Value may be a relative thing, depending on what the parameters are. When it comes to getting the best value in vehicles, however, most consumers think they’re pretty savvy about what goes into the equation. Typical considerations include what a car costs, maintenance, insurance, repairs, fees and taxes. What are the best value vehicles in America? In its annual report, Vincentric lists their top picks in various categories.

How Vincentric Defines Value

First, it’s instructive to learn how Vincentric defines the concept of value with respect to vehicles. The company looks at the cost of ownership for over 3,100 vehicle configurations using the combination of costs for: depreciation, insurance, repairs, maintenance, fuel, finance, state fees and taxes, and opportunity costs. This gives a “measured” cost of ownership per vehicle.

Next, vehicles are grouped in segments and a vehicle cost is determined using a statistical model correlating price and cost of ownership for vehicles in that segment.

Finally, the difference between the expected cost and measured cost of ownership is calculated. A vehicle with the greatest percentage below the expected cost of ownership winds up being the best value in the segment.

Best Value Awards by Segment

Here we take a look at the passenger cars deemed Best Value Award winners in Vincentric’s 2015 calculations.

Passenger Cars

Micro – 2015 Scion iQ With the lowest operating costs in its class, 2.2 percent below expected, the 2015 Scion iQ wins the Best Value Award in the Micro category of cars. This marks the Scion iQ’s fourth consecutive win.

Subcompact – 2015 Hyundai Veloster – In the subcompact passenger car category, the clear winner is the 2015 Hyundai Veloster, earning its third consecutive win. The Veloster triumphed other contenders on the strength of its highest resale value in the class as well as its 7.3 percent lower than expected five-year ownership costs.

Compact Coupe – 2015 BMW 2-Series – In its first-ever win in the compact coupe category, the 2015 BMW 2-Series earns the accolade due to its 3.2 percent below expected ownership costs over five years and highest resale value in its class.

Compact Hatchback – 2015 Mazda Mazda3 – With the lowest fuel and operating costs in its class, the 2015 Mazda Mazda3 beats the competition to emerge as the best value in compact hatchbacks. Five-year ownership costs are 4 percent lower than expected.

Compact Sedan – 2015 Mazda Mazda3 – Snagging its first-ever win in the compact sedan segment, the 2015 Mazda Mazda3 has five-year operating costs at 5.5 percent lower than expected and also boasts the lowest fuel costs in its class.

Compact Hybrid – 2015 Toyota Prius v – This is the first Vincentric award for the 2015 Toyota Prius v. The compact hybrid makes the grade due to ownership costs determined to be 5.3 percent below expected and the highest resale value in its class.

Premium Compact Sedan – 2015 Audi S3 – Audi scores its first Vincentric Best Value Award for the 2015 Audi S3, whose operating costs are 6.8 percent below expected.

Premium Compact Hybrid – 2015 Infiniti Q50 Hybrid – In a newly-added category of premium compact hybrid, the 2015 Infiniti Q50 Hybrid shines with 1.1 percent lower than expected operating costs.

Electric/Plug-In Hybrid – 2015 Kia Soul EV – With a 9.3 percent below expected five-year operating cost, the 2015 Kia Soul EV wins its first-ever Vincentric Best Value Award in the electric/plug-in hybrid category.

Midsize Coupe – 2015 Honda AccordIn the midsize coupe category, the 2015 Honda Accord coupe boasts three very compelling reasons to win Best Value Award: lowest fuel costs, lowest maintenance costs and lowest total cost of ownership (6.5 percent lower than expected).

Premium Midsize Coupe – 2015 Jaguar F-Type – The 2015 Jaguar F-Type deserves its first-ever top-tier ranking as premium midsize coupe, thanks, in large part, to total ownership costs at 7.7 percent lower than expected.

Midsize Sedan – 2015 Honda Accord – For the second year in a row the Honda Accord sedan earns Vincentric’s Best Value Award in the midsize sedan category. The 2015 Honda Accord has total ownership costs 5.7 percent lower than expected.

Midsize Sedan Hybrid – 2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid – With the highest resale value in its class and the lowest total cost of ownership (4.3 percent below expected), the 2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid earns the Vincentric Best Value Award in midsize sedan hybrid category for the 5th consecutive year.

Premium Midsize Sedan – 2015 Audi A7 TDI – Highest resale value supports the first-place win of the 2015 Audi A7 TDI in premium midsize sedan category. Total ownership costs are also 8.5 percent below expected.

Premium Midsize Sedan Hybrid – 2015 Lexus ES 300h – For the third consecutive year the Lexus ES 300h snags the Best Value Award for premium midsize sedan hybrid. The 2015 Lexus ES 300h has the lowest total ownership costs (8.33 percent below expected) and the highest resale value in its class.

Large Sedan – 2015 Toyota AvalonIn the category of large sedans, the 2015 Toyota Avalon is the hands-down winner, thanks to the lowest fuel costs in its class and total ownership costs 7.9 percent below expected. This is the 6th consecutive win for the Toyota Avalon.

Premium Large Sedan – 2015 Buick LaCrosseThe 2015 Buick LaCrosse earned Vincentric’s Best Value Award in the premium large sedan category on the strength of the lowest fuel costs in its class and lowest total ownership costs (7.9 percent below expected). This is the first Vincentric Best Value Award for the Buick LaCrosse.

Convertible – 2015 Mini Cooper – Cute and fun, the 2015 Mini Cooper also boasts Best Value Award in the convertible category. This is the Mini Cooper’s third award. Total ownership costs are 3.8 percent below expected.

Premium Convertible – 2015 Jaguar F-Type – Earning Best Value Award in the premium convertible category, the 2015 Jaguar F-Type convertible scores its first-ever win. The F-Type convertible achieves this distinction supported by high resale values and total ownership costs 5.1 percent lower than expected.

Sports Car – 2015 Ford MustangFor the 6th consecutive year, a Ford Mustang is the number one ranked Best Value for sports car. The 2015 Ford Mustang takes the prize due to lowest maintenance, fuel and total ownership costs in its class. Five-year total ownership costs are 4.0 percent below expected.

Premium Sports Car – 2015 Audi TTAs a premium sports car, the 2015 Audi TT has another claim to fame: 2015 Vincentric Best Value Award winner. This is the Audi TT’s second win and this year it’s due to the lowest total ownership costs (4.9 percent below expected) and lowest fuel costs in its class.

Wagon – 2015.5 Volvo XC70With a 5.2 percent lower than expected total ownership cost, the 2015.5 Volvo XC70 earns Best Value Award in the wagon category. This year’s accolade marks the second win for the Volvo XC70.

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