Revealed! These SUVs, Cars, and Trucks Are the Best Values for 2021
When you buy a new car, the price you pay over time isn’t what’s on the sticker. Depreciation, maintenance, and other hidden costs help determine how much you’ll truly spend once you leave the dealership. Now, after analyzing total ownership costs for nearly every vehicle on the market, IntelliChoice is announcing the winners of its 2021 Best Overall Value of the Year (BOVY) awards.
IntelliChoice, a MotorTrend affiliate, has led the industry in car value analysis for 35 years. This year, it examined the five-year ownership costs of nearly 2,400 vehicles, accounting not only for depreciation and maintenance but also for insurance, financing, fees, fuel, and repair costs. To help consumers make smarter buying decisions, the BOVY awards recognize vehicles that have significantly lower than expected ownership costs compared to other vehicles in the same category.
Which Cars and SUVs Are the Best Value? Toyota and Lexus Dominate
Toyota and Lexus performed well this year, snagging 13 of the 25 BOVY class awards. The soon-to-be-discontinued Land Cruiser secured Toyota’s first win in the Luxury Utility class, while the Tacoma remains the Midsize Pickup winner, a title no other vehicle has held in the last decade. The Highlander won in its segment for an eighth consecutive year, while the Sienna snagged the title in the minivan class from the three-time-winning Honda Odyssey.
Genesis earned its first-ever BOVY award with the G80 2.5T in the Luxury Passenger Car class. The Ford Mustang GT Coupe extends its winning streak to eight years in the Performance Car category, while the Subaru Crosstrek nabbed a win in the popular Subcompact Utility class. Meanwhile, the updated Lexus IS300 takes the title in its segment away from last year’s winner, the Volvo S60.
Best of the Best: IntelliChoice’s Two Overall Winners for 2021
Not only did the Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited win the Compact Utility and Midsize Utility awards, respectively, but they also scored the Overall Value award among all non-premium vehicles thanks to their high retained values. Benefiting from low fuel costs and low operating costs, the Lexus NX300h received both the Premium Compact Utility award and the overall award among all premium models.
Overall Value Popular Vehicle – Jeep Wrangler/Wrangler Unlimited
Overall Value Premium Vehicle – Lexus NX 300h
Top Brands for Value
Finally, IntelliChoice honors automotive brands with the best results in three areas: retained value, ownership costs, and overall value. Here, IntelliChoice takes a sales-weighted average of a brand’s model line. Winners of the ownership costs category are brands whose vehicles have the lowest total ownership costs, and winners of the value category have vehicles with significantly lower than expected ownership costs for their peer groups. Once again, Toyota and Lexus came out strong.
Highest Retained Value
Popular – Toyota
Premium – Porsche
Popular – Toyota
Premium – Lexus
Lowest Cost of Ownership
Popular – Subaru
Premium – Acura
Learn more about how we value cars here.
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