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Consumer Reports Best Buy Cars 2013

CR launched the Green Choice rating to help people identify the most environmentally friendly cars, washers, and other products. CR also helped get new greenhouse gas rules for vehicles to reduce emissions and help consumers save money on fuel.

consumer reports best buy cars 2013

When you have to stick to a budget, buying a used car is the best way to get the biggest bang for your buck. Used cars can give you many of the same features that are available on newer models, but at a far lower price.

Midsized CarsSubaru Legacy 2013The Legacy is roomy, refined, and one of the best-riding sedans available. We got 26 mpg overall, impressive given the standard AWD. Look for a model with the optional EyeSight suite of advanced safety systems.

Volkswagen had a tough run early in the decade when it came to making reliable cars. In the case of the VW Tiguan, the SUV flunked the test in 2011 and 2013. For those four model years, Tiguan was far below average for reliability due to engine problems, electrical work, and power equipment. The 2012 model was only marginally better.

When looking for a used Subaru, you should check out its long-term reliability, safety scores, and resale value to get the best vehicle. iSeeCars analyzed over 12 million cars and narrowed down the best used models across all vehicle types.

The top models include the longest-lasting cars, hold their value the best, and have the highest average safety ratings from the National Highway Transit Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Consumer Reports and the IIHS say the best Subaru models under $20,000 are the Subaru Forester (2016 or newer), Subaru Outback (2013 or newer), Subaru Crosstrek (2018 or newer), Subaru Impreza (2014 or newer), and Subaru Legacy (2013 or newer).

The Ford Focus is a solid option for buying used cars. This sporty yet budget-friendly hatchback is a popular choice for first-time car buyers/owners. Although the Ford Focus is a best-seller, it has its fair share of reliability issues.

Common problems found on the 2013 Kia Optima include engine failures, the steering pulling, and paint peeling off the car. Overall, these problems are more severe than in other midsize cars from 2013, which makes ownership costs higher, too.

The entertainment technology is average for a midsize sedan from 2013. The stereo system does have nice standard features including Bluetooth and USB connectivity. Safety technology is worse than other midsize cars from 2013, with the only option being a rearview camera.

The latest Prius models have proven to be very economical and dependable cars thanks to their refined 1.8-liter 2ZR engine and robust electric motors. Some owners complain that the engine is too noisy and experts often remind us that the oil pumps sometimes break due to delayed oil changes, especially in 2010-2013 models.

Consumer Reports (CR) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) worked together to determine the best used cars for teenagers. These organizations narrowed it down to the 65 vehicles listed below. Each vehicle on the list, whether a sedan, minivan, or crossover, has modern safety features and a generally good track record when it comes to reliability and affordability.

Unfortunately, Tesla has tumbled on Consumer Reports' annual list of most-reliable carmakers, following a rocky year that included a corporate relocation led by CEO Elon Musk, viral reports of cars on fire, and other self-admitted quality control difficulties.

Early in the evolution of the auto industry direct manufacturer sales to consumers were not uncommon. At that time, production processes had not yet been standardized and industry sales volumes were low. Introduction by Ford of the assembly line technique early in the twentieth century enabled high-volume production and ushered in the era of mass-market sales in the United States. Ever since then manufacturers have sold cars through franchised dealerships.

Despite the differences in the design and production processes of PCs and autos, the computer industry's Dell Direct model can provide some insight into potential cost reductions, particularly with respect to inventories, from direct manufacturer sales of autos. The defining characteristic of the Dell Direct model is the virtual elimination of inventories. Although Dell modified its distribution system a few years ago, historically Dell had sold only directly to final consumers based on customized orders shipped to end users.(8) In the process Dell avoided the cost of carrying finished inventories. Unlike the build-to-order PC model, auto distribution is "make-to-stock," with cars sold through extensive franchised dealer networks. Dealer inventories can range from sixty to ninety days, a consequence of which are substantial carrying costs and negotiation of prices with consumers in order to keep inventory stocks manageable.

Perhaps the most obvious benefit from direct manufacturer sales would be greater customer satisfaction, as auto producers better match production with consumer preferences ranging from basic attributes on standard models to meeting individual specifications for customized cars. With better information about consumer demand, optimal inventory levels should fall, even short of full build-to-order capability by auto manufacturers. To the extent that there are cost savings from leaner inventories, a portion could be passed on to consumers as lower prices. The total value of new car inventory held by the 20,700 franchised new car dealerships in the United States near the end of 2008 was about $100 billion and the annual carrying cost of that inventory was estimated as $890 million.(9) These figures may provide an order-of-magnitude perspective of the savings potential from a reduction in inventories that might derive from direct manufacturer sales of autos.

The most comprehensive estimate of the savings in the vehicle order-to-delivery cycle from build-to-order, direct manufacturer sales is set out in a 2000 report by a Goldman Sachs analyst.(10) Based on an average vehicle price of $26,000, total cost savings in the order-to-delivery cycle were estimated as $2,225 or about 8.6%.(11) The components of those savings were as follows: $832 from improvement in matching supply with consumer demand; $575 from lower inventory; $387 from fewer dealerships; $381 from lower sales commissions and $50 from lower overall shipping costs, since fewer dealerships would reduce the number of distribution points. The Goldman Sachs report identified other possible build-to-order savings of about $1,000 per vehicle in product development, manufacturing flexibility and procurement and supply but the lion's share of the benefits were attributed to improvements in the order-to-delivery cycle. In a nutshell, the current auto industry make-to-stock sales model takes a lot of money, much of it tied up in inventories and devoted to discounting to clear lots of less popular vehicles, to try to sell cars that can come up short of what customers would really prefer.

Private challenges to state franchise laws thus far have not been successful in the courts. One case involved an Arizona law that, in part, prohibited manufacturers from marketing directly to consumers.(25) In another, Ford challenged a Texas statute that banned it from selling used cars from its website because Ford wasn't a dealership.(26) One observer familiar with state auto franchise laws said several years ago that "No matter how strong franchise laws look today, I think they are one rider away from being a non-factor."(27) Whether that prediction comes to pass will be determined by the political process, of which taxpayer-financed TARP funding is now a part. As a matter of economics, arguments for state bans on manufacturer direct sales of autos based on holdup and free-rider problems are not persuasive because competition among auto manufacturers gives each manufacturer the incentive to refrain from opportunistic behavior and to work with its dealers to resolve any free-rider problems. Just as Dell has altered its distribution model in the personal computer industry to better meet evolving consumer preferences, car customers would benefit from elimination of state bans on auto manufacturers' making direct sales to consumers.

17. To address competitive pressures from web-based buying services like Autobytel, GM launched its own website,, in 1999. Using that site, prospective customers can "configure" a vehicle and are then referred to local GM dealers to learn if such a vehicle is available in dealer inventories. Although GMBuypower gives consumers access to information on dealer cars in stock, it is not a build-to-order, direct manufacturer model since selection remains confined to inventories on dealer lots. A drawback is that customers can spend a lot of time configuring cars that aren't available at any dealership. See ZDNet Australia ("Online Auto Sales: Giant Car Wreck?" 4-3-2001).

Automobile of the Year. According to Automobile Magazine, the Model S was the best new car for 2013. The magazine's team of editors and writers said that the Model S "blew them all away."

And it recently rated the company's service experience as the best among carmakers, based on accumulated customer experience with getting their cars updated, fixed, or repaired by Tesla's company-owned service centers.

HRA worked with the California Department of Insurance to rewrite, update, and redesign five informational booklets for consumers, using health literacy best practices to improve readability and usability. The booklets cover topics of health insurance, auto insurance, earthquake insurance, safer driving for seniors, and annuities for seniors. 041b061a72


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