The Lexus RX, GMC Yukon, and Audi A3 TDI were among the vehicles that IntelliChoice has named to its 2013 Best Bets list. General Motors and Toyota vehicles account for 10 of the 15 models on the list, which covers lowest cost of ownership in various classes for 2013 model year vehicles.
The vehicles were evaluated against other 2013 models already on sale in various segments, factoring in depreciation, fuel costs, financing, insurance, maintenance and repairs, plus government fees over a five-year period. IntelliChoice analyzed data from automakers, government agencies, and third-party sources to rank the vehicles. The 2013 Best Bets list will be updated at the end of the year after the remaining 2013 model year vehicles have been released. Overall, IntelliChoice will evaluate more than 1800 model, makes, and trim levels for consideration in Best Overall Value of the Year awards, which are given in January.
“As manufacturers continue to move up the release dates for some new model year vehicles, we feel it is important to provide consumers with a mid-year update of our cost of ownership analysis,” said Eric Anderson, ownership cost database supervisor at IntelliChoice. “Initial purchase price is an important factor, but there are many other data points to consider when evaluating total cost of ownership over several years.”
For those who don’t want an especially expensive new vehicle, several of IntelliChoice’s 2013 Best Bets carry a base price at or below $40,000 including the Acura RDX, Audi A3 TDI, Buick LaCrosse, Chevrolet Avalanche, Chevrolet Tahoe, Lexus RX 350, and Subaru Outback 2.5i.
UPDATE: IntelliChoice has provided more information on how the Best Bets awards are organized. Since not every 2013 model year vehicle is out yet, the Best Bets may include multiple awards for one segment and none for another depending on whether any vehicle in that class has strong enough ownership costs. We’re told the biggest surprise for this year’s list was the Acura RDX. Thanks to its redesign — and an engine change — the revised crossover earned a place on the list, whereas it received a Below Average rating for the 2012 model. For those wondering about the Chevrolet Avalanche, the truck’s discontinuation does factor into the site’s decision, but its ratings remain high enough to again fill a space on the list.
Here are IntelliChoice’s 15 choices on the preliminary Best Bets list for 2013 models:
Audi A3 TDI
Buick LaCrosse eAssist
GMC Yukon XL 1500
Lexus GX 460
Lexus LX 570
Lexus RX 350
Lexus RX 450h
Subaru Outback 2.5i
Toyota Land Cruiser