Cars, Trucks, SUVs, and Minivans offering Best Bang for the Shrinking Buck

By Automotive Staff | November 07, 2008
Buyers have always been looking for new cars that provide the best “bang” for the buck. Obviously, you are concerned about getting the most value out of your purchase. But with the economy the way it is and the auto industry suffering what can only be called a major recession, buyers are even more cautious. has selected what it considers are the best “bang” for the buck cars in six categories. Here is what it says in each one:
  • Sedan: The Chevrolet Malibu. What? Not a Toyota Camry or Honda Accord? Say it isn't so! But apparently buyers will like the responsive engine and transmission; good fuel economy on the four-cylinder model; elegant interior, good road holding and its difference compared to its competition. Buyers may not like the fact that Malibu has no Bluetooth or screen-based navigation system (though, to Chevrolet's defense, it has Onstar).
  • Minivan: Dodge Grand Caravan. Again, another surprise, since the Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey currently dominate this shrinking segment. The judges must have been swayed by the Caravan's Satellite TV and two DVD screens and the V-6 engine with six speed automatic transmission. Let's see, though, how long interest lasts when they see the styling and plastic interior.
  • Environmentally Friendly: The Toyota Prius. No surprises here. Fuel economy, fuel economy, fuel economy!
  • Pickups: Nissan Frontier. Looks like the Ford F-150, once the king of this segment, has been replaced by another Japanese model.
  • SUVs/Wagons: Subaru Forester. All-wheel-drive coupled with car-like handling. However, we recommend sunglasses with all that silver plastic in the interior.
  • Coupe: Volkswagen GTI. This choice reveals the judges are car enthusiasts through and through. However, will buyers go for the bland exterior and high price?
What are your top six "best bang for your buck" autos?