Toyota Prius tops Consumer Reports’ Best New-Car Value ranking

Article by Anita Panait, on December 19, 2013

The Toyota Prius topped the Consumer Reports’ Best New-Car Value analysis for the second straight year. The analysis, which ranks over 200 vehicles on performance, reliability and costs, has the Prius on top after the Toyota unit logged an estimated five-year cost of 47 cents per mile. Rik Paul, Consumer Reports’ automotive editor, said in a statement, that Prius’ 44 mpg overall is the best fuel economy of any non-plug-in car the magazine has tested.

He remarked that while the Prius is not cheap to buy, its depreciation is so low that “it costs less to own over the first five years than its initial MSRP.” Sitting at the bottom of the ranking is the Nissan Armada, which costs consumers $1.20 per mile over five years.

The large SUV also returns 13 mpg and scored poorly in Consumer Report’s annual reliability survey. The rankings are based on their performance in Consumer Reports’ road-tests; on its predicted-reliability score from the latest Annual Auto Survey; and on a score based on depreciation, fuel, insurance premiums, maintenance, sales tax and repairs costs over five years.

The rankings covered 10 vehicle categories -- compact/subcompact, mid-sized, large, luxury, sports/convertibles, wagons/minivans, small SUVs, mid-sized SUVs, luxury/large SUVs and pickups. The Prius topped the compact/subcompact category as well as the overall ranking. Toyota and Lexus models dominated three categories, while Subaru and Mazda models topped in two segments.

In creating the all-new Prius, aerodynamic performance was a critical factor. The objective was to make a majestic silhouette, while not undermining function. Designers safeguarded the dynamic triangle form of the present model - immediately distinguishable as a Toyota Prius - yet made changes to the general profile, pillar position and angle.

The front pillar, stretched out forward, polishes the performance-focusing, molded form.

The general stature of the Toyota Prius is still the same, yet the roof outline is changed by slightly moving the top of the roof 3.9 inches to the rear. This showcases the wedge shape, and furthermore provides an improved rear headroom and enhanced aerodynamics.

The design of the all-new Toyota Prius' front and rear corners are crisp, energetic and aerodynamic. Robust side character lines, emerging from front to rear, delineate the coated geometric shape. Seen from the rear, broader rear treads give a strong, rock-solid rooted position.

Dimensionally, the all-new Toyota Prius bears the same wheelbase as the present generation. Total length is somewhat increased by 0.6 inches, in part by placing the front cowl forward.

World's Lowest Cd

The all-new Prius got more wind tunnel hours of testing than any other Toyota in history, which resulted in the cleanest aerodynamic outline of any mass-produced car on the globe. By concentrating on the form of the body, underfloor, wheelhouse liner and shape of the wheels, the designers of the all-new Toyota Prius diminished the coefficient of drag (Cd) value to 0.25, contrasted with 0.26 for the past model. The airflow beneath the vehicle was studied broadly. Engineers rolled out improvements to the shape of the fender liner, front surface of the underfloor, and included a fin at the rear floor cover to increase linear stability.

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