Our 10 Most Awarded Cars of 2016
“What’s the best car out there?”
It’s a fun question we field often from friends and family, but it’s not the question we help Kelley Blue Book visitors answer. The question smart car shoppers seek to answer is “What’s the best car for me?”
That’s why every year we highlight the standout vehicles from a variety of shoppers’ perspectives. What follows is a collection of the vehicles we awarded and recognized most in 2016, looking at everything from our popular list of the 10 Coolest Cars Under $18,000 to our premier awards program, the Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Awards.
When you look at all the costs associated with a full buy-own-sell ownership cycle over five years, the Toyota Camry is the most affordable midsize sedan on the market. In addition to a 5-Year Cost to Own Award, the 2016 Toyota Camry was also recognized as one of the 10 Best Sedans Under $25,000 and one of the 10 Most Comfortable Cars Under $30,000. The Camry Hybrid was named one of the 10 Best Hybrid Vehicles Under $30,000, finishing in the number two slot behind none other than Toyota's own Prius.
Hyundai’s well-rounded, well-built midsize sedan has earned its way onto many of the same lists occupied by legendary names like Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. The Sonata even outranked Camry by two spots on our 2016 list of the 10 Best Sedans Under $25,000.
A transformative redesign for 2016 vaulted Chevy’s midsize sedan onto a number of lists this year. In addition to making its first appearance on our annual list of Best Family Cars, the sleeker, roomier, tech-savvy Malibu was recognized as one of the 10 Best Sedans Under $25,000 and 10 Most Comfortable Cars Under $30,000. The gas-electric version, exhibiting excellent fuel economy and refined power delivery, nabbed a spot on our list of 10 Best Hybrid Cars Under $30,000.
Widely regarded as the progenitor of the modern luxury SUV, the Lexus RX is the best-selling such vehicle on the market and our Luxury SUV Best Buy of 2016. Mixing renowned reliability with a comfort-first personality, the Lexus RX also earned resale value and cost-to-own accolades in 2016.
The best-selling SUV in the country and a perennial award winner, the Honda CR-V again took home Small SUV Best Buy honors in 2016 -- even in its last year before a full redesign. If Honda history is any indication, we should expect to see the completely redesigned 2017 CR-V rake in as much or more recognition next year.
In 2016 the Chevy Impala was named Full-Size Car Best Buy for the second year in a row. The win was in part based on its low overall ownership costs, as reflected by its 5-Year Cost to Own Award. The Impala also appeared on our lists of 16 Best Family Cars and 10 Most Comfortable Cars Under $30,000, two awards it’s practically designed to win.
On our 2016 list of the 10 Coolest Cars Under $25,000, you’ll find the Jeep Wrangler hanging with other legends like the Ford Mustang and Chevy Camaro. On our list of 10 Most Fun SUVs it appears among names like Land Rover and Porsche. But the Wrangler is also a standout when it comes to value, earning complementary Best Resale Value and 5-Year Cost to Own awards.
On the strength of a comprehensive but evolutionary redesign, the 2016 Kia Optima unseated the legendary Honda Accord as the year’s Midsize Sedan Best Buy. It also earned a spot on our list of Best Family Cars for the first time.
Our second most-awarded vehicle of 2016 is the newest nameplate on this list and wasn’t even a year old before collecting all this hardware. In its first year on the market Honda’s new subcompact SUV was named one of the 10 Best SUVs Under $25,000, a Best Family Car, and a 5-Year Cost to Own champion, among other accolades.
No car won more Kelley Blue Book awards in 2016 than the totally redesigned Honda Civic. No car won a wider range of awards, either. And no car won a bigger award. One of our 10 Coolest Cars Under $18,000, one of our 16 Best Family Cars, and our Overall Best Buy of 2016 -- and that’s not half of its haul -- the newest Civic is something special just about any way you look at it.