The 2012 U.S. News Best Cars for the Money Awards help you navigate a confusing automotive market by identifying cars that hit quality and value from all sides. The awards combine the U.S. News Best Cars rankings with five-year total cost of ownership data from The award-winning vehicles have the best combination of praise from car reviewers, lower upfront costs and lower long-term ownership costs than their competition. The winners aren't just good cars or good values. They're both.

2012 Best Cars for the Money:

Affordable 2-Row Compact SUV2012 Chevrolet Equinox
Affordable 3-Row Compact SUV2012 Toyota RAV4
Affordable Large Car2012 Ford Taurus
Affordable Large SUV2012 Chevrolet Suburban
Affordable Midsize Car2012 Ford Fusion
Affordable2-Row Midsize SUV2012 Ford Edge
Affordable 3-Row Midsize SUV2012 Mazda CX-9
Compact Car2012 Chevrolet Cruze
Subcompact Car2012 Ford Fiesta
Affordable Sports Car2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata
Compact Pickup Truck2012 Toyota Tacoma
Full Size Pickup Truck2012 Ram 1500
Hatchback2012 Ford Fiesta
Hybrid Car2012 Ford Fusion Hybrid
Hybrid SUV2012 Lexus RX Hybrid
Luxury Compact SUV2012 Audi Q5
Luxury Large SUV2012 Cadillac Escalade
Luxury Midsize SUV2012 Lexus RX 350
Minivan2012 Mazda Mazda5
Off-Road SUV2012 Jeep Wrangler
Upscale Midsize Car2012 Buick Regal
Upscale Small Car2012 Volkswagen GTI
Wagon2012 Subaru Outback

The Winners:

The awards cover 23 automotive categories, and the 12 winning brands (split evenly between domestic brands and imports) illustrate that no single car company has a lock on value. Fourteen of the 22 winners are cars that have been introduced or significantly redesigned in the last three years, demonstrating that newer models offer good long-term value, and with the freshest technology and styling, they're more fun to own.

Ford took home the most awards, with five of its models selected as winners in six categories. Ford wins include the Ford Taurus, Ford Fusion, Ford Fiesta, Ford Edge and Ford Fusion Hybrid. Chevrolet and Mazda took home three awards each.

This year's awards also saw some new brands emerge as winners. The 2012 Subaru Outback, Audi Q5 and Jeep Wrangler are all first-time winners.

You do not have to choose between a great car and a great value. The 2012 U.S. News Best Cars for the Money Awards highlight cars, trucks, SUVs and minivans that are both easy to live with and easy to afford.