As soon as you mention to somebody you are purchasing a new car you will get more unsolicited advice on what make and model and from where than you ever wanted. The internet will give you hundreds of blogs with reviews, and car expert best pick lists. Consumer Reports and car buying sites will give you loads of data based on industry reports and track records. The plain truth is you will have far more information thrown at you than what you can possibly use and then it is left to you to decide which to believe and trust.
The first step in the process of choosing which vehicle is deciding what is important to you. Hundreds of comparisons on fuel economy do not matter a lot if the car is for occasional use and a 2 mile commute to work. While better fuel economy is good, it has nowhere near the value to somebody driving 4000 miles a year as it does to somebody driving 20,000 miles per year. Why bother stating the obvious? Because all of the official review sites take weight things according to what their expert panel told them was most important. What is most important to their expert panel may have little bearing on your needs. This means their “Top 10” list may not be in your top 25 when assessed by your priorities.
The advice of friends and relatives you need to evaluate according to the source. Once again, their priorities are not always the same as yours. The first indicator to take the advice with a grain of salt is when they are giving your recommendations of vehicles they have never owned or driven. Basically that means they saw it or read about it and were impressed or sold on the features but do not know any more about it than you. Stick to asking them what they like or do not like about the car they own and use that information to help you know what to look for.
A good place to look at for ideas on overall costs and value are to the professionals that actually drive cars. Not the NASCAR spokesperson for a model, but actual real life drivers. Taxis, delivery vehicles, and couriers. If their livelihood depends on the vehicle they are driving and they actually drive hundreds of miles a day odds are they chose a car a good reason. Those reasons will be more fact based than opinion polls of experts use weighted systems. A place like Cab Direct can give you some ideas of what the professional driving companies are placing most value on.