Personal Finance Experts Rate Top-10 New-model Values
Despite a few recent hiccups, Hyundai continues to extend its reputation for delivering high-value products, most recently seeing two vehicles—the 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT and 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport—earn recognition from Kiplinger’s Personal Finance as two of the “10 Best Values in New Car Models, 2013.”
The honors are based on a comprehensive analysis of vehicle value, safety, fuel-efficiency, passenger room, and cargo room, as well as driving impressions of each entry. Kiplinger’s then sorts the data to provide both a top-10 list for vehicles making their debuts during the 2013 model year.
And note: While the 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT is batting leadoff for this year’s New Car team, capturing the value crown in the “Cars under $20,000” category, it was the Blue Oval with the most players on the squad overall, with three: The 2013 Ford Fusion, 2013 Ford C-MAX and 2013 Ford Escape.
Naturally, a quick look at this year’s award-winners, broken out by automaker, can be found below.
As mentioned at the top of the story, Hyundai placed two products on the “10 Best Values in New Car Models” list. The 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT—a sportier version of the Elantra Sedan, with a versatile five-door hatchback configuration—claimed first place among “Cars under $20,000,” and was backed by advantages like a price tag of $18,545, high levels of standard content, and a three-year resale value mark of 45 percent.
The 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport actually notched a double play with Kiplinger’s by winning both the Midsize and Large Crossover segments. How did the new five-seat Santa Fe Sport beat out competitors like the 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL, 2013 Infiniti JX and 2013 Land Rover Range Rover? Well, it certainly helps that Kiplinger’s chose the up-level Santa Fe Sport 2.0T version for their comparison testing, since that vehicle offers a number of premium upgrades with its powerful 264-hp turbocharged I4 engine—while starting at an affordable $27,700.
“The stylish five-door Elantra GT is no econobox,” reported Jessica Anderson, associate editor, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine. “Standard features include heated front seats, cooled glove box, seven airbags and an extra outlet for plugging in gear, and the peppy 1.8-liter engine gets 37 mpg on the highway. “The Santa Fe Sport comes similarly equipped with a host of standard features like reclining rear seats to keep the second row happy, and a driver’s knee airbag. The turbocharged 2.0-liter direct-injected engine suits the car’s sporty nature, and with the help of a six-speed transmission, the Santa Fe Sport gets an EPA-estimated 27 mpg on the highway.”
Kiplinger’s Best New Car Values: Ford
The Blue Oval’s current lineup is especially strong in the heart of the marketplace, as evidenced by the fact that the company scored Best Value recognition for its competitors in two of the country’s most hotly contested segments. The 2013 Ford Fusion midsize sedan claimed top honors in the “Cars $20,000-$25,000” class, with Kiplinger’s singling the car out for its “daring redesign,” “sleek new interior,” “generous passenger space,” and “superb handling.”
Then, besting the nation’s best “Small Crossovers,” the 2013 Ford Escape was lauded for a three-year resale value of 50 percent, two available EcoBoost powertrains—one for high performance, one for high efficiency—and the fact that it can be “filled with clever details, such as easy fold-flat rear seats, a voice-activated SYNC system for digital devices and optional parallel-park assist.”
Ford’s final value victor wasn’t in a high-volume segment, but that could be changing quickly. The incredibly versatile 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid, with its gaudy EPA line of 47 mpg city/47 mpg highway/47 mpg combined, is not only the “Wagon” winner of the 2013 Kiplinger’s New Car Value rankings, it also set a new benchmark for most hybrid sales in the first two months on the market. Which makes sense, since the 2013 Ford C-MAX is more efficient, less expensive, roomier and more powerful than rivals like the 2013 Toyota Prius v.
Kiplinger’s Best New Car Values: Nissan
Now, the 2013 Ford Fusion wasn’t the sole midsize sedan to find itself on the Kiplinger’s Best Values roster. It was joined by the 2013 Nissan Altima, configured in its 3.5 S trim at $26,490. That sticker price moved the Altima into the “Cars $25,000-$30,000” segment, where it led the way with “both brains and brawn,” according to Kiplinger’s, which also commended the car for “smart features” that include Nissan’s Easy Fill tire-inflation system, “zero gravity” front seats and hands-free text messaging support.
Just keep in mind that the entry point to the 2013 Nissan Altima lineup starts at $21,760 and swaps the 270-hp, 3.5-liter V6 for a high-efficiency I4 capable of 38 mpg.Kiplinger’s Best New Car Values: Honda
Kiplinger’s claims that the 2013 Honda Accord has a “new look that’s been compared with the BMW 3 Series,” and the award-winning model also happens to have a comparable MSRP. As a result, the Accord was the third mainstream midsizer on the list, earning the trophy in the “Cars $30,000-$40,000” class. The specific model earning acclaim from Kiplinger’s was the 2013 Honda Accord EX-L V6, which sports a powerful V6 engine yet is still capable of attaining EPA scores of 21 mpg city/34 mpg highway/25 mpg combined. In addition, its price tag of $30,070 also includes standard amenities like LED daytime running lamps and brake lights, a leather-trimmed interior with heated front seats, the automaker’s HondaLink connectivity technology, and safety measures such as forward-collision and lane-departure warning systems.
Kiplinger’s Best New Car Values: Lexus
Turning to cars in the $40,000-$50,000 price range, we find the all-new 2013 Lexus GS, with its three-year resale value of 53 percent, respectable fuel-economy ratings (of up to 28 mpg), and a very competitive price of admission ($47,250).
“Sporty outside and sleek inside, the all-new GS is changing the face of the luxurious but staid Lexus line,” said Kiplinger’s. “Crisp handling and 306 horsepower combine beautifully. Ten airbags are standard, and options include a head-up display (transparent type displayed on the windshield), night-vision system for the driver and ‘lane keep assist’ to prevent straying.”
For 2013, the Lexus GS also is offered as both a performance-boosted F Sport model and with a fuel-sipping hybrid powertrain that enables fuel-economy marks of 29 mpg city/34 mpg highway/31 mpg combined.
Kiplinger’s Best New Car Values: Cadillac
The 2013 Cadillac ATS has gotten most of the attention—and the 2013 North American Car of the Year Award, among others—but it was that vehicle’s bigger brother, the 2013 Cadillac XTS, that was named the best value for cars stickered north of $50,000. (However, like most of the entries on this list, the winning XTS was not the entry-level version, which opens at $44,075.)
Regardless, in recognizing the XTS’ high value, Kiplinger’s called out features like its “striking looks,” “superb ride and handling,” and “stellar safety,” while also taking note of a wealth of up-scale standard content that includes the CUE touchscreen connectivity/infotainment system, a sophisticated Magnetic Ride Control suspension, and a roomier trunk than its top German rivals.
Kiplinger’s Best New Car Values: BMW
When is a car that costs more than $90,000 still a high value? When it also packs a twin-turbo V8 engine that dials up 560 horses and 500 lb.-ft. of torque, a multi-mode handling setup that leverages the latest in advanced German engineering, and a premium, driver-oriented cockpit that offers the choice of a six-speed manual or seven-speed double-clutch automatic. In other words, when that car is the 2013 BMW M5.
And the M5 then tops off its robust performance upgrades with high-end features like a Bang & Olufsen audio system, the BMW Assist connectivity platform, a full-color head-up display, navigation, Bluetooth technology, Night Vision, dynamic stability control, lane-departure warning, and the protection of BMW Ultimate Service, providing up to four years/50,000 miles of complimentary routine maintenance service and four years of complimentary roadside assistance with no mileage limits.