November 3, 2003

Consumers Digest names automotive Best Buys for 2004

Skokie, Illinois – Thirty-eight vehicles have received Best Buy ratings from Consumers Digest magazine for the 2004 model year. The ratings, published in Consumers Digest’s November/December issue, span seven categories: Small Cars, Family Cars, Luxury Cars, Sporty Cars, Trucks, Vans, Compact/Midsize SUVs and Luxury/Fullsize SUVs. The Best Buys – based on behind-the-wheel testing, safety ratings, ownership costs, warranty, purchase price, comfort, ergonomics, styling and amenities – reflect the magazine’s assessment of which 2004 vehicles offer the most value for the money.

Small Cars

  • Chrysler PT Cruiser,
  • Honda Civic,
  • Pontiac Vibe/Toyota Matrix,
  • Suzuki Aerio and
  • Toyota Corolla

    Family Cars

  • Buick Century,
  • Ford Crown Victoria,
  • Honda Accord,
  • Nissan Altima and
  • Toyota Camry

    Luxury Cars

  • Acura TL,
  • Audi A4,
  • Buick LeSabre and
  • Toyota Avalon

    Sporty Cars

  • Dodge Stratus/Mitsubishi Eclipse,
  • Infiniti G35,
  • Mazda RX-8,
  • MINI Cooper and
  • Volvo S60R/V70R


  • Chevrolet Avalanche,
  • Ford F-150 and
  • Toyota Tundra

    Mini Vans

  • Dodge Caravan,
  • Honda Odyssey and
  • Toyota Sienna

    Consumers Digest divides SUVs into compact/midsize and luxury/fullsize

    Compact/Midsize SUVs

  • Ford Escape/Mazda Tribute,
  • Honda Element,
  • Suzuki XL-7 and
  • Toyota Highlander

    Luxury/fullsize SUVs

  • Chevrolet Tahoe/GMC Yukon,
  • Infiniti FX35/45 and
  • Volkswagen Touareg

    “‘Value,’ as we see it, is based on a vehicle’s purchase price and ownership costs relative to more subjective factors, like performance and design,” says Randy Weber, publisher, Consumers Digest.

    Among design factors considered, Weber says, are interior ergonomics, seating, accessories and cargo space. Performance characteristics evaluated include starting and acceleration, shifting, steering and handling, braking, ride quality and fuel economy.

    Insurance-industry ratings, crash-test results and government findings contribute to the magazine’s assessment of vehicle safety.

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