Smartest Value Car Buys for 2016-2017

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When it comes to buying a car, value is a subjective thing. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to quantify value across the board. For one person, value may mean having enough room to comfortably fit a family of six. For another person, value might mean top-notch fuel economy. Someone else may determine value by estimated resale value.

The point is that everyone has a different measure of value. However, everyone can agree on the fact that value is directly tied to a handful of common traits. These include safety, comfort, performance, looks, quality, and price. Averaging out these traits and giving equal weight to each, here are a few of the vehicles that industry experts believe are the best value buys for 2016-2017.

2017 Lincoln MKZ Sedan

If you want to get behind the wheel of a luxury sedan without breaking the bank, then the 2017 Lincoln MKZ Sedan is right for you. Standard features include a 2.0L 1-4 240hp engine intercooled turbo with 6-speed automatic transmission.

In addition to a number of progressive safety features, the MKZ has a gorgeous interior with multicontour seats, a navigation system, and all of the other cabin features that are readily available in higher-priced luxury vehicles. It’s not for everyone, but it’s certainly designed for those that value class and prestige.

2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid

One of the top options for 2017 is the new Ford Fusion Hybrid. Prices start right around $25,675, which make this a budget-friendly purchase for anyone looking to buy their first hybrid vehicle, without spending too much. And since it’s a Ford model, you can rest assured that the quality is above the industry average.

Some of the top features of the Ford Fusion Hybrid include the plug-in and hybrid options, sleek interior and exterior design, and incredibly comfortable seats. Notably, the prices can rise pretty quickly depending on the additional features you want, but the base model is certainly a smart buy for customers in any price range.

2016 Honda Civic

This 10th generation Civic is by far the best one Honda has released. Kelley Blue Book named it the number one “Best Buy” of 2016, saying it has “raised the bar for compact cars in general to a new level.” That’s quite a statement for a vehicle that was once viewed as a cheaper alternative to other compact vehicles.

Some of the top features of the 2016 model are a sleek exterior, comfortable passenger cabin, quieter ride, and an extremely low five-year cost to own figure. As for the downsides, the touchscreen interface in the dash is a bit slow and doesn’t always respond. And if you keep adding on features, the price tag can quickly elevate to a point that no longer makes it such a great deal.

2016 Audi A3

If your price range is a bit higher and you want a luxury car that actually retains its value, then the 2016 Audi A3 is perfect. New features for this model are the rearview camera and parking sensors (now standard) and a new e-tron plug-in hybrid trim option.

While a bit smaller than the Fusion and Civic, the A3 can seat five people (four comfortably) and gets an impressive 31-43 highway miles per gallon. The infotainment system is very intuitive and the powertrain and handling are excellent. As for cons, the trunk is quite small – making it a less-than ideal option for families – and there’s a lack of head and legroom in the backseat for taller adults.

What’s Your Definition of Value?

If you’re in the market for a new vehicle this year, you have to create a definition of value for yourself. For a single mother of four children, it may look like: a car that’s spacious enough to fit four kids and reliable enough to consistently get me where I’m going without high demand for upkeep and maintenance.

For a retired single man, it may look like: a sleek, high-performance car that’s eye-catching, fast, and luxurious.

What’s your definition of value? The experts agree that the aforementioned vehicles are the best overall value buys in 2016 and 2017.

Weigh their opinions, consider your thoughts, and be a smart shopper!

Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, always revealing interesting things we didn’t know before. She is a freelance producer for USA Today, and a contributor at Technorati. She lives in Utah with her 2 kids and husband. Melissa Thompson can be reached via LinkedIn or Twitter @melthompson88. Please follow and friend her on either site.