Looking for a great car that’s also a great value? We can help.
The 2012 U.S. News Best Cars for the Money Awards help you navigate a confusing automotive market by identifying cars that hit quality and value from all sides. The awards combine the U.S. News Best Cars rankings with the average price paid and five-year total cost of ownership data from TrueCar.com. The award-winning vehicles have the best combination of praise from car reviewers, lower upfront costs and lower long-term ownership costs than their competition. The winners aren’t just good cars or good values. They’re both.
Subcompact and hatchback: Ford Fiesta
High-tech interior options make the 2012 Ford Fiesta feel like a luxury car, not a compact.
Compact car: Chevrolet Cruze
The 2012 Chevrolet Cruze is the Best Compact Car for the Money because it has a very roomy cabin for a small, inexpensive car, an upscale feelfor the price, and its ECO trim has excellent fuel economy.
Upscale small car: Volkswagen GTI
The 2012 Volkswagen GTI combines comfortable passenger space and lots of cargo room with fun performance.
Affordable midsize car: Ford Fusion
The 2012 Ford Fusion won because it has performance that isn’t boring (which is rare for a midsize car), an upscale interior, comfortable passenger space, and available all-wheel drive.
Affordable large car: Ford Taurus
The Best Large Car for the Money, the 2012 Ford Taurus has available high-tech interior features, including SYNC, and is an IIHS Top Safety Pick.
Upscale midsize car: Buick Regal
The 2012 Buick Regal is the Best Upscale Midsize Car for the Money because it's fun to drive, has a long powertrain warranty, high-tech features, and is less expensive than competitors.
Hybrid car: Ford Fusion Hybrid
Reviewers say the 2012 Ford Fusion Hybrid is the best-performing hybrid car. It also boasts a high-tech cabin and plenty of passenger space.
Affordable sports car: Mazda MX-5 Miata
The Mazda MX-5 Miata is the best-selling sports car in history. Reviewers love that it is simple and elegant with incredible performance at an affordable price.
Wagon: Subaru Outback
The 2012 Subaru Outback has excellent crash-test scores, standard all-wheel drive, and can be equipped as a budget or near-luxury car.
Best SUV and Minivans
Affordable compact SUV with two rows: Chevrolet Equinox
The 2012 Chevrolet Equinox has a long powertrain warranty, handy features like a slide-and-recline rear seat, good fuel economy and cargo space and is an IIHS Top Safety Pick.
Affordable compact SUV with three rows: Toyota RAV4
The 2012 Toyota RAV4 has an optional third row in a compact package, plus an optional V6 engine that reviewers love.
Luxury compact SUV: Audi Q5
The 2012 Audi Q5 is both practical and luxurious.
Luxury midsize SUV: Lexus RX 350
A quiet ride and interior make the Lexus RX a zen-like partner for commuting and road trips.
Affordable midsize SUV with two rows: Ford Edge
The 2012 Ford Edge has a stylish design and is an IIHS Top Safety Pick. Its available Ecoboost engine merges performance and good fuel economy.
Affordable midsize SUV with three rows: Mazda CX-9
The 2012 Mazda CX-9 has seating for seven, sporty performance and lots of features, even on the base model.
Affordable large SUV: Chevrolet Suburban
With seating for up to nine and a long powertrain warranty, the 2012 Chevrolet Suburban is the Best Affordable Full-Size SUV for the Money.
Luxury large SUV: Cadillac Escalade
The 2012 Cadillac Escalade has lots of passenger space, a big towing capacity and a plush interior, which all helped it win the Best Luxury Large SUV for the Money Award.
Minivan: Mazda Mazda5
The 2012 Mazda5 is the fun-to-drive minivan, with seating for six in a tidy package. It's available with a manual transmission and gets excellent fuel economy.
Hybrid SUV: Lexus RX Hybrid
The 2012 Lexus RX Hybrid features a sumptuous interior, practical amounts of passenger and cargo space, an excellent reputation for reliability, and good fuel economy.
Off-road SUV: Jeep Wrangler
The 2012 Jeep Wrangler is the iconic American off-roader. It's available with two or four doors and has unmatched off-road capabilities.
Compact pickup truck: Toyota Tacoma
The 2012 Toyota Tacoma is comfortable enough to commute in and gets good fuel economy, yet it's powerful enough for weekend warriors.
Full size pickup truck: Ram 1500
The 2012 Ram 1500 has the smoothest ride of any truck and it has innovative cargo solutions as well as luxurious available interior packages.