2011 Chevrolet Cruze EcoEnlarge Photo
If you're wanting to keep costs down with your next vehicle, you'll want to pay attention here: The insurer USAA has compiled a list of best-value vehicles using three main criteria: cost (including purchase price, insurance, and fuel costs); safety (looking only at Insurance Institute for Highway Safety ratings); and reliability.
USAA says that more reliable vehicles cost less to maintain, which is usually, but not always, the case from our experience.
Luckily, we can agree on a number of vehicles that are stylish, perform well, and are comfortable, in addition to meeting all of those objective points. From their list the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Mustang, Hyundai Sonata, Audi A4, Kia Sportage, Audi Q7, Lexus RX 450h are all among our top picks, achieving an Overall Rating of 8.0 or higher in TheCarConnection's vehicle ratings.
For those not familiar, our editors rate vehicles in six different categories—including objective areas like safety and features, as well as more subjective areas including styling and comfort.
USAA has more information on each of its picks at http://www.usaa.com/bestvalue.
Here's their complete list of best-value vehicles:
Large Sedan: Dodge Charger
Midsize Sedan: Hyundai Sonata
Small Sedan: Chevrolet Cruze
Large Luxury Sedan: Hyundai Genesis
Midsize Luxury Sedan: Audi A4
Large SUV: Chevrolet Traverse
Midsize SUV: Toyota FJ Cruiser
Small SUV: Kia Sportage
Large Luxury SUV: Audi Q7
Midsize Luxury SUV: Lexus RX 450h
Large Pickup: Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Hybrid
Small Pickup: Suzuki Equator
Sports: Ford Mustang
Coupe: Scion tC
Wagon: Scion xB
Minivan: Kia Sedona