USAA Names 2012 Best Value Vehicles

USAA has unveiled its second annual Best Value vehicles list, naming the top 2012 automobiles in 16 categories for consumers looking to get the most bang for their buck. To accompany this year’s list, parents of teen drivers can also check out the new Top 10 for Teens vehicle list that focuses on traits parents said they cared about most: reliability, safety and affordable insurance costs.

The 2012 Best Value List

Large Sedan: Dodge Charger
Midsize Sedan: Toyota Camry Hybrid
Small Sedan: Hyundai Elantra
Large Lux. Sedan: Hyundai Genesis
Midsize Luxury Sedan: Volvo S60
Large SUV: Chevrolet Traverse
Midsize SUV: Dodge Journey
Small SUV: Kia Shortage
Large Luxury SUV: Audi Q7
Midsize Luxury SUV: Lexus RX 450h
Large Pickup: Toyota Tundra 2WD
Small Pickup: Nissan Frontier
Sports: Ford Mustang
Coupe: Honda CR-Z (hybrid)
Wagon: Nissan Juke
Minivan: Dodge Caravan


Automobiles that make the list offer consumers the best financial value of all the vehicles USAA evaluates as part of a broader rating system called USAA Preferred. Quantitative data are used to evaluate the vehicles’ cost, safety and reliability, among other key factors. Nearly 80 cars, trucks and minivans are currently designated as USAA Preferred vehicles, and the Best Value list represents the vehicles at the top of each category. Compare cars from the 2011 list.

“Thirty percent of members who added a new model year vehicle to their USAA auto insurance policy in 2011 chose a USAA Preferred or Best Value vehicle,” says Steve Thompson, an assistant vice president with USAA. “The goal of the list is to help members identify vehicles that offer better safety ratings, lower insurance premium costs, higher fuel economy, better overall reliability and lower MSRP compared to other vehicles in the same category.”

Automotive expert Lauren Fix, The Car Coach®, notes that the average vehicle on the road today is 10 years old.

“As the economy improves, new car sales are expected to increase as consumers begin replacing their clunkers with new models,” says Fix. “Summer is a great time to get an excellent deal on a 2012 model, especially as used car costs remain nearly on par with new vehicles.”

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