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These five cars give you the most bang for your buck: Consumer Reports

Members of the media look over the 2016 Lexus GS F at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, January 13, 2015.
Rebecca Cook | Reuters

Despite concerns about economic growth and job creation, it seems as if consumers are undeterred from buying vehicles. Recent data suggests cars are practically flying off the lots. So which ones represent the best bang for consumers' buck?

CNBC's "On the Money" sat down with Jeff Barlett, the deputy editor for autos at Consumer Reports, to find out which of the vehicles on offer have the best combination of affordability, reliability and durability. Consumer Reports has looked at more than 200 vehicles, ranking them according to key criteria. The following roster of five cars stands out.

--By CNBC's Marqui Mapp. Published on 6 June 2015

Toyota Prius

Toyota Prius
Source: Consumer Reports

Toyota's compact model "has proven to be stellar for reliability and gets outstanding fuel economy, helping people really save money in the long run," Barlett says.


Chevrolet Impala

Chevrolet Impala
Source: Consumer Reports

This full size car "was an absolute home run for Chevrolet. It's a fantastic car, one of the highest scoring cars in our tests overall and it pays off in the long run, " Barlett told CNBC.

Subaru Forester

Subaru Forester
Source: Consumer Reports

Subaru's small SUV "not only has terrific fuel economy at 26 mpg overall, but its safety scores are stellar and the packaging is really nice, great visibility out and a lot of space in," Barlett said.

Nissan Frontier

2015 Nissan Frontier
Source: Nissan

"This is the only small truck that Consumer Reports recommends, and it's an attractive alternative to full size trucks if you don't need all of those abilities," Barlett told CNBC. "The key here is to make sure you understand what you really need because those big trucks have big incentives but they still cost more to own in the long run."

Lexus ES 300H

Lexus ES 300H
Source: Consumer Reports

The luxury midsize car "may not quite match its Audi and Mercedes rivals in our tests, but the overall picture looking at the cost make this one a real standout," according to Barlett