10 Best Values in New Car Models, 2013
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10 Best Values in New Car Models, 2013

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Each year, new and redesigned models breathe fresh life into the auto market. For our 2013 model year rankings, Kiplinger's includes a record number of vehicles -- 1,693 to be exact -- thanks to a plethora of new vehicle introductions and new trim levels of existing vehicles.

Automakers expanded their line-ups as the economy recovered and more buyers made their way back into showrooms. The midsize-vehicle class is one of the hottest categories, with an outsize share of redesigns and more hybrids and plug-ins joining their gas-engine siblings.

Winners are chosen based on performance, value and safety, plus our own driving impressions. NOTE: There were no new truck-based SUVs or minivans this year.

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10 Best Values in New Car Models, 2013 | Slide 2 of 11

Cars Under $20,000: Hyundai Elantra GT

Hyundai

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Sticker price: $19,170 (manual)

Invoice price: $18,515

TrueCar national average price: $18,726

Resale value: 3-year: 45%; 5-year: 31%

MPG: City: 26; Hwy: 37

The stylish five-door Elantra GT takes on the compact competition. No econobox here: Standard features include heated front seats, cooled glove box, seven airbags and an extra outlet for plugging in gear. The peppy 1.8-liter engine has stellar fuel economy.

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10 Best Values in New Car Models, 2013 | Slide 3 of 11

Cars $20,000-$25,000: Ford Fusion

Ford

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Sticker price: $22,495 (S)

Invoice price: $21,030

TrueCar national average price: $20,962

Resale value: 3-year: 58%; 5-year: 40%

MPG: City: 22; Hwy: 34

With the most daring redesign in the midsize segment since the Hyundai Sonata, the Fusion gets an aggressive mug and a sleek new interior. It features generous passenger space and superb handling. Two optional EcoBoost engines give you the choice of more power or better fuel efficiency.

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10 Best Values in New Car Models, 2013 | Slide 4 of 11

Cars $25,000-$30,000: Nissan Altima

Nissan

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Sticker price: $26,490 (3.5 S)

Invoice price: $24,286

TrueCar national average price: $25,520

Resale value: 3-year: 52%; 5-year: 38%

MPG: City: 22; Hwy: 31

The latest iteration of the Altima has both brains and brawn. Smart features include an "easy fill" tire alert, hands-free text messaging and the ergonomically advanced, comfortable and supportive "zero gravity" front seats. The 3.5-liter V6 puts out 270 horses, but fuel economy is still respectable.

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10 Best Values in New Car Models, 2013 | Slide 5 of 11

Cars $30,000-$40,000: Honda Accord

Honda

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Sticker price: $30,860 (EX-L V6)

Invoice price: $28,292

TrueCar national average price: $30,031

Resale value: 3-year: 51%; 5-year: 40%

MPG: City: 21; Hwy: 34

The ninth-generation Accord celebrates its 30th anniversary of being made in the U.S.A. with a new look that's been compared with the BMW 3 series. Honda shrank the exterior a little but expanded rear legroom and cargo space. Pandora Internet radio, text messaging and a rearview camera come standard.

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10 Best Values in New Car Models, 2013 | Slide 6 of 11

Cars $40,000-$50,000: Lexus GS 350

Lexus

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Sticker price: $47,795 (RWD)

Invoice price: $44,512

TrueCar national average price: $45,874

Resale value: 3-year: 53%; 5-year: 38%

MPG: City: 19; Hwy: 28

Sporty outside and sleek inside, the all-new GS is changing the face of the luxurious but staid Lexus line. Crisp handling and 306 horsepower combine beautifully. Ten airbags are standard, and options include a head-up display (transparent type displayed on the windshield ), night-vision system for the driver and "lane keep assist" to prevent straying.

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10 Best Values in New Car Models, 2013 | Slide 7 of 11

Cars $50,000 and Over: Cadillac XTS

Cadillac

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Sticker price: $54,505 (Premium FWD)

Invoice price: $51,558

TrueCar national average price: $53,552

Resale value: 3-year: 46%; 5-year: 31%

MPG: City: 17; Hwy: 28

Caddy's XTS puts other luxury carmakers on notice with its combination of striking looks, superb ride and handling, and stellar safety. The CUE touch-screen infotainment system is standard on all models, as is magnetic ride control for a more responsive suspension and more trunk space than competitors from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

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10 Best Values in New Car Models, 2013 | Slide 8 of 11

Sports Cars: BMW M5

BMW

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Sticker price: $92,095

Invoice price: $84,905

TrueCar national average price: $90,676

Resale value: 3-year: 45%; 5-year: 30%

MPG: City: 14; Hwy: 20

The fifth-generation M5 isn't just a souped-up 5 series. It features high-performance brakes, a seven-speed double-clutch transmission and an M-specific chassis with a suspension that can be adapted from comfort to two stiffer, sportier settings at the touch of a button. A new twin turbo V8 puts out a pin-you-to-your-seat 560 horsepower.

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10 Best Values in New Car Models, 2013 | Slide 9 of 11

Wagons: Ford C-Max

Ford

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Sticker price: $25,995 (SE)

Invoice price: $24,294

TrueCar national average price: $24,362

Resale value: 3-year: 61%; 5-year: 44%

MPG: City: 47; Hwy: 47

Families yearning for a stylish "green" wagon have hit the jackpot. Ford's C-Max hybrid boasts high mpg, plenty of space and a peppy engine. Brake coaching tells you how much energy you recapture each time you brake. A hands-free liftgate -- just kick your foot under the bumper -- is optional.

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10 Best Values in New Car Models, 2013 | Slide 10 of 11

Small Crossovers: Ford Escape

Ford

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Sticker price: $25,895 (SE FWD)

Invoice price: $24,203

TrueCar national average price: $25,096

Resale value: 3-year: 50%; 5-year: 36%

MPG: City: 23; Hwy: 33

This small crossover makes your life easy. The redesigned Escape saves money at the pump with better fuel economy than the previous generation. Plus, it's filled with clever details, such as easy fold-flat rear seats, a voice-activated SYNC system for digital devices and optional parallel-park assist.

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10 Best Values in New Car Models, 2013 | Slide 11 of 11

Midsize and Large Crossovers: Hyundai Santa Fe Sport

Hyundai

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Sticker price: $28,525 (2.0T FWD)

Invoice price: $27,127

TrueCar national average price: $27,434

Resale value: 3-year: 43%; 5-year: 31%

MPG: City: 20; Hwy: 27

Transport five in style with the slightly downsized sibling of the Hyundai Santa Fe, which is being redesigned for 2013. The 2.0-liter turbocharged direct-injection engine puts out 264 horses, but with the help of a six-speed transmission, the Santa Fe Sport is one of the most fuel-efficient midsize SUVs on the road. Reclining rear seats keep the second row happy, and drivers get a knee airbag.

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