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The Four 'Best Value' Cars on the Road

There’s a silver lining – or two – to every recession. This time around, it very well may the “Crazy Eddie”style deals on new cars as automakers and dealers struggle to move inventory off the lots and into the hands of penny-pinching consumers. (Video: how dealers are enticing customers)

John Giamalvo, director of strategic marketing for Edmunds.com, says that now is the time to buy a car if you’ve been looking. If you can qualify on your own for good financing – or, better yet, pay cash – then you are in the driver’s seat.

Giamalvo also reveals the best value cars in four classes: small, midsize, luxury and SUV. The total cost to own takes into account everything from insurance to APR to maintenance. From there, they can calculate how much it costs to own per mile driven:

Small
2009 Nissan Versa
MSRP: $13,100
Total Cost: $29,824
Cost Per Mile: 40 cents

Midsize
2009 Ford Fusion
MSRP: $19,035
Total Cost: $37,212
Cost Per Mile: 50 cents

Luxury
2009 Acura TSX
MSRP: $29,160
Total Cost: $45,895
Cost Per Mile: 61 cents

SUV
2009 Honda CRV
MSRP: $21,245
Total Cost: $34,986
Cost Per Mile: 47 cents

>>Web Extra: 3 Things to Know About Auto Incentives