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Frugal Shopper: For Happiness, Don't Sweat The Numbers Page 3

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2010 Porsche 911 Turbo

2010 Porsche 911 Turbo

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Even though one vehicle might be a better value—meaning that the numbers work out better, or the composite of features makes better sense—another vehicle might have that "must-have" magic. So whatever you call it, there's another more emotional side to vehicular satisfaction other than value and numbers. Sure enough, automakers are seeking ways to gauge and number-crunch this emotional response, too; for instance the market-research firm Strategic Vision has added a metric called Delight to its annual surveys—a way of showing what's beyond mere satisfaction.

But even Consumer Reports hints that shoppers shouldn't take their value numbers too devoutly. They point out that the 2010 Porsche 911 Carrera—an excellent sports car, but pricey at $77,800—has low value scores because of its high ownership costs, even though it does have good performance test scores and an impressive record for reliability.

The bottom line is that you should definitely consider the facts and numbers in the value equation, but a little spare change won't buy you love. Even if you're the biggest cheapskate in the showroom, going strictly by the numbers probably won't lead to happiness in the long run.

If you happen to plan to keep your vehicle for about five years, and you can stay cool and detached like Consumer Reports, you might want to consider their list below. If not, we're happy to see you follow your heart.

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CR's Best and Worst Value Vehicles

   
 

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

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[Consumer Reports]


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Comments (22)
  1. Wow small cars are a good value even at Gas
     
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  2. "2010 Honda Fit and 2010 Toyota Prius the best new car values of the year" - the trend is going into a world on smaller and more efficient autos.
     
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  3. So Chrysler, not a good value at all right now. They need new models that are reliable and desirable, fast.
     
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  4. Maybe they don't have a big delight factor, but are any of those Best Value cars undesirable? No. Note that government motors didn't make the list at all. Satisfies me.
     
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  5. you sure recomend toyota they seem to have thier problems I will stick with GM
     
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  6. No Toyota is a good value to me-plenty of other well priced vehicles around. I don't trust Consumer Reports anymore after their most recent issue which promoted Toyota to a fault.
    As you said, "What matters is the vehicle."
     
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  7. I don't trust Consumer Reports either. I went with thier recomendations and found out, thier reports stunk...!
     
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  8. I trusted Consumer Reports on what they recomended an got ripped..!
    Some things about thier reports are right, but don't put your full truth in what they say...! They DO screw up...!
     
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  9. I have read consumers report and have found that they are wrong more then right. Example: Gas mileage of a Chev Impala. Any that I have drove or know about got at least 9 miles per gallon better then they reported.
     
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  10. this sickens me and many idiots will read the consumer reports and not buy me and my families personal favorite of mopars. the charger r/t is not a family sedan is a 4 door moder muscle car of course its not the best values it eats gas and tires hence the r/t maybe they shoulda used the v6. The avenger hauls ass for a v6.And the nitro and wrangler are very reliable and always have decent re sale they didnt take in to account the fact that some people dont want a rolling plastic 40 mpg computer and some people want something fun like a wrangler or something a little faster than most suvs and alot cooler looking in most owners opinons in the nitro. These are reliable somewhat niche cars that many people will not even consider thanks to these morons. rant over
     
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  11. Wow pick on Mopar much
    These Mopar cars that are supposed bad buys are the farthest from it, how can you compare a Charger with a Hemi to a Acura with a 4cylinder and still keep your job meat head, some of these test writers are completely clueless, I have met a few a various car shows and most don't even know were to put the key in and these are the guy's that are killing the North American Auto industry with there stupid reports. So someone with very little knowledge wants to buy a car and he or she reads a poor report of course they are going to shy away and look at something out of country because that sure looks like this so called experts picks are all Gutless cars with no Jam
    So thanks again for selling a few more out of country cars JERK
     
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  12. For 20 years or more, my personal experience with cars has not been anything like what Consumer Reports says. I have had nothing but success in the 25 or 30 Mopars I have own over the last 40 years. It's interesting to note that the number car people said they would buy again was a Dodge.
     
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  13. You guys are so hung up on Toyota and Honda that you would not know a good car if you drove it!! Yes, I have driven Honda cars for many years and they are good, however, my 2006 Honda Accord has so much road noise that you can hardly hear the radio. I also have owned Dodge vehicles and they have been very good. Your class comparisons choices are very poor and do not apply. Thanks for your hatred of Chrysler and GM!!
     
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  14. I hate that dodge can't build a reliable car.My dodge van only had 321,000 miles on it when the water pump went.You would think that they could make a vehicle that would last.Now at 350,000 I have to replace the alternater.What junk(sic)
     
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  15. When I was driving to work one morning and had the radio on. Consumer Reports had a gentelman on and when someone called in and asked about a Jeep Laredo the gentelman from Consumer Reports told him that Jeep did not make a Laredo and the last one mad was in 1986............I guess he only looks at Toyota. HOW about the Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo still being sold ????? and this is 2010
     
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  16. I guess with everyone being hurt or killed by Toyota you at Consumer reports think is a great buy! ???
     
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  17. They brag up the some of the first terrorist's to this country, Pearl Harbor. Also the one's that got the big bailout rebuilding their county with our social security funds that modernize them 70 to 100years ahead of USA companies. Go Chrysler,Ford & GM. buy American, check & see where must of the parts come from. Thanks
     
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  18. tired about hearing toyota,honda& nisson. i have always bought dodge ,ford & chevy products. my ford ranger has 245000 miles on it. all origanal major parts. my wife has a mustang 170000 miles on it with no major problems also, & yes i have a hemi powered dodge ram & love it. better check parts boxes on those other three. consumer reports kiss my %$#@.
     
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  19. Hmm, compare a Charger with a Hemi V8 to an Acura with a 4 cylinder, seems fair to me!
    Of course they choose the R/T models for both the Charger and Avenger. They should have chose the V6 Charger and the Avenger with the 4 clyinder.
     
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  20. I wouldnt buy a foreign car even if it ran on water,buy american
     
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  21. OK being a jeep site I guess there's a small bias... Chryco put out some awesome cars - in the 60's. their track record since then has been spotty at best ( K car anyone ? )
    On the other hand, Honda has produced a quality product for the most part for the last 20 years.
    my last point is taken from a previous post
    #
    By George #13, Posted: 3/8/2010
    For 20 years or more, my personal experience with cars has not been anything like what Consumer Reports says. I have had nothing but success in the 25 or 30 Mopars I have own over the last 40 years. It's interesting to note that the number car people said they would buy again was a Dodge.
    #
    25 or 30 cars in 40 years ????? WTF ? my Honda lasted me 11 years ! and had an early death as a result of an accident. does this guy live on a 7/24 demolition derby course or do his cars not last him more than 1.5 years ???
    Honda and Toyota are viewed as the top of build quality, something that North American makers have not been able to say for a very long time.
    Looks like the Japanese figured out a different way to win the war !
     
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  22. Infiniti has just taken the veil on the 2012 M35 Hybrid, the first gasoline-electric hybrid car, but the luxury division of Nissan is already planning an expansion to other models. Automotive Industry News newspaper reported that Infiniti really want the technology through the Infiniti lineup. The company bills the performance of Hybrid M35 as power of a V8 with four-cylinder fuel economy levels that will be necessary for the division to hit the new government in charge of fuel economy laws. The M35 Hybrid uses a value of 3.5-liter V6 371 horsepower when equipped with the hybrid power pack, but offers a 60-90% improvement in fuel economy with its non-hybrid counterpart.
    http://www.greenautozone.net/2012-infiniti-m-hybrid-review.html
     
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