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Find a low cost-to-own new car

By Tara Baukus Mello ·
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Posted: 10 am ET

The total cost to own a car is always top-of-mind for any financially-savvy consumer. This cost includes not just the monthly payment, but car insurance, the cost of gas, repairs, maintenance and depreciation. While it's always best to run the numbers yourself for car insurance and fuel cost needs, there are numerous resources that can provide other ownership costs on a per-car basis. But finding that information for brand-new, 2012 models can sometimes be a challenge.

A recent study by IntelliChoice compared each 2012 model with the currently-available, same-model-year vehicles in its respective vehicle segment to determine the "Best Bets" for 2012. The results give new car shoppers a sneak peek into the final list of cars that are likely to garner Intellichoice's Best Overall Value of the Year, or BOVY, awards that will be announced in January.

In terms of value, what should you consider if you are shopping for a new car? Thirteen manufacturers stand out, with Audi, Chevrolet and Volvo leading the pack, each with three models.

Here's the complete list of Intellichoice's "Best Bets" for the 2012 model year:

Audi A3
Audi A6
Audi R8
Cadillac CTS Sedan
Chevrolet Camaro SS
Chevrolet Corvette
Chevrolet Equinox
GMC Terrain
Honda Civic
Hyundai Tucson
Infiniti M35h/M37
Lincoln MKZ Hybrid
Nissan Altima 4 cyl. Sedan
Scion xB
Toyota Highlander
Volkswagen Golf
Volvo C30
Volvo C70
Volvo XC70

Regardless of which new car you choose, do what you can to keep the cost of ownership for your specific situation as low as possible, including shopping around for car insurance and by getting the best interest rate possible for your car loan.

Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.

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Louie R.
September 28, 2011 at 2:26 pm

I don't quite understand how the Audi R8 can be part of this list, when the car retails for between 125K and 150K. Even the financially saviest of consumers cannot afford this super car. The others, including the Corvette are much more logical and reasonable.

September 28, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Audi is prohibitively expensive. They are expensive cars and the quality that you get is just not what you would expect for the price. Plus, service and repair is among the most expensive. Would not recommend buying, have had way too many issues with my Audi...