Thirty-two vehicles and six companion models made it to the 2007 Consumers Digest's best buys. Vehicles were grouped into 8 categories - Small Cars, Family Cars, Luxury Cars, Sporty Cars, Trucks, Vans, Compact/Midsize SUVs and Luxury/Full-Size SUVs. They were given ratings based on ergonomics, safety, behind-the-wheel testing, styling and amenities, warranty, ownership costs, and price. Further, performance is assessed according to starting and acceleration, shifting, steering, handling, ride quality, braking and fuel economy.
In the small category, best buy ratings go to Chevrolet HHR, Dodge Caliber, Honda Civic, Honda Fit, Jeep Compass and Nissan Versa. In the family car category, the auto best buys are Chevrolet Impala, Ford Fusion, Hyundai Azera, Hyundai Sonata, Mercury Milan and Toyota Camry/Solara. Luxury car best buys are Acura TL, Buick Lucerne, Infiniti M35/45 and Toyota Avalon.
Chevrolet Corvette, Ford Mustang, Mazda6, MINI Cooper, Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky are the best buys in the sporty car category. At the topmost list in the best van values are Chevrolet Avalanche, Ford F-150 and Honda Ridgeline are the top pickups, and the Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Caravan, Honda Odyssey, Hyundai Entourage and Kia Sedona.
For the compact/midsize SUVs, the best buys are Honda CR-V, Jeep Wrangler, Mazda CX-7 and Toyota RAV4. Honda CR-V is loosely derived from Civic. Wrangler is the successor of the famed World War II vehicle. CX-7, on one hand, is the slot between CX-5 and CX-9. It uses some Mazda Miata body parts to boost its overall appeal. Finally, RAV-4 is a crossover SUV, is a vehicle that had most of the benefits of an SUV.
For compact/midsize SUVs, 4 vehicles made it to the best buy standard. They are Acura RDX, Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon and Mercedes-Benz's GL-Class.
According to Randy Weber, Customer Digest's publisher, "Value, as we see it, is based on purchase price and ownership costs relative to quality, performance and subjective factors like comfort and design." Webber added, "Few purchases are more important, or require more research, than buying a new vehicle. 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."
It was divulged by Rich Dzierwa, Consumers Digest editor that this is the first time the number of represented manufacturers reached 20. Also, for 5 years now, Chevrolet Tahoe, Dodge Caravan, GMC Yukon, Honda Civic, Honda Odyssey, MINI Cooper, Toyota Avalon and Toyota Camry retained the their best buy standing.
Consumers Digest, launched in 1959, is an American magazine publication that is intended to inform, evaluate and recommend products. It also tolerates other companies to use its reviews in their marketing strategies.
Source: Margaret Adams