With and more cars, trucks and crossovers flooding the market each year it seems like buyers have an almost endless list of choices. And today’s cars are increasingly well-equipped, with even base models adding air conditioning, satellite radio, keyless entry and electronic stability control – features that would’ve been available only on more upscale products a few years back.
But while there are plenty of great cars they aren’t always a great deal. So, the editors at U.S. News set out to find the new models that are not only feature-laden but also are both critically well-reviewed and offer a great value for the money. They’ve come up with a list of 21 that qualify as the Best Cars for the Money among 2014 models.
“Finding a great car that’s also a great deal is a challenge,” said Jamie Page Deaton, managing editor of U.S. News Best Cars. “Our awards are designed to help consumers identify great value cars that have also received critical acclaim and high safety and reliability scores. A good value car doesn’t have to be boring – cars with the latest features, great performance and comfortable interiors can also be smart financial choices.”
Foreign-owned brands dominated the list this year, accounting for 13 of the 21 models on the Best Cars list. That included five from Toyota and its Lexus and Scion brands, such as the midsize Toyota Camry sedan, Lexus RX Hybrid and Scion FR-S sports car.
Ford, meanwhile, took home the most awards of any domestic automaker, a total of four, including the Fiesta subcompact and two-row Edge crossover.
Honda and its upscale Acura brand, meanwhile, collected three awards for such models as the Honda CR-V and Acura MDX crossovers. Chevrolet also earned three segment awards, while Mazda and Volkswagen garnered two each. Other brands in the winner’s circle were Hyundai and Chrysler’s Ram pickup.
(Giant sinkhole swallows eight cars at National Corvette Museum. For more, Click Here.)
U.S. News considered a total of 225 models for this year’s Best Cars awards. Among the factors taken account were initial purchase price, estimated five-year cost of ownership and quality.
(Click Here to read about how automotive dependability tumbled this year.)
The study was released the same day that a separate report by consulting firm J.D. Power and Associates found an unexpected dip in automotive dependability, the first decline, in fact, over the last 15 years. The annual Vehicle Dependability Study measured the number of problems experienced by owners of three-year-old vehicles – those produced during the 2011 model-year.
(To see how slow sales could spark an incentive war, Click Here.)
The complete list of winners in this year’s Best Cars for the Money study:
|Subcompact Cars||2014 Ford Fiesta|
|Compact Cars||2014 Mazda3|
|Hatchbacks||2014 Ford Fiesta|
|Sports Cars||2014 Scion FR-S|
|Upscale Small Cars||2014 Volkswagen GTI|
|Midsize Cars||2014 Toyota Camry|
|Upscale Midsize Cars||2014 Chevrolet Volt|
|Hybrid Cars||2014 Ford Fusion Hybrid|
|Large Cars||2014 Chevrolet Impala|
|Wagons||2014 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen|
|Compact SUVs||2014 Honda CR-V|
|2-Row Midsize SUVs||2014 Ford Edge|
|3-Row Midsize SUVs||2014 Hyundai Santa Fe|
|Hybrid SUVs||2014 Lexus RX Hybrid|
|Luxury Compact SUVs||2014 Acura RDX|
|Luxury 2-Row Midsize SUVs||2014 Lexus RX 350|
|Luxury 3-Row Midsize SUVs||2014 Acura MDX|
|Large SUVs||2014 Chevrolet Tahoe|
|Minivans||2014 Mazda Mazda5|
|Compact Pickup Trucks||2014 Toyota Tacoma|
|Full Size Pickup Trucks||2014 Ram 1500|