WHILE initial price is always a prime issue in any new vehicle purchase decision, the ultimate best deal also entails factoring in a number of other significant elements that can have an equally meaningful impact on long-term out-of-pocket expenses.
This year, America's automotive vehicle evaluation company Kelly Blue Book went a step ahead to formally recognise the best-in-class entries with their inaugural Five-Year Cost to Own Awards.
America's annual MotorWeek Drivers' Choice Awards - which is a television automotive magazine series, represent the definitive list of best automotive picks for a range of lifestyles.
A team of 15 judges, comprised of MotorWeek's editorial staff, evaluated more than 150 cars, trucks and utilities. Decisions are based on performance, technology, practicality, fuel efficiency and dollar value.
The winners represent what MotorWeek considers to be the best in each class. Hyundai's Sonata was named the Rocky Mountain Car of the Year by The Rocky Mountain Automotive Press, ahead of a large contingent of new 2011 cars, trucks, SUVs and Crossovers.
Hyundai Sonata was also the first midsize car to receive a five-star crash test rating under National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's 2011 Crash Test Rating System. It also received recognition by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick, placing it in a safety position unsurpassed in the industry.
American magazine Consumers Digest awarded the Hyundai Sonata sedan a "Best Buy" based on behind-the-wheel assessment, safety ratings, ownership costs, warranty, price, comfort, ergonomics, styling and amenities.
The Sonata took a Best Buy award in the Family Car category. The Automotive Best Buy Awards reflect Consumers Digest's view of which 2011 vehicles offer exceptional value for the money.