2017 Best Cars for the Money

The U.S. News Best Car for the Money awards highlight the cars, trucks, SUVs and minivans that give you the best of both worlds: value and an outstanding ownership experience. Each award winner has the best combination of quality and value in each of their respective classes – and with the awards covering 20 different automotive categories, it’s easy to find a winning car that works for you. 

How We Measured Quality

To measure quality, we used data from our car rankings, which have set the standard in unbiased, consumer-focused car shopping advice for nearly ten years. Rather than using just our own tests and opinions to rank cars, our team collects and analyzes every published and credible review of a given model, and combines that analysis with hard safety and reliability data.

How We Measured Value

To measure value, we teamed with the pricing experts at TrueCar to find out the average prices people are paying for new cars right now. We know that value doesn’t just matter the day you buy the car, but every day you own it as well.  To get a long-term picture of how much each car costs to own, we worked with our partners at Vincentric to gather total cost of ownership data, which includes things like the cost of gas, insurance and repairs over five years. We combined the pricing and ownership costs data to get a clear picture of each model’s overall value.

See the photo gallery of the winners »

Best Cars for Families »

The Winners: Cars

The Winners: SUVs and Minivans

The Winners: Trucks

Winning Trends

Toyota, along with its luxury brand, Lexus, won the most awards, netting five different trophies in categories that range from Best Hybrid Car for the Money, the Toyota Prius, to the Best Luxury 2-Row SUV for the Money, the Lexus RX. While Lexus and Toyota models tend to have higher prices than some competition cars, their excellent performance in our rankings, plus their low long-term costs, make them excellent choices.

Another brand that has great value is Kia, which won awards for Best Compact Car for the Money with the Kia Soul and Best 3-Row SUV for the Money with the Kia Sorrento. Kia managed to edge out tough competition from brands like Honda, thanks to their long list of standard features and comfortable interiors, as well as how inexpensive they are to own over the long haul.

Several of this year’s winners have won in the past: the Chevrolet Colorado, the Best Compact Truck for the Money; Chevrolet Impala, the Best Large Car for the Money; the  Nissan Murano, the Best 2-Row SUV for the Money; and Acrua MDX, the Best Luxury 3-Row SUV for the Money, have won each of their respective categories for three or more consecutive years. The fact that these models have hung on to their awards despite newer models being introduced in their classes indicates that they have the features and performance consumers want, as well as prices and ownership costs that won’t crimp your budget. 

Still, some newcomers managed to win their classes. The all-new Chrysler Pacifica won Best Minivan for the Money thanks to its lower-than-average price, and the glowing reviews it earned from automotive journalists. The Fiat 124 Spider, the Best Sports Car for the Money, is another all-new model and first-time winner, with nimble handling and an upscale interior, plus ownership costs other sports cars can’t match.

More Information on Why These Models Won

2017 Kia Soul | 2017 Toyota Prius | 2017 Chevrolet Impala | 2017 Lexus ES | 2017 Audi A4 | 2017 Hyundai Sonata | 2017 Fiat 124 Spider | 2017 Honda Fit | 2017 Kia Sorento | 2017 Nissan Murano | 2017 Honda CR-V | 2017 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid | 2017 Ford Expedition | 2017 Lexus RX | 2017 Acura MDX | 2017 Lexus NX | 2017 Chrysler Pacifica | 2017 Honda HR-V | 2017 Chevrolet Colorado | 2017 Ford F-150

See winners from previous years: 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 

5-year total cost of ownership data provided by Vincentric, LLC Average price paid data provided by TrueCar™