Everybody likes to get good value for their money, especially when it comes to a major purchase like a vehicle. Large insurance company USAA created a list of what it sees as the top ten vehicles offering the best value for car buyers. The insurer, who has compiled the annual list for four years, considers safety, affordability and reliability. This year, the safety portion included the strict safety standard ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
"IIHS's move to increase their standards mirrors the growing feedback we're receiving from our members," says Steve Thompson, a vice president of USAA, in a statement. "We know safety is one of the most important factors for our members when car shopping."
The field was whittled down to twenty four finalists before the top ten were selected. Of the top ten, Toyota claimed 3 spots, the most of any single automaker. Toyota led the list with their Prius hybrid sedan, (best small sedan), best midsize sedan the Toyota Camry, and the Toyota Highlander crossover took best large SUV.
Mazda and Honda/Acura each staked out two spots. The Mazda3 hatchback earned best wagon and the Mazda CX-5 won best small SUV. Honda's Odyssey was the best value in minivans and the Acura MDX took best luxury SUV.
Rounding out the awards for best value for car buyers included the Chevy Spark for best coupe, the Lincoln MKZ for best midsize luxury sedan and the Volvo S80 took the best luxury car honours.
USAA says that they use a proprietary scoring model to evaluate safety, reliability and cost factors. Preferred vehicles get safety points by being rated a 2014 Top Safety Pick + or Top Safety Pick from the IIHS prior to December 20, 2013. Cost points are earned by a vehicle having a lower MSRP than the average vehicle in it's category, and also incurring lower insurance premiums. Reliability is judged by lower extended manufacturer's warranty costs which is considered an indicator of reliability.
By Linda Aylesworth - autoExpert.ca