We ask owners every year in our annual Owner Satisfaction survey which cars won—or broke—their hearts. This year, we also asked whether owners thought their cars delivered value for the money.

The important distinction here is that there are some cars that owners were quite satisfied with, such as the Tesla Model X, but they were disappointed in the value proposition.

Here, we present satisfaction with the value of their 1- to 3-year-old vehicles. Click through the linked model names to see the overall satisfaction scores and much more.

Read the complete report on owner satisfaction.  


Best Value Subcompact Car: Toyota Prius C

Toyota Prius C

This smaller, less expensive alternative to the regular Prius feels like a Spartan subcompact, but with a hybrid powertrain. In the end, you pretty much get what you pay for, and it is no substitute for the real Prius. The C has a harsh ride, a noisy engine, and slow acceleration. The interior looks and feels cheap, the driving position and rear seats are cramped, and there’s little cargo space. However, its 37 mpg makes the Prius C one of the most frugal vehicles we’ve tested, and its 43 mpg overall is just 1 mpg less than the previous-generation Prius hatchback. Its tiny dimensions make it a natural for urban driving. Reliability is above average, but the Prius C scored too low to be recommended. For the 2017 model year, automatic emergency braking is standard. 

Worst Value: Nissan Versa Note
Read our complete Toyota Prius C and Nissan Versa Note road tests.



Best Value Compact Car: Hyundai Elantra*

Hyundai Elantra

The redesigned 2017 Elantra is relatively roomy, is sparing with fuel, and features intuitive controls. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder returned an excellent 33 mpg overall in our tests but delivers leisurely acceleration and buzzes unpleasantly as revs increase. The Eco version feels more responsive but comes at a $3,000 price premium. Although handling is secure, there isn’t much driving excitement. The ride is mostly unobjectionable, but sharp bumps tend to come through noticeably. Road noise is elevated as well. Inside, the front seats in our tested SE are short on lumbar support, though the power seat in the Limited is better. Active safety features are available. A Sport version with a 1.6-liter turbo four-cylinder is also available.

Worst Value: Fiat 500L*
Read our complete Hyundai Elantra and Fiat 500L road tests.


Best Value Midsized Car: Kia Optima*

Kia Optima

Kia’s recently redesigned Optima midsized sedan packs a lot of substance and value. It drives nicely, with a firm yet absorbent ride and responsive, secure handling. The mainstream 2.4-liter four-cylinder is pleasant and unobtrusive, and returned 28 mpg overall in our testing; the uplevel 2.0-liter turbo four packs more punch. New to the line is a 1.6-liter four-cylinder mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. At around $26,000, the EX trim features comfortable leather seats, automatic climate control, a roomy rear seat, and heating for the seats and steering wheel. The controls are very intuitive to use. Low-positioned dash vents are our only gripe. The latest version of Kia’s UVO touch-screen infotainment system works with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. A hybrid is also available. 

Worst Value: Chevrolet Malibu*
Read our complete Kia Optima and Chevrolet Malibu road tests.


Best Value Large Car: Chevrolet Impala

Chevrolet Impala

Our top-scoring large sedan, the Impala is roomy, comfortable, quiet, and enjoyable to drive. It even rides like a luxury sedan, feeling cushy and controlled. Engine choices include a punchy 3.6-liter V6 and an adequate 2.5-liter four-cylinder, both paired with a six-speed automatic. In our tests, the V6 returned 22 mpg overall and had good acceleration. Braking is capable, and handling is secure and responsive. The full-featured cabin stays very quiet and features a sumptuous backseat. Controls are intuitive and easy to use, but rear visibility is restricted. Advanced electronic safety features are readily available. Recent updates include the addition of Apple CarPlay capability and wireless cell-phone charging. 

Worst Value: Nissan Maxima*
Read our complete Chevrolet Impala and Nissan Maxima road tests.


Best Value Luxury Compact Car: Buick Regal

Buick Regal

This well-honed and satisfying sports sedan has a European feel, thanks to its Opel roots. It is the antithesis of the whitewall-tired Buick of old. With its agile handling, quick steering, and a taut, steady ride, the Regal is one of Buick’s best offerings. The 259-hp, 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder delivers strong performance and 24 mpg overall. High-quality materials are used throughout the cabin. The front seats are firm and supportive, though the rear seat is quite snug. The large trunk is a bonus. Infotainment system controls are mostly simple, and all-wheel drive is available on all trim lines. Overall, this is a highly capable yet understated car. The GS is a sportier version with a tauter suspension. A redesign is imminent. 

Worst Value: Infiniti Q50
Read our complete Buick Regal and Infiniti Q50 road tests.


Best Value Luxury Midsized/Large Car: Hyundai Genesis

Hyundai Genesis

Part of the launch of Hyundai’s upscale brand is the renaming of existing models. Previously known as the Hyundai Genesis, it is now called the G80. For about $10,000 less than competing midsized luxury sedans, the G80 delivers just about every feature and luxury attribute a buyer could imagine. Offered with a smooth and refined V6 or a potent V8, the G80 has responsive handling and a comfortable ride, though it can’t quite match its German competitors. Our tested AWD V6 returned a competitive 20 mpg overall. Controls are refreshingly straightforward for a luxury car. Rear-seat passengers are pampered with amenities, including seat heaters, and space is plentiful. Most versions come with automatic emergency braking and blind-spot monitoring. 

Worst Value: Cadillac XTS
Read our complete Hyundai Genesis and Cadillac XTS road tests.


Best Value Sporty Car: Mazda MX-5 Miata*

Best Value Sporty Car Mazda MX-5 Miata

The fourth-generation Miata remains true to Mazda’s original formula of a lightweight, rear-wheel-drive roadster. Although 155 hp from the 2.0-liter four doesn’t sound impressive, the Miata quickly scoots along while returning a miserly 34 mpg overall. Shifting the delightfully accurate six-speed manual shifter is a joy; we’d skip the optional automatic, though it works fine. Quick and precise steering delivers sublime back-road handling, even though some body roll is noticeable. High levels of noise, thin and unsupportive seats, and a stiff ride all grow fatiguing during highway travel. Cabin space is snug, and the optional dial-controlled infotainment system takes time to master. Flipping the convertible top open or closed is a breeze. 

Worst Value: BMW 2 Series
Read our complete Mazda MX-5 Miata and BMW 2 Series road tests.


Best Value Minivan: Chrysler Pacifica*

Best Value Minivan Chrysler Pacifica

The Pacifica is much better than the Chrysler Town & Country minivan it replaced. The new van is offered in seven- and eight-passenger configurations and retains the handy fold-into-the-floor second-row seats. But these seats have limited thigh support. The 3.6-liter V6, paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission, provides ample power and gets an impressive 21 mpg overall. Handling is responsive, the ride is comfortable, and the cabin is quiet. A plug-in hybrid version is available with a claimed electric range of 30 miles. The latest version of the UConnect touch-screen system is intuitive and easy to master. High-end versions of the Pacifica feature individual screens, with built-in games, for the rear passengers. 

Worst Value: Ford Transit Connect / Toyota Sienna
Read our complete Chrysler PacificaFord Transit Connect, and Toyota Sienna road tests.


Best Value Compact SUV: Subaru Forester

Best Value Compact SUVs Subaru Forester

Hitting the sweet spot among small SUVs, the Forester delivers a spacious interior, impressive safety equipment and crashworthiness, and outstanding visibility in a right-sized, affordable package. Fuel economy is excellent at 26 mpg overall, especially given the standard AWD. The ride is supple, and handling is very secure. Engine noise is pronounced at times. Controls are straightforward and easy to use. The infotainment and connectivity systems have finally been updated with an intuitive touch screen. Midtrim Foresters bring a lot of content for the money, but it’s easy to crest $30,000 with options packages. A feisty turbo comes with XT trim but compromises the value equation. The optional (and recommended) EyeSight system includes forward-collision warning. 

Worst Value: Jeep Cherokee
Read our complete Subaru Forester and Jeep Cherokee road tests.


Best Value Midsized SUV: Hyundai Santa Fe

Best Value Midsized SUVs Hyundai Santa Fe

The freshened 2017 Santa Fe is available with advanced safety features such as a multiview camera, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and lane-departure warning. This is still a roomy and comfortable three-row SUV built for family duty. Its 3.3-liter V6 is mated to a smooth, responsive six-speed automatic, a combination that attained 20 mpg overall in our tests. Handling is sound and utterly secure. Another plus is the settled, compliant ride that blunts pavement imperfections and lets the SUV sail smoothly on the highway. The well-finished cabin brings a lot of features for the money. Access to the cramped third row is somewhat difficult. Hyundai’s updated Blue Link system features remote starting via mobile phone. 

Worst Value: Nissan Pathfinder
Read our complete Hyundai Santa Fe and Nissan Pathfinder road tests.


Best Value Large SUV: Ford Flex

Best Value Large SUVs Ford Flex

The boxy Flex combines SUV-like versatility with almost carlike driving dynamics. The interior is highly functional, with room for up to seven passengers in three rows, and its shipping-container shape works well for cargo. Rear visibility is hampered by big head restraints. Handling is not particularly nimble, but the ride is comfortable and the cabin remains quiet. The base 3.5-liter V6 gets just 18 mpg overall. Choosing the turbo V6 gives you quicker acceleration at a cost of only 1 mpg. The complicated and distracting MyFord Touch infotainment system has been replaced by the much better Sync 3 system. 

Worst Value: Toyota Sequoia
Read our complete Ford Flex and Toyota Sequoia road tests.


Best Value Luxury Compact SUV: Infiniti QX50

Best Value Luxury Compact SUV Infiniti Q50

Infiniti’s QX50 dates back to 2008, when it was known as the EX. The current model has a 3-inch-longer wheelbase, which grants more than 4 additional inches to rear-seat leg room. But underneath it’s still essentially a raised-wagon version of the old G37 sedan, a car we liked very much at the time for its quickness, agility, and composed ride. Carrying over are the smooth seven-speed automatic and 325-hp, 3.7-liter V6, which remains punchy but tends to be noisy by current standards. Up-to-date safety features include forward-collision warning, blind-spot monitoring, and lane-keeping assist. A redesigned QX50 is in the offing. 

Worst Value: BMW X1*
Read our complete BMW X1 road test.


Best Value Luxury Midsized/Large SUV: Lincoln MKX*

Lincoln MKX

Based on the capable Ford Edge, the Lincoln MKX is one of the best-scoring luxury SUVs in our testing. This is a quiet, refined, and high-tech vehicle. The standard 303-hp, 3.7-liter V6 feels a bit unremarkable, and the optional 335-hp, 2.7-liter turbo V6 is smooth and delivers effortless thrust. The only knock against the MKX is its rather unimpressive fuel economy of 18 mpg overall. Handling is athletic, making the MKX fun to drive. The ride is steady and composed. Tall drivers will probably find that the push-button shifter is a long reach away. The very quiet cabin feels first-class, with abundant wood, brushed metal, and leather surfaces. Convenience and safety features include automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, and cross-traffic alert.  

Worst Value: Tesla Model X*
Read our complete Lincoln MKX and Tesla Model X road tests.


Best Value Pickup Truck: Nissan Frontier

Best Value Pickup Truck Nissan Frontier

Dating back to 2005, the compact Frontier pickup truck shares a platform with the discontinued Xterra SUV and the previous-generation larger Titan pickup. In our tests we found the Frontier to be quick and relatively nimble, with a stiff though tolerable ride. The strong 4.0-liter V6 revved smoothly and felt very strong, but fuel economy was a decidedly unimpressive 15 mpg overall. A 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine powers base models. Only crew- and extended-cab body styles are offered, but rear-seat room is tight even in the crew cab. A model with a longer pickup bed is available, but the tailgate is very heavy. A redesign is in the pipeline. 

Worst Value: Ford F-250
Learn more about the Nissan Frontier and Ford F-250.

*Based on one model year of data.

Editor's Note: This list also appeared in the April 2017 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.