable, and rugged, things many pickup buyers covet.
Worst Value: Ford F-250
Unlike the Frontier, Ford's F-Series Super Duty lineup has been redesigned recently with all sorts of new tech and improvements. Prices may not have come down sufficiently yet for owners to feel they got a good deal.