DEERFIELD, Ill. — Thirty-five vehicles and eight companion models received Best Buy ratings from Consumers Digest for the 2013 model year. The ratings, which are published in CD’s December issue (on sale Nov. 1) and are available at ConsumersDigest.com, span 12 categories: Subcompact Cars, Compact Cars, Family Cars, Luxury Cars, Sporty Cars, Small Pickups, Full-size Pickups, Minivans, Compact SUVs, Midsize SUVs, Full-size/Luxury SUVs and Hybrids. The Best Buys—based on behind-the-wheel assessment, safety ratings, ownership costs, warranty, price, comfort, ergonomics, styling and amenities—reflect CD’s view of which 2013 vehicles offer exceptional value for the money.
2013 Automotive Best Buy Selections
- 3 “Subcompact Cars”: Chevrolet Sonic, Fiat 500, Ford Fiesta
- 3 “Compact Cars”: Ford Focus, Kia Soul, Mazda3
- 7 “Family Cars”: Dodge Charger, Ford Fusion/Lincoln MKZ, Ford Taurus, Hyundai Sonata/Kia Optima, Volkswagen Passat
- 4 “Luxury Cars”: Audi A7, Buick LaCrosse, Chrysler 300, Hyundai Genesis Sedan
- 4 “Sporty Cars”: Chevrolet Camaro, Chevrolet Corvette, Ford Mustang, Hyundai Genesis Coupe
- 1 “Small Pickup”: Toyota Tacoma
- 2 “Full-size Pickups”: Ford F-150 and Ram 1500
- 4 “Minivans”: Chrysler Town & Country/Dodge Grand Caravan/Volkswagen Routan, Honda Odyssey
- 4 “Compact SUVs”: Chevrolet Equinox/GMC Terrain, Kia Sorento, Mazda CX-5
- 5 “Midsize SUVs”: Buick Enclave/Chevrolet Traverse/GMC Acadia, Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot
- 3 “Full-size/Luxury SUVs”: Dodge Durango, Infiniti JX35, Jeep Grand Cherokee
- 3 “Hybrids”: Ford Fusion Hybrid/Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, Toyota Camry Hybrid
“Value, as we see it, is based on purchase price and ownership costs relative to quality, performance and subjective factors, such as comfort and design,” says Randy Weber, CD’s publisher.
Performance characteristics that were evaluated include starting and acceleration, shifting, steering and handling, braking, ride quality and fuel economy. Design factors that were considered include interior ergonomics, seating configuration and flexibility, accessories and amenities, fit and finish, cargo space and styling.
Of note among CD’s Best Buys for the 2013 model year, the American automakers continued their run since the 2010 model year of garnering in total more than 60 percent of CD Best Buys (63 percent for the 2013 model year). Leading the way was Ford Motor and the 10 vehicles under two brands that were recognized as Best Buys. General Motors saw nine of its vehicles under three brands recommended. The eight Best Buys that were awarded to the Chrysler family of vehicles (Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep and Ram) equals the number for the 2012 model year, which represented an increase of four (when no Fiat was on the U.S. market).
“A second year of strong performance by Chrysler/Fiat is notable,” says Rich Dzierwa, editor, Consumers Digest/ConsumersDigest.com. “I’m interested in seeing whether it will be sustained into the 2014 model year.”
The Automotive Best Buys section of the December 2012 issue and at ConsumersDigest.com includes invoice pricing, standard features and performance traits that support the models’ Best Buy recommendation in the collective opinion of CD’s veteran automotive editors: Jim Gorzelany has served Consumers Digest readers for 26 years; award-winning reporter Jim Mateja writes a weekly Chicago Tribune automotive column; Marlon Hanson is president of Texas Automotive Media Association; Mark Maynard reports on automobiles for the San Diego Union-Tribune; Dan Carney has reviewed vehicles for Motor Trend, Popular Mechanics, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, among others, and is a former president of Washington Automotive Press Association; Courtney Messenbaugh launched her automobile reporting career when she began test-driving vehicles for MotherProof.com and now writes reviews for Cars.com.
“Few purchases are more important, or require more research, than buying a new vehicle,” Weber says. “Our analyses underscore our commitment to ensure that consumers are as satisfied with their auto purchase years after making it as they were on the day they drove off the lot.”
Consumers Digest is designed to inform and educate readers so they can buy with confidence, no matter the product or service. The publication is committed to providing practical advice, factual evaluations and specific recommendations that lead consumers to exceptional values in today’s complex marketplace. Consumers Digest recently launched a completely rebuilt ConsumersDigest.com in conjunction with the celebration of its 50th anniversary of serving consumers.
SOURCE Consumers Digest