Cars That Give You the Best Bang For Your Buck

You always want to make sure your new vehicle represents a wise use of your money, since it’s the second largest purchase most people will ever make. U.S. News has compiled a list of the best cars for your money in each of 14 different categories.

The list combines critics’ opinions of the cars and trucks with a total cost of ownership calculation to figure out which represent the best deals. A total cost of ownership calculation takes into account the initial price, cost of repairs, resale value and even gas mileage to determine how much it really costs to own a vehicle.

Here are the winners:

Subcompact Car – Honda Fit

Compact Car – Hyundai Elantra

Midsize Car – Toyota Camry

Full Size Car – Toyota Avalon

Upscale Car – Lexus ES

Luxury Car – Lexus GS

Sports Car – Mazda Miata

Compact Crossovers/SUV – Mazda Mazda5

Midsize Crossovers/SUV – Toyota Highlander

Luxury Crossovers/SUV – Lexus RX

Full Size SUV – Chevrolet Tahoe

Minivan – Toyota Sienna

Compact Pickup – Toyota Tacoma

Full Size Pickup – Chevrolet Silverado

As you can see, Toyota has dominated the list. Toyota and Lexus cars and trucks won six of the 14 categories, probably due to their reputation for reliability and high resale values. Only two American vehicles made the list: the Chevrolet Tahoe and Silverado full sized siblings.

Chevy Silverado Hybrid Picture

The Chevy Silverado Hybrid is a smart buy.