You probably are all familiar with Kelley Blue Book as the authority for determining car values. They’ve been releasing yearly car value guides since 1926! This trusted resource came online in 1995 and they make it their goal to be the most helpful online source for information on vehicles- both new and used. Last year, Kelley Blue Book introduced the Best Buy Awards to help people make intelligent auto buying decisions. Today, Kelley Blue Book is announcing the winners of the Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Awards of 2016. I just got back from attending their Ride-N-Drive Event to test drive some of their finalist first hand and to learn more about the criteria they use for this award. Travel arrangements were provided for me but all opinions expressed are my own.
Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Awards 2016
KBB.com has many new car shopping tools and resources designed to help people make smart decisions as they consider buying a new vehicle- one of life’s bigger purchases. There over over 300 cars released each year and the Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Awards help narrow down the overwhelming number of choices and by honoring the best vehicle choices available in the U.S. Market. The Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Awards 2016 recognize 49 finalists consisting of 18 vehicle makes in 12 vehicle categories. After attending the Kelley Blue Book Ride-N-Drive Event and learning first hand about all the criteria used when choosing award winners, I do believe that this just might be the best resource out there for new-car buyers to identify top choices for each vehicle category.
Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Awards 2016 Finalist Categories
Here are the 12 vehicle categories:
- Small Car
- Midsize Car
- Full-size Car
- Small SUV
- Midsize SUV
- Full-Size SUV
- Pickup Truck
- Performance Car
- Electric/Hybrid Car
- Luxury Car
- Luxury SUV
While there is only one winner in each Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Award 2016 category, there are are 3-5 finalist because Kelley Blue Book realizes that car buyers each have different personal priorities and they want to identify the cream of the crop in each category.
2016 Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Award Winners
For those of you that like to cut to the chase- here are the winners! For those of you who want to hear more details about the criteria for chosing the Best Buy Award Winners and more about my test drives, you will find that further down. The Best Buy Award Winners are being announced today at www.kbb.com and you will find a lot more detail there about each winner.
The Overall Winner: 2016 Honda Civic
“The venerable Honda Civic has been completely redesigned for 2016, and the compact car segment will never be the same. Stylish, refined and tech-savvy, sporting a powerful and efficient new powertrain, the wholly impressive and downright desirable. The new Civic is nothing less than the best car you can buy for under $20,000, and this year’s Overall Best Buy.”
Small Car Best Buy Winner: 2016 Honda Civic
Mid-Size Car Best Buy Winner: 2016 Kia Optima
Full-Size CarBest Buy Winner: 2016 Chevrolet Impala
Luxury Car Best Buy Winner: 2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
Sports/Performance CarBest Buy Winner: 2016 Chevrolet Corvette
Electric/Hybrid Best Buy Winner: 2016 Chevrolet Volt
Small SUV/Crossover Best Buy Winner: 2016 Honda CR-V
Mid-Size SUV/Crossover Best Buy Winner: 2016 Honda Pilot
Full-Size SUV/Crossover Best Buy Winner: 2016 Chevrolet Tahoe
Luxury SUV/Crossover Best Buy Winner: 2016 Lexus RX
Truck Best Buy Winner: 2016 Ford F-150
Minivan Best Buy Winner: 2016 Honda Odyssey
Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Awards 2016 Ride-N-Drive Event
This Ride-N-Drive event was really informative for me. In addition to an exclusive look at the rigorous evaluation and testing processes used by KBB.com’s expert editorial team, I also had the chance to get behind the wheel of a number of the 2016 Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Award Finalists in the family-friendly Midsize SUV and Luxury SUV categories.
Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Awards 2016 Criteria
The criteria used are very extensive. The finalist models are chosen based both on proprietary Kelley Blue Book data and the expert evaluations of the KBB.com editorial staff. I love that awards take into account the look, feel, and functionality of the cars that can be judged through test drives but also include an analysis of a broad swath of vehicle-related data. Metrics such as vehicle pricing, 5-Year Cost-to-Own data (which includes depreciation, insurance, maintenance, financing, fuel, fees and taxes for new cars), and consumer reviews and ratings, all factor into the Best Buy Awards so these are very comprehensive, meaningful awards that save a lot of leg work for the potential buyers. As Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com said, “The automakers represented among this year’s finalists offer car buyers top-notch vehicle choices.”
Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Award Ride-N-Drive Event
The Ride-N-Drive event offered me the chance to personally check out some of the finalists in the family-friendly Midsize SUV and Luxury SUV categories. I really enjoyed the side by side comparison ability of being able to go straight form one SUV to the next and actually be able to see the differences in cargo size, dashboards, and back seat room. We were also able to test out installing car seats ourselves and fitting strollers in the cargo area first hand.
There were four drive routes- one of which was the actual test drive route that the editorial team uses to evaluate the cars. It was neat to see exactly what route they take to test out cornering,parking and acceleration among other things. It was also amazing to get to take the SUVs for a little longer spin down the Southern California coastline along Route 1.
Lovely test drive of the @toyota Highlander. Scenic stop at #alisobeach #lagunabeach. A Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Finalist #kbbbestbuy #ad A photo posted by Family Focus (@familyfocusblog) on
I did not get to test drive all 8 finalist but I did enjoy the ride in all of the ones I had the opportunity to test. If you get the chance to test drive any of the Kelley Blue Book finalist, I am sure you will be impressed with the choices. I can tell you I will be using the Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Awards to help me narrow down my car buying choices next time I purchase a new car!