The 2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid has been named best value by Consumer Reports’ editors, having edged out its gasoline-only stablemate and being the only alternative-energy car considered among five top contenders.

The Camry Hybrid has utilized the same Prius-derived but more-powerful Hybrid Synergy Drive system since 2012 and the exterior and interior were comprehensively refreshed with 2,000 out of 6,000 new components to make a more contemporary and sporty package.

In CR’s assessment, this sum total was enough place the 2015 Camry Hybrid ahead of the second-place Honda Accord and third-place non-hybrid Toyota Camry. Rounding out the top five are Subaru’s Legacy 2.5i and Forester 2.5i.

Total Cost Of Ownership

To select the car with the best value, Consumer Reports’ editors estimate how much each will cost over a five year period. Expenses break down into six categories: insurance, sales tax, maintenance and repairs, depreciation, fuel and interest on financing.

The Camry Hybrid excelled in every category, costing about half as much as the average vehicle to own.

A major factor in the score is the Camry Hybrid’s “stone-cold” dependability, said editors. Looking back through the last decade, the sedan repeatedly posts excellent scores for reliability. The only exception is a hiccup with the cooling system, afflicting the Camry Hybrid in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

SEE ALSO: 2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid Review – Video

The Camry Hybrid’s fuel costs are among the lowest for midsize cars, with an overall rating of 38 mpg. The runner-up for best value – the Honda Accord – is only slightly more efficient at 40 mpg overall.

Editors don’t consider the purchase price directly for this award, but the sales price still factors in with payments for sales tax and interest on financing.

The base model of the Camry Hybrid costs $27,615 with destination. The XLE version tested by Consumer Reports had an MSRP of $29,052, which is about $6,000 more than other top-scoring cars in the midsized class. Adding to the value for this premium trim level, observes CR, are standard features like front seats that are powered, heated and trimmed in leather, Bluetooth connectivity and a tire pressure monitor system.