If the recent recession taught consumers anything at all, it was the value of their current car. 2009 saw more consumers hanging on to their current vehicles and it wasn't until late in 2010 when we began to see a recovery in the auto industry. However, while you might decide to wait a bit longer to make that new car purchase, you'll still need to know how to get the most value for your money.
What is value, then? You must feel that you are getting more than "your money's worth," but the car also has to meet (and preferably exceed) your specific needs. In other words, it needs to match your lifestyle. The value of a car cannot be determined by comparing any single component or criteria - it takes a studied comparison of various factors to arrive at an informed decision based on your personal needs.
We selected only 10 cars from the 2011 lineup that exemplify value for the average car buyer who needs a vehicle for basic daily duties. To make this list, we factored in several criteria, all of which are of vital importance. You'll find that each of our 10 picks excels in areas such as initial MSRP, reliability during ownership, warranty coverage from the manufacturer, available features on the model, the fit and finish of the vehicle, and the various driving characteristics that make each of these cars "a keeper."
Ease of ownership was one of our most important factors. A vehicle that has a high degree of reliability is certainly easy to own (and easy on the wallet). Warranty coverage is another important decision, as having a car repaired under warranty has a potentially large impact on the total cost of ownership. We've also rated the relative comfort and ease of drivability for you.