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U.S. News Best Car for the Money Awards Not Inspiring

U.S. News Cars has released its third annual Best Car for the Money awards and it is not an inspiring list for car enthusiasts. Maybe two of the cars will get your motor running, in spite of claims this list of vehicles earns highest marks for overall value and appeal in their categories.

Working with (a TorqueNews favorite), U.S. News Cars picked 18 cars, trucks, crossovers and trucks. The complete list is available at its website. More than 250 vehicles were evaluated based on U.S. News Car Rankings and cost analysis

The winners of the 2011 Best Car for the Money awards are listed below with some additional TorqueNews comment thrown in for free:

  • Sub compact Cars: Ford Fiesta – this is the car that could get Americans buying sub-compacts again. Then again, probably not.
  • Compact Cars: Honda Civic – this refers to the model currently out and it’s an outdated yawner. Competitive pricing with the redesigned Civic is a better bet.
  • Hatchbacks: Honda Fit – a category most Americans wrongly overlook. This is actually a better compact car than the Civic in our opinion.
  • Midsize Cars: Chevrolet Malibu – There are a lot better looking midsize cars on the market, such as the Hyundai Sonata, which makes it puzzling how the Malibu could win.
  • Family Sedans: Ford Taurus – news flash: most families can’t afford this sedan except in its base trim level, when it’s not all that great.
  • Upscale Compact Cars: Volkswagen GTI – no quibble here
  • Upscale Sedans: Buick Regal – Buick is really getting back to its upscale roots and the Regal appears to be a winner. Somewhat confusingly the editors suggest looking at the Sonata as an alternative, yet the Malibu is best midsize car.
  • Hybrid Cars: Toyota Prius – no arguing with the king, we guess. Longevity counts for something.
  • Sports Cars: Mazda MX - 5 Miata – this has to be a pricing win because the Camaro comes to mind before the Miata.
  • Compact Crossover/SUVs: Mitsubishi Outlander Sport – good luck finding a Mitsubishi dealer that is convenient.
  • Midsize Crossover/SUVs: Chevrolet Traverse – tough to be snarky about a product we know nothing about.
  • Full Size SUVS: Chevrolet Tahoe – Not a lot of competition in this class that can best the Tahoe for price.
  • Luxury Compact Crossover/SUVs: Infiniti EX35 – Infiniti really has this segment pegged. BMW and Audi just can’t compete. See, we can be nice sometimes (unless you own an Audi or BMW).
  • Luxury Midsize Crossover/SUVs: Lexus RX 350 – Lexus gets the nod here more for reliability than styling or driveability.
  • Minivans: Kia Sedona – Kia and Mazda with its mini-minivan the Mazda5, make the only two minivans that average Americans can afford. Have you looked at the cost of a Honda Odyssey?
  • Wagons: Hyundai Elantra Touring – everybody says collectively: “Hyundai makes a wagon?” Yep – and it’s pretty darn good.
  • Compact Pickup Trucks: Suzuki Equator – possibly the last company in the United States people would associate with pickups.
  • Fullsize Pickup Trucks: Chevrolet Silverado 1500 – there are some pickup truck owners with Blue Ovals on their bumpers who might disagree.

So, there you have the U.S. News Cars third annual Best Car for the Money awards. Let us know if you agree or disagree with the choices.