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Consumers Digest’s 2014 Automotive Best Buys

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What do you get when you combine 52 years of commitment to the consumer, scrutiny of 12 automobile design and performance characteristics, and 137 combined years of behind-the-wheel auto know-how? Consumers Digest’s Automotive Best Buy recommendations for the 2014 model year, that’s what. That means 45 recommended vehicles (across 12 classes of automobiles) that deliver the best value for the money. It means evaluation of specific vehicle attributes; analysis by and feedback from six longtime automotive journalists; answers to questions that you would pose to dealers and salespeople yourself.

What don’t you get? You don’t get dated, often inappropriate recommendations of vehicles that are based solely on prior model-year surveys. You don’t get reviews by amateurs. You don’t get recommendations that are rooted in bias.

The editors of Consumers Digest are proud of the stringent nature of the publication’s process and evaluation across dozens of categories, in general. The publication’s research and reporting on the automotive sector is no exception. This includes constant scrutiny of the automotive marketplace to identify shifts in vehicle production and in consumer demand, to ensure that shopper's needs are best met.

As for the analysis and reviews that we provide: You can expect first-hand, authoritative insight that drills down to the specifics that pertain directly to what you’ll experience when you get behind the wheel.* Observations like:

  • This is a new 6.2-liter direct-injection powerplant that churns out 455 hp while achieving 29 mpg highway mileage with some help from its new seven-speed manual transmission. You might believe that’s too many gears, but on the road, the seven-speed shifted great.
  • The two sports cars shine with nimble handling qualities that can be downright turntablelike when challenged, with enough rear-end drift to make things interesting before the car’s stability control kicks in.
  • A 3.6-liter, 283-hp V6 engine that scores 25 mpg on the highway propelled us with vigor from a standstill or on entry to an expressway.
  • The styling is backed up by the kind of steering feel and responsiveness to input that reveals most competitors as numb, uncommunicative appliances.
  • A 3.5-liter V6 engine puts a sufficient, but far from exhilarating, 260 horses to the pavement via a gearless continuously variable transmission, which helps to maximize acceleration and fuel economy—although it made the engine sound loud and feel harsh when we drove it under mid- to full-throttle operation.
  • The vehicle features an attractive cabin that’s trimmed in high-quality materials that’s sufficiently roomy for five adult passengers with generous headroom; third-row legroom is cramped and is best suited only for the kids.

So, click on the links of the specific automobile categories at left to avail yourself to Best Buy recommendations that hit home like no others can.

* Reviews of vehicles generally are published around the time of their introduction. Figures and other information that are noted in the reviews could vary with those that you will find now. Automakers occasionally revise such information during a model year.

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