5 (Really) Cost-Effective Vehicles


Washington DC August 26, 2008; The AIADA newsletter reported that surprisingly, some fuel efficient vehicles aren't the most economical choices out there. To help consumers make smart choices, CNN has teamed up with Intellichoice.com, a website that specializes in tracking auto ownership costs, to find the most fuel-efficient vehicles in various classes, then figure out which of those are really the most cost-effective once total value and ownership costs are factored in.

Only cars that delivered at least 10 percent better fuel economy than the average vehicle in their class were considered. In the end, the most fuel-efficient car isn't always the most cost effective to own. But in many cases, it actually is, as rising gas prices have made fuel costs a bigger factor in auto ownership.

For example, the most cost-effective midsized car is the Toyota Prius.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

You'd think fuel economy alone would give the Prius the win here. But the Prius's retention value is an even bigger factor.

The most effective small crossover is the Mazda Tribute Hybrid. At five years of age, the hard to find Tribute is expected to hold about 55 percent of its original value.

Want to see more? Click Here for a slideshow of the five most cost-effective vehicles.

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