Best New Car Values 2011: Best in Class
Slide Show

Best New Car Values 2011: Best in Class

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The Kiplinger Best in Class winners top our rankings for performance, value and safety in each of our 11 categories -- and get high marks for driving impressions during our own road tests. Plus, all 11 Best in Class winners have earned Best in Class or Best New Model plaudits in previous model years. The slide show begins with the navigation bar to your right:
Data comes from Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com (new vehicle data from 12/28/10, resale values from January/February 2011 Kelley Blue Book® Residual Value Guide); Vincentric (service and insurance costs); and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (Top Safety Picks). Fair Purchase Price, also supplied by Kelley Blue book, is based on actual new vehicle transactions across the country.
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Best New Car Values 2011: Best in Class | Slide 2 of 12

Best in Class: Under $20,000

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2011 Volkswagen Golf
Sticker price: $18,735 (2dr, manual)
Invoice price: $18,017
Fair Purchase Price: $18,454
Five-year service cost: $3,402
One-year insurance cost: $1,124
Resale value after 3 years: 52%; 5 years: 34%
MPG city: 23; highway: 33

Winning this category’s Best in Class award for the second year in a row, Volkswagen’s Golf features classic German driving dynamics at an easy-to-take price. Redesigned for 2010, the Golf boasts plenty of power, high resale values and a full complement of standard safety features. The four-door is an IIHS top safety pick.
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Best New Car Values 2011: Best in Class | Slide 3 of 12

Best in Class: $20,000-$25,000

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2011 Toyota Prius
Sticker price: $23,810 (Prius II)
Invoice price: $22,427
Fair Purchase Price: $23,572
Five-year service cost: $3,454
One-year insurance cost: $1,133
Resale value after 3 years: NA; 5 years: NA
MPG city: 51; highway: 48

A Best New Model winner in 2010, Prius tops the competition with class-leading fuel economy, loads of cargo room, and low service and insurance costs. Toyota just introduced a wagon to the Prius family for the 2012 model year, and a plug-in version is on the way, too.
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Best New Car Values 2011: Best in Class | Slide 4 of 12

Best in Class: $25,000-$30,000

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2011 Honda Accord
Sticker price: $27,830 (EX V6 sedan)
Invoice price: $25,295
Fair Purchase Price: $27,830
Five-year service cost: $3,793
One-year insurance cost: $1,172
Resale value after 3 years: 52%; 5 years: 35%
MPG city: 20; highway: 30

Driving away with Best in Class for the fourth year in a row, Honda’s best-seller is renowned for reliability. The V6 is powerful -- it puts out 271 horses -- yet thrifty. The Accord features ample interior space and a comfy ride in addition to a full complement of standard safety equipment.
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Best New Car Values 2011: Best in Class | Slide 5 of 12

Best in Class: $30,000-$45,000

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2011 BMW 335d
Sticker price: $44,825
Invoice price: $41,310
Fair Purchase Price: $43,928
Five-year service cost: $4,371
One-year insurance cost: $1,656
Resale value after 3 years: 58%; 5 years: 35%
MPG city: 23; highway: 36

Taking the title for the second year, BMW 335d delivers top-notch resale values and sporty driving dynamics combined with serious torque to send you speeding off the line. It also gets nearly 30% better fuel economy on the highway than the gas-engine 335i. It was Kiplinger’s pick for Best All-Around Car in the latest Best List, too.
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Best New Car Values 2011: Best in Class | Slide 6 of 12

Best in Class: Over $45,000

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2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
Sticker price: $51,775 (E350 BlueTEC sedan)
Invoice price: $48,212
Fair Purchase Price: $50,740
Five-year service cost: NA
One-year insurance cost: NA
Resale value after 3 years: 53%; 5 years: 32%
MPG city: 22; highway: 33

Redesigned last year, the ninth-generation E sedan only gets better with a turbocharged diesel engine. The 3.0-liter V6 puts out 210 horses and develops 400 pound-feet of torque—numbers guaranteed to blow your hair back. Plus, the BlueTEC model pushes fuel economy to 33 mpg on the highway to win Most Fuel-Efficient honors.
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Best New Car Values 2011: Best in Class | Slide 7 of 12

Best in Class: Sports

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2011 Porsche Boxster
Sticker price: $62,150 (Spyder)
Invoice price: $55,850
Fair Purchase Price: NA
Five-year service cost: NA
One-year insurance cost: NA
Resale value after 3 years: NA; 5 years: NA
MPG city: 19; highway: 27

After a two-year hiatus, the Boxster once again tops its Porsche brethren (Cayman won last year, and the 911 Carerra the year before that). The Spyder trim is new for the two-seat convertible -- it’s the lightest Porsche on the road and has more power and better fuel economy than the Boxster S trim. But incredible handling and a wallet-friendly price (for a Porsche) are all vintage Boxster.
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Best New Car Values 2011: Best in Class | Slide 8 of 12

Best in Class: Small Crossovers

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2011 Subaru Forester
Sticker price: $27,720 (2.5XT Premium)
Invoice price: $26,041
Fair Purchase Price: $27,166
Five-year service cost: $5,034
One-year insurance cost: $1,171
Resale value after 3 years: 57%; 5 years: 36%
MPG city: 19; Highway: 24

Kiplinger’s 2009 Best New Crossover returns to win Best in Class, boasting agile handling, high resale values, loads of cargo space and an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick. In fact, Subaru is the only nameplate that has earned a Top Safety pick for all its models.
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Best New Car Values 2011: Best in Class | Slide 9 of 12

Best in Class: Large and Midsize Crossovers

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2011 Mazda CX-9
Sticker price: $29,930 (Sport)
Invoice price: $27,778
Fair Purchase Price: $29,481
Five-year service cost: $4,330
One-year insurance cost: $1,143
Resale value after 3 years: NA; 5 years: NA
MPG city: 17; Highway: 24

The biggest of Mazda’s bunch, the seven-seat CX-9 rises to the top again (it won Best in Class plaudits in 2009). The 2011 has more power, more rear legroom and even more cargo space than class standouts Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander, and it comes with three years of roadside assistance.
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Best New Car Values 2011: Best in Class | Slide 10 of 12

Best in Class: Truck-based SUVs

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2011 Chevrolet Suburban
Sticker price: $41,875 (1500 LS)
Invoice price: $39,010
Fair Purchase Price: $40,619
Five-year service cost: $3,756
One-year insurance cost: $1,129
Resale value after 3 years: NA; 5 years: NA
MPG city: 15; highway: 21

Suburban’s low service and insurance costs and a reasonable start price for a hauler that seats nine earns it top honors. The 5.3-liter V8 puts out plenty of power and has the lowest annual fuel cost for a V8 in the segment. Cargo space is a whopping 90 cubic feet. Like several of the winners list here, it’s also one of Kiplinger’s 10 Best Cars of the Past Decade.
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Best New Car Values 2011: Best in Class | Slide 11 of 12

Best in Class: Minivans

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2011 Honda Odyssey
Sticker price: $28,580 (LX)
Invoice price: $25,976
Fair Purchase Price: $28,580
Five-year service cost: $3,995
One-year insurance cost: $960
Resale value after 3 years: 54%; 5 years: 34%
MPG city: 18; highway: 27

Redesigned for 2011, Odyssey takes back the throne it surrendered to the Toyota Sienna in 2010. With class-leading resale values and fuel-efficiency, plus the lowest insurance cost among minivans, there’s not much this ride can’t handle—including entertaining five passengers with a nine-inch rear-seat entertainment screen (available on EX-L and standard on Touring).
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Best New Car Values 2011: Best in Class | Slide 12 of 12

Best in Class: Wagons

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2011 Subaru Outback
Sticker price: $29,220 (2.5i Limited)
Invoice price: $27,455
Fair Purchase Price: $29,220
Five-year service cost: $4,752
One-year insurance cost: $1,076
Resale value after 3 years: 60%; 5 years: 38%
MPG city: 22; highway: 29

Stylish design, strong resale values and heaps of utility propel this all-wheel-drive wagon to the top for the second year in a row (it won Best New Wagon as well as Best in Class in 2010). The 2.5-liter four-cylinder is powerful without pushing down fuel economy -- it gets 29 miles per gallon on the highway. Cargo space is a roomy 34 cubic feet, matched among wagons only by the more expensive Audi A6.
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