Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

Previously Featured Best Value Automobiles

Attention, drivers: this is not a list of the least expensive automobiles to purchase. Rather, below you will find models we know will deliver great value for your hard-earned money. We recommend vehicles in different categories because no one car is right for everyone. Think of this as a guide to help take some of the hassle out of choosing your new ride.

Top 10 Best Value Automobiles

5-Door Hatchbacks

A three-quarter front view of a blue 2012 Subaru Impreza WRX 5-Door

Subaru Impreza WRX 5-Door
Coming standard with a 265-horsepower 4-cylinder that shoots it to 60 in just 4.7 seconds, the Subaru Impreza WRX 5-Door is one fast hatch. And with the addition of all-wheel drive and nearly 45 cu. ft. of cargo room, the WRX makes for a great all-purpose, all-weather vehicle.

A three-quarter front view of a green Mazda 2

Mazda 2
The all-new Mazda 2 translates the Asian automaker's fun, fuel-efficient ethos into a compact five-door package. This stylish hatchback offers deft handling and quick acceleration while still managing to get up to 35 mpg highway, making the Mazda 2 an ideal choice for thrifty thrill-seekers.


A three-quarter rear view of a red Honda Fit Sport

Honda Fit
While the Honda Fit is a steal at under $15,000, its real value can be found at the pump. Earning an impressive 35 mpg highway, this zippy 5-door hatch allows for more fun with less fuel stops.

A three-quarter front view of a 2010 Kia Soul at Miami Beach, Florida

Kia Soul Exclaim
Boasting a trendy exterior, this five-passenger hatchback ought to catch the eye of twenty-somethings looking for their first car. This youth-oriented econobox is customizable (and available in four trims), and features a spacious interior along with decent fuel economy.

A three-quarter rear view of a green 2010 Ford Fiesta Hatchback

Ford Fiesta Hatchback
Showing off a clean aerodynamic form, this fuel-efficient five-door hatchback includes a five-speed manual transmission and comes with excellent safety features as well as all the audio sophistication and digital wireless communication capability now demanded by young buyers.

A three-quarter front view of a blue 2009 Nissan Versa

Nissan Versa
Meeting basic transportation needs and providing plenty of room, this hatchback has excellent fuel mileage, perfect for these times of rising gas prices.


A side view of a white 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit

Volkswagen Rabbit
A compact and practical speedster, the Rabbit comes with a 2.5-liter, 170 horsepower in-line 5-cylinder engine along with an appealing price tag.


Mazda 3

Mazda 3
Starting at $16,895, this is a good value. Even with the addition of leather seats, a navigation system, moon roof, Xenon headlights, enhanced braking system and 6-CD-package, pushing the price to $22,154, it's still a deal.


Kia Spectra5

Kia Spectra5
This handsome little five-door is perfect for a tight budget, or as a first car. It even has sporty extras like front and rear spoilers, side sills and rear valance to sexy-it-up.

Suzuki Reno

Suzuki Reno
A great, no-nonsense starter car covered by a phenomenal warranty.

Honda Fit Sport

Honda Fit Sport
A spacious, fuel-efficient hatchback with plenty of pick-up and driving fun.


Station Wagons

A side view of a silver 2009 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen SE

Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen SE
Although it's a compact, this five-passenger station wagon provides a spacious interior and a well-rounded experience. The Jetta SportWagen SE has quick handling and features a 2.8-liter 5-cylinder engine capable of propelling the car to a top speed of 127 mph.


Jaguar X-Type 3.0 Sportwagon

Jaguar X-Type 3.0 Sportwagon
A 227 bhp V6 engine is standard in this vehicle, and prices start around $31,000, making it a serious competitor in its category.

Dodge Magnum RT

Dodge Magnum RT
Packing a beefy engine, this station wagon has ample power and plenty of room.

Minivans

A three-quarter front view of a 2008 Mazda 5 Grand Touring

Mazda 5 Grand Touring
An efficiently designed compact minivan that still manages to accommodate six passengers comfortably in its three rows of theater-style seating.

Nissan Quest 3.5 SE

Nissan Quest 3.5 SE
A fully loaded, borderline Space Age people mover.

Honda Odyssey

Honda Odyssey
Reliable and fully loaded with technology, this value minivan drives seven passengers comfortably and safely. The Honda Odyssey handles trips to local soccer games and journeys cross-country with equal ease.


Crossovers

A three-quarter rear view of a red 2011 Subaru Forester 2.5X Touring

Subaru Forester 2.5X Touring
This sporty crossover combines the best features of the Subaru line-up—the standard all-wheel drive, the responsive handling, the fuel economy—for a ride that is both fun and affordable.

A three-quarter rear view of a 2009 Mazda CX-9 Sport

Mazda CX-9 Sport
This polished yet utilitarian-minded seven-passenger crossover offers three rows of seating, all of which accommodate adults comfortably. Along with a maximum 100 cu. ft. of cargo space and numerous standard features, this easy-handling vehicle is ideal for an active family.


Nissan Murano

Nissan Murano
A stylish crossover that sports excellent drivability.


SUVs

A three-quarter rear view of a 2012 Dodge Journey Crew

Dodge Journey Crew
The Dodge Journey Crew is a serviceable vehicle that works well for active families. Featuring a 3.6-liter V6 engine with VVT, the seven-passenger crossover tops out at 280 horsepower and earns a respectable 25 mpg highway, making road trips a little bit more attractive.


A three-quarter rear view of a Mitsubishi Outlander GT

Mitsubishi Outlander GT
This small SUV offers a luxury feel at an affordable price thanks to standard features like Sirius satellite radio, Sportronic paddle shifters, and an innovative Super All-Wheel Control system that allows for smooth handling and improved steering control in any weather condition.


A three-quarter front view of a 2008 Ford Explorer 4x4

Ford Explorer 4x4
This truck-based SUV packs considerable power, and really can go off-road.

Suzuki XL7 4WD EX III

Suzuki XL7 4WD EX III
Here's a fully loaded SUV without the fully loaded price of most competitors—it's excellent for parents dropping the kids off at school or for the adventurous off-roader.

2005 Isuzu Ascender

2005 Isuzu Ascender
With Isuzu, the acronym “SUV” could stand for: “Sport. Utility. Value,” with value meaning features, options, warranty and gas mileage. The Ascender does well in all these areas, and you can pick up a base version of the vehicle for about $27,000.

Subaru B9 Tribeca

Subaru B9 Tribeca
A real SUV concept with a spacious interior and an assortment of features.

Sedans

A three-quarter rear view of a silver 2011 Volkswagen Jetta

Volkswagen Jetta
Starting at around $16,000, this roomier, revamped version of VW's classic sedan is priced to compete with the likes of the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord while still providing Volkswagen's famed precision German engineering.


A three-quarter rear view of a 2010 Suzuki Kizashi
Suzuki Kizashi
Moving Suzuki into upscale territory, this smart sports sedan is a value-oriented urban vehicle featuring most of what you’d want in a car today, including all-wheel drive and a continuously variable transmission.

A side view of a blue 2011 Ford Fiesta Sedan
Ford Fiesta Sedan
This stylish, Euro-inspired subcompact is a city-friendly fuel-sipper that won't break the bank. While the Fiesta's excellent fuel economy (up to 40 mpg highway) is the most obvious attraction, this small sedan also boasts extensive safety features and an impressive array of standard interior amenities.

A three-quarter rear view of a 2011 Kia Optima

Kia Optima
Not content with running in the middle of the pack, the 2011 Kia Optima is turning heads with its stylish new exterior, well-equipped cabin, and much improved driving dynamics.

Chevrolet Malibu Sedan LTZ

Chevrolet Malibu Sedan LTZ
A value-packed, all-around American sedan.

Chrysler 300C

Chrysler 300C
The power under the hood comes from Mexico and the final assembly takes place in Canada, but the 300C is unmistakably American. Besides that, you get the feeling you are in a top-of-the line euro sedan. Fortunately, though, the price will keep you grounded.

Nissan Altima

Nissan Altima
The Altima is sleek, dependable and affordable. It's that rare purchase that feels sensible in price but extravagant in looks.

2005 Buick LaCrosse CXS

2005 Buick LaCrosse CXS
A super comfortable midrange sedan delivering business class-style luxuries.

Hyundai Sonata

Hyundai Sonata
This handsome sedan is a great value with its roomy and comfortable interior, six airbags and attractive warranty package, all for under $19,000.

Luxury Sedans

A three-quarter front view of a 2009 Hyundai Genesis

Hyundai Genesis
Hyundai's rear-wheel drive sports sedan offers high-end luxury for a surprisingly low price. Facets include solar-controlled tinted glass, center console-mounted iPod/USB/Aux input jacks and a 3.8-liter V6 engine, which can rev up to 290 horses.

Mercedes-Benz E350

Mercedes-Benz E350
A perfectly luxurious sedan that is a pleasure to drive.

Infiniti M35

Infiniti M35
Packed with more technology than a space shuttle, the M35 brings it at thousands less than its German competition.

Acura RL

Acura RL
With a $50,000 price tag, the Acura RL has a chance to compete in a crowded market, possibly as a top contender in its class.


Full-Size Sedans

Hyundai Azera

Hyundai Azera
A quiet and reliable sedan delivering a first-class driving experience.


Mid-Size Sedans

A three-quarter rear view of a Kona Blue 2010 Mazda 6 i Sedan Touring Plus

Mazda 6 i Sedan Touring Plus
Don't let the expanded dimensions of the new Mazda 6 fool you—this full-size family sedan still packs a powerful punch. With 170 horsepower coursing through its efficient I4 engine, this muscular Mazda can zoom-zoom from 0-60 in a respectable 6.3 seconds.

The Honda Civic Si in action

Honda Civic Si
It's the car that started the Sport Compact craze. With almost 200 horsepower and 25 mpg combined mileage, what's not to like?


Ford Fusion V6

Ford Fusion V6
A value-packed, good-handling American sedan.


Sports Sedans

A three-quarter front view of a white 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer ES

Mitsubishi Lancer ES
With a base price under $17,000 and a reasonable EPA fuel rating, the Lancer ES is the perfect car for students looking to save money in style. However, no matter your price range, anyone can appreciate the sporty feel and sharp handling that this value-packed compact sedan has to offer.

A three-quarter front view of a 2010 Lincoln MKS EcoBoost

Lincoln MKS
Fitted with a muscular 3.5 liter, twin turbocharged V6 engine and standard all-wheel drive, the MKS EcoBoost is a reasonably-priced alternative to its European competition.


Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT Limited Sedan

Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT
Limited Sedan

The Legacy leaves behind very little pollution, as it is a designated Super-Ultra Low Emission Vehicle, and you can easily find one at a fitting price.

Acura TL

Acura TL
A roomy luxury sedan that grips the road.


Jaguar X-Type 3.0

Jaguar X-Type 3.0
A great road-holding, compact luxury sedan.

Convertibles

A three-quarter front view of a 2008 Chrysler Sebring Limited Convertible

Chrysler Sebring Limited Convertible
Solid and well-rounded, this convertible has more cargo and passenger space than comparable cars in its class.

Mazda MX-5 Hardtop

Mazda MX-5 Hardtop
A roadster that promises fun and flexibility with a convertible top option.

Volkswagen New Beetle Convertible GLS 1.8 T

Volkswagen New Beetle Convertible GLS 1.8 T
A totally cool, fun and romantic convertible with a sporty attitude at a very attainable sticker price.

Sporty Small Cars

Mazdaspeed 3

Mazdaspeed 3
A perfect balance of performance thrills, creature comforts and price.

Sport Coupes

A front view of a blue 2010 Nissan 370Z Coupe

Nissan 370Z Coupe
This tiny two-seater sports coupe, which features a powerful 3.7-liter, 332-horsepower V6 engine and precision handling, offers luxury car looks and sports car performance at a reasonable price.


Porsche 911 Carrera S

Porsche 911 Carrera S
This new generation of the 911 Carrera S, dubbed 997, is a perfect example of history repeating itself. Possibly the best news is that this is all attainable at a lesser price.


Mitsubishi Eclipse GT

Mitsubishi Eclipse GT
A much improved, fun and value-loaded sports car.


Top 10 Best Value Automobiles

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(Updated: 04/02/12 NW)


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