Consumer Reports released their best/worst lists this week and the Toyota Prius found itself back at the top of the “Best Value” for cars. Last year, the Toyota Prius stole the best value crown from the Honda Fit, who dominated the category from 2009 to 2012. The Fit came in second this year in the compact car division and the Volkswagen Beetle 2.5L finished last in the division.
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What makes the Prius such a great value? Well for starters the price. A new Prius (not the plug-in model) ranges from $24,200 – $30,005. Though that cost may not seem particularly low, buyers should consider the return on value they are getting at that price.
The 2014 Toyota Prius gets 44 mpg overall and 55 mpg on the highway. It utilizes electric power up to 25 mph more effectively than any other vehicle tested by Consumer Reports. Over a five year period with that kind of fuel economy, owners are spending only 47 cents per mile. That is a great deal, especially when compared with the worst value car of 2014, the Nissan Armada. The worst value Armada will cost its owners $1.20 per mile. That is quite a bit of savings for Prius owners.
“The Prius’ 44 MPG overall is the best fuel economy for any non-plug-in car that Consumer Reports has tested,” says Rik Paul, Consumer Reports automotive editor. “Though it is not particularly cheap to buy, the Prius’ depreciation is so low that it costs less to own over the first five years than its initial MSRP. We call that a bargain.”
The Toyota Prius does come as a plug-in model, but it has received lackluster ratings. The Chevy Volt has reigned supreme in the plug-in category for cars.Even with a $2000 price drop for the more expensive Prius plug-in, owners will only be getting 12 miles of range running on electricity. It then functions as a normal 2014 Prius, returning to the 50 mpg fuel efficiency. While the price drop helps the overall value of the Prius plug-in, consumers get a cheaper car with basically the same features in the standard 2014 Toyota Prius.