With auto sales trending up to return to more normal levels, buyers are going to be looking to not only get the new vehicle they want, but also want good value for the money they’re paying.
However, car buyers may be in luck as automakers are wanting to move metal so finding a good deal isn’t likely to be too difficult. That said, U.S. News & World Report are lending some insight with their 2021 Best Cars for the Money awards.
The winning brand for this year is Toyota, claiming top honors in four segments with Kia and Honda coming in second with three winners each. The publication picked winners in 11 categories. It should be noted that all of the winners were either Japanese or South Korean automakers.
Who came out on top?
The 2021 winners and their categories include:
- 2021 Honda Passport – Best 2-Row SUV
- 2021 Kia Sorento – Best 3-Row SUV
- 2021 Kia Forte – Best Compact Car
- 2021 Honda CR-V – Best Compact SUV
- 2021 Toyota Corolla Hybrid – Best Hybrid and Electric Car
- 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid – Best Hybrid and Electric SUV
- 2021 Toyota Avalon – Best Large Car
- 2021 Toyota Camry – Best Midsize Car
- 2021 Honda Odyssey – Best Minivan
- 2021 Hyundai Accent – Best Subcompact Car
- 2021 Kia Soul – Best Subcompact SUV
“When it comes to car buying, value is about more than a low price tag,” said Jamie Page Deaton, executive editor of U.S. News Best Cars. “Buying the least expensive car on the lot can mean buyers end up with high ownership costs and a vehicle that doesn’t necessarily fit their needs.
“The Best Cars for the Money award winners have strong value propositions at the dealership and down the road. They are all also a pleasure to own, with the performance, comfort and features buyers appreciate.”
Three of the four winning brands all enjoyed strong January sales with Honda being the contrarian, sales down 9.2% overall, with the Honda division down 9.4% and the Acura luxury unit sliding 7.9 percent.
Toyota Motor North America, the largest automaker reporting sales numbers, said it sold 166,232 vehicles last month, up 0.2% on a volume basis from a year ago. Toyota Division sales for the month were 146,591 vehicles, up 0.2%. Lexus Division sales for the month were 19,641 vehicles, up 0.1%.
Hyundai sold 40,597 retail units in January. Retail SUV sales were up 11%, representing 69% of the total retail mix. Kia, its South Korean sibling, turned in its best-ever January results with 44,965 units, an 11.4% increase over the same period last year. Highlights include best-ever January performances by the popular Telluride SUV, Niro EV and Forte compact sedan. Light trucks – Niro, Soul, Seltos, Sportage, Sorento, Telluride and Sedona – accounted for 66.7% of Kia’s total volume, up 18.3% year-over-year.