For those who want to see how much car their budget can buy, consider the following 2013 picks from US News & World Report, which highlights the top cars in their class for the money based on a combination of criteria like five-year ownership costs, average price paid, and data rankings.
The 2013 Honda Fit
For such a small car, the 2013 Honda Fit offers ample passenger and cargo space (seats five people with plenty of space in the rear for adults) and above-average reliability. The automatic transmission averages up to 28/35 mpg city/highway. The combination of low ownership costs and high fuel economy made this subcompact a top pick for 2013 (it also won best hatchback). Price starts at $15,425.
The 2013 Buick Verano
Ranked as the best upscale small car, it’s known for its quiet cabin featuring high-quality materials. It comes with an optional turbocharged engine this year and plenty of class-competitive features like a rearview camera, touch-screen infotainment system, Bluetooth, and a USB port. The standard automatic transmission averages 21/32 mpg city/highway. Price starts at $23,080.
The 2013 Ford Fusion
Taking the award for most affordable mid-size car (and the hybrid model won best hybrid), the 2013 Ford Fusion delivers strong acceleration, a roomy interior, and the highest reliability ratings in its class. Feature options include navigation, satellite and HD radio, Sync with MyFord Touch, push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, active park assist, a rearview camera, back-up sensors, and rain-sensing wipers. MPG gets a respectable 22 city/34 hwy and prices start at $21,700.
The 2013 Ford Taurus
Marking its fourth year as best large car, the 2013 Ford Taurus boasts a strong base engine, large trunk, and impressive cabin technology. It also performed well in safety tests and standard features like the MyKey (helps parents keep tabs on their teen’s driving habits) make it stand out from the competition. MPG gets 19 city/29 hwy and prices start at $26,700.
The 2013 Scion FR-S
Ranking the most affordable sports car, the Scion FR-S is fun to drive at a reasonable cost and experts say it’s one of the best-handling sports cars on the market. It offers more interior comfort than some other competitors with supportive front seats and a driver-focused cabin. It also stands out with better safety ratings than other sports cars in its class. Receives an MPG of 22 city/30 hwy. Prices start at $24,500.
The 2013 Ford Focus
Not only is the 2013 Ford Focus ranked as the most affordable small car, its high fuel economy ratings and good use of cargo space make it a stand-out performer. The base automatic transmission averages 27/38 mpg city/highway and prices start at $16,200.
The 2013 Buick Regal
Ranked the best out of more expensive upscale mid-size cars, the Regal has a high-quality interior and tons of features that come standard. It also gets better fuel economy than most cars in its class, with 25/36 mpg city/highway. It offers a firm, composed ride that rivals more expensive European sedans. Prices start at $29,015.
The 2013 Subaru Outback
Best wagon goes to the Subaru Outback that successfully combined the utility of an SUV with the drivability of a car. The handling is superior and Kelly Blue Book calls it “as spacious and capable as a conventional mid-size SUV, but delivers the fuel efficiency and driving characteristics of a sedan.” It receives an MPG of 21 city/28 hwy and prices start at $23,495.
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