Cars $50,000 and Over: Mercedes Benz E-Class
Sticker price: $53,105 (E350 Sport BlueTec)
Invoice price: $49,451
TrueCar national average price: $49,521
Resale value: 3-year: 53%; 5-year: 36%
MPG: City: 22; Hwy: 32
The E-Class keeps its crown for the second year in a row, with high resale values, luxurious appointments and a diesel engine that puts out a hefty 400 lb-ft of torque. Mercedes is serious about safety -- Attention Assist (which monitors drivers for drowsiness) and the PRE-SAFE collision-preparation system (which tightens seat belts and rolls up windows if an impending accident is detected) are standard, along with nine airbags.
Sports Cars: Chevrolet Camaro
Sticker price: $33,535 (SS w/1SS)
Invoice price: $32,230
TrueCar national average price: $32,751
Resale value: 3-year: 61%, 5-year: 42%
MPG: City: 16; Hwy: 24
The venerable Camaro's reasonable price is matched by low service and insurance costs, high resale values, and not-too-shabby fuel economy -- all guaranteed to make your wallet happy. The 6.2-liter V8 that growls out 426 horses will keep the rest of you happy.
Wagons: Subaru Outback
Sticker price: $26,790 (2.5i Premium)
Invoice price: $25,267
TrueCar national average price: $25,203
Resale value: 3-year: 54%; 5-year: 38%
MPG: City: 24; Hwy: 30
Since its redesign in 2010, Subaru's Outback has taken top honors in Kiplinger's rankings every year. It blends surefooted handling, oodles of interior space and off-roading cred with plenty of power (170 horses). All-wheel drive is always standard, and Outback was named a Top Safety Pick + by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Minivans: Toyota Sienna
Sticker price: $27,280 (7-Passenger)
Invoice price: $25,298
TrueCar national average price: $26,008
Resale value: 3-year: 50%; 5-year: 39%
MPG: City: 18; Hwy: 25
Stealing the top spot back from the Honda Odyssey, the Sienna tips the Best in Class scales with a smidge more horsepower (266) and a knee airbag for the driver. (The Sienna, unlike the Odyssey, also comes in an all-wheel-drive model.) Families will love the second row captain's chairs (in seven-seat models) that slide 23 inches forward or aft to make room for long legs or to bring small children within easy reach of the driver.
Small Crossovers: Honda CR-V
Sticker price: $23,625 (LX)
Invoice price: $22,243
TrueCar national average price: $23,192
Resale value: 3-year: 51%, 5-year: 40%
MPG: City: 23; Hwy: 31
The steady Eddie of the small-crossover market earns top honors for 2013 (it was last year's Best New award winner). Standard features include a rearview camera, Pandora Internet radio and SMS text messaging for compatible smart phones, which reads aloud incoming texts and lets you respond with preset messages. The rear seats flip down with the touch of a lever when you want to increase cargo space from 37 to 71 cubic feet.
Midsize and Large Crossovers: Lexus RX
Sticker price: $46,805 (450h)
Invoice price: $44,050
TrueCar national average price: $45,251
Resale value: 3-year: 60%, 5-year: 44%
MPG: City: 32; Hwy: 28
An exterior refresh for 2013 gives the RX the bold new Lexus family fascia, complete with the signature "spindle" grille. The hybrid drivetrain not only boosts fuel economy to 30 mpg in combined city and highway driving (versus the gas-engine RX's 21) but also adds 25 horses. Ten airbags, stellar resale values and luxurious appointments are standard on both models.
Truck-based SUVs: Toyota Sequoia
Sticker price: $42,990 (SR5)
Invoice price: $39,174
TrueCar national average price: $40,655
Resale value: 3-year: 50%; 5-year: 39%
MPG: City: 13; Hwy: 18
From carpooling to soccer practice to heading to the lake with the boat, the Toyota Sequoia can handle all your family's automotive needs. It seats up to eight, tows up to 7,400 pounds and now offers Toyota's first Blu-ray rear-seat entertainment system ($1,920 on Limited and higher-trim models). With the Entune multimedia system ($1,345 with navigation on the SR5 model), you'll get apps such as Bing, OpenTable, MovieTickets.com and Pandora integrated with your smart phone.
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