Are you a savvy shopper who also likes smart shortcuts? You’ve come to the right place. The ninth annual Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Awards highlight the singular cars, trucks, and SUVs we recommend and endorse for the most shoppers across a variety of vehicle segments.
Every year we spend thousands of hours driving and researching hundreds of cars, and our Best Buy Awards are the purest distillation of those efforts. Our awards span a wide range of sizes and prices. We give extra weight to financial considerations like expected resale value and historical reliability. Our goal, as always, is to make it easy for you to shop like an expert.
In other words, buy one of these if you need to buy a car today.
Best new model
2023 Hyundai Ioniq 5
With more than 300 miles of range and a spacious, tech-filled interior, the Hyundai
Ioniq 5 makes it easy to go all-electric.
Best in class
2023 Kia Seltos
A low starting price, a long list of standard tech and safety features, and impressive fuel economy make the Kia
Seltos a terrific value.
2023 Honda CR-V
In addition to a proven history of reliability, excellent resale value, and an inviting interior, the new CR-V is efficient and downright pleasant.
2023 Hyundai Santa Fe
The Hyundai Santa Fe makes its mark with solid fuel economy, good driving dynamics, and a premium feel inside and out.
2023 Kia Telluride
The roomy, upscale Telluride is practical, with a stacked roster of standard safety features and convenience equipment — and it’s an excellent value.
2023 Ford Expedition
Expedition offers an impressive combination of capability, comfort, refinement, and tech.
2023 BMW X1
With bold looks, great tech, and a grown-up personality, the all-new BMW X1 is a first-time member of the Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Award club.
2023 Genesis GV70
The Genesis GV70’s enticing good looks and feature-rich equipment offerings are alluring, but the GV70’s value story turns just as many heads.
2023 Genesis GV80
The Genesis GV80 has a roomy, luxurious interior, engaging drive quality, excellent safety ratings, and a class-leading warranty.
2023 Honda Civic
Civic is a joy to drive. It’s a worry-free mode of transport that won’t bust the budget. And the Civic holds its value exceptionally well.
2023 Lexus ES
The Lexus ES checks all the right boxes for a luxury vehicle and goes even further with a stellar value proposition and rock-solid reliability.
2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUV
The Chevy Bolt EUV has a roomy back seat, excellent build quality, a great price, and an impressive range.
2023 Hyundai Ioniq 5
Its retro styling turns heads, but the 303-mile range, easy-to-use tech, and spacious interior at a reasonable price make the Ioniq 5 a Best Buy.
2023 Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid
With 34 miles of all-electric range and 84 MPGe, you can enjoy driving the all-new Kia Sportage PHEV in comfort while only occasionally having to stop for gas.
2023 Ford Maverick
The versatile Ford Maverick nets nearly 500 miles of range, can carry 1,500 pounds of payload, and can tow up to 4,000 pounds.
2023 Toyota Tacoma
The Tacoma has Toyota-tough durability, a wide range of combinations, and excellent off-road prowess.
2023 Ford F-150
2023 Ford F-150 Lightning
The Ford F-150 Lightning has an impressive range and advanced tech. It can tow up to 10,000 pounds and has a 2,000-pound payload capacity.
2023 Toyota Sienna
Sienna has a roomy, family-friendly interior. The hybrid powertrain gives it low fuel costs. And it also boasts outstanding safety and reliability.
About the Best Buy awards
Finding the right vehicle to meet your needs is a daunting task in a market with plenty of choices and stiff competition among automakers. That’s where Kelley Blue Book steps in to make that major purchase both as well-informed and as easy as possible. It’s in that spirit that we present our annual Best Buy Awards. For nine years, our experienced vehicle review staff has put the latest vehicles through their paces to determine which models are tops in their segments. We look for those vehicles delivering the best blend of performance, capability, low operating costs, affordability, and overall appeal.
Whatever your transportation needs, the Best Buy Award program includes categories representing the wide range of vehicles available today, from gas-powered compact SUVs to all-electric trucks.
As the market evolves, so do we
This year we added two new award categories reflecting the growing number and variety of electric vehicles on the market and rapidly increasing EV sales. In addition to spotlighting the Best Electric Vehicle, this year’s Best Buy Awards introduce the Best Electric Vehicle Under $35,000 and Best Electric Truck awards.
Even as the vehicles under our consideration continue to evolve, what doesn’t change are the criteria Kelley Blue Book editors rely on to help determine which models are eligible for consideration and, ultimately, the awards themselves. At the top of our list are vehicles that combine affordability, dependability, reliability, and low ownership and operating costs. These attributes go hand-in-hand with vehicles offering comfort, convenience, the latest in high-tech driver and safety assists, intuitive infotainment, and, at the same time, are satisfying to drive.
Much of the initial information needed to qualify and evaluate vehicles for KBB’s annual Best Buy program comes from the vehicles driven, evaluated, and reviewed by the Kelley Blue Book vehicle review staff throughout the year.
This extensive hands-on experience with new vehicles provides the basis for our written and video reviews, including the vehicle ratings driving our Best Cars rankings. Based on this coverage and data gleaned from our proprietary resale value insights and 5-Year Cost to Own data, we determine which all-new or extensively redesigned vehicles we will consider as Best Buy candidates.
The list of participating vehicles is finalized during the summer, with testing at KBB’s Irvine, California, headquarters starting in September. The current category winner is tested side-by-side against the crop of the latest challengers. We evaluate seating comfort, ease of entry and exit, luggage space, amenities, and infotainment systems.
In addition, we look closely at build quality, cabin materials, and pricing against the competition and expected resale value and operating costs. We also get behind the wheel and test drive the vehicles over a series of loops involving everyday traffic and road conditions to experience the cars as an owner would. A manufacturer’s reputation for quality, reliability, durability, and various warranties, including bumper-to-bumper and powertrain, also factor in our decision.
For 2023, the Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Awards go to the best in categories that encompass nearly the entire range of vehicles that meet virtually all automotive needs. We also recognize the Best New Model for 2023. Our awards are a powerful tool to help you make the right new vehicle choice.
This story originally ran on KBB.com.