With new vehicle sales accelerating more than 8-percent in April alone and total sales on track this year to sell more than 16 million new vehicles, America's appetite for new wheels has revved up. And as buyers park themselves in a dealers showrooms, it is the combination of affordability, safety and reliability that often matter most ~ qualities that are difficult to judge simply by kicking the tires.
So for the third consecutive year, USAA (United Services Automobile Association) is helping consumers to determine which vehicle may be right for them by identifying each of the vehicles that provide the best value in their respective classes. The coveted list, which offers 16 categories of vehicles, provides consumers with specific manufacturer models that offer better safety ratings (must be a Top Safety Pick+ or Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety), lower Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) and insurance costs, higher fuel economy and better overall reliability than other vehicles within the same category. Seven different manufacturers are represented on this years Best Value vehicles list, with the following specific makes and models leading their category:
Large Sedan: Dodge Charger
Midsize Sedan: Toyota Camry
Small Sedan: Toyota Prius
Large Luxury Sedan: Volvo S80
Midsize Luxury Sedan: Acura MDX
Large SUV: Chevrolet Traverse
Midsize SUV: Toyota Highlander
Small SUV: Mazda CX-5
Midsize Luxury SUV: Lincoln MKZ
Coupe: Chevy Spark
Wagon: Mazda3 Hatchback
Minivan: Honda Odyssey
Also for the third consecutive year, USAA has also ranked the Top Ten Vehicles for Teens! Only vehicles with an MSRP under $26,000 and an IIHS Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick award were considered for the list. Then they were ranked by what parents say are the three most important attributes they consider when buying vehicle for their teens - reliability, safety and insurance costs. The vehicles that made the top 10 are:
Honda Civic Sedan
Honda Civic Coupe
The author of the hugely popular books Lauren's Guide to Loving Your Car, The Performance Tire and Wheel Handbook, and Driving Ambitions: A Complete Guide to Amateur Auto Racing and the automotive editor for YourLifeMagazine.com, The Car Coach Lauren Fix has inspired millions of people throughout the nation with her highly credible automotive advice on everything from automotive safety and maintenance to purchasing the vehicle that is best for you! In fact, The Car Coach toured with O Magazines Oprah's 2005 Live Your Best Life Tour presenting motivational inspiration, consumer information, and automotive advice. Lauren currently is The Weather Channel's auto expert and is a columnist for AOL Autos and Auto Blog called the Car Coach. In addition, Lauren hosts a regular radio segment on USA Radio Network.
The former host and automotive expert for Talk 2 DIY Automotive on the DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Network whose current two syndicated segment's The Car Coach and His Turn-Her Turn cover car care tips and care reviews from the male and female perspective (respectively), The Car Coach has been featured on Oprah, The View, The Today Show, The Early Show, 20/20, FOX News Channel, CNN, HLN, MSNBC, ESPN, The Weather Channel, TBS Makeover and a Movie, Discovery, Inside Edition, Speed, B. Smith Style, TBS, and National Public Radio. In addition, The Car Coach toured with O Magazines Oprah's 2005 Live Your Best Life Tour presenting motivational inspiration, consumer information, and automotive advice.
The previous editor-in-chief for CarZen.com, The Car Coach has also contributed to such prestigious publications as Woman's World, First for Women, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Prevention, USA Today, Marie Claire, Self, In Touch Weekly, Esquire, Seventeen, Hot Rod, Car Craft, Truck Trend, and Motor Trend. Listed in The Yearbook of Experts, Authorities, and Spokespersons since 1998, The Car Coach has been inducted into the National Women and Transportation Hall of Fame and received numerous awards such as Automotive Woman of the Year, 2010 Woman of Distinction - Entrepreneur, Top 25 Women Who Mean Business Award, International Automotive Media Award-Public Service, and Car Care Council Communications Award.
A member of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) since 1982, Lauren is an ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) certified technician. Lauren inherited her love of all things automotive from her father who owned a brake remanufacturing business and many cars. Lauren has been fixing, restoring, and racing cars since the age of 10 and has been advising drivers for almost all of her life.
For much more information on The Car Coach, please log onto her official website www.laurenfix.com.