Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Awards of 2018

Value is in the eye of the beholder.

For some car buyers, style and technology deliver the most bang for the buck. Others place greater importance on safety and comfort. And with so many factors to consider, no two of us are exactly alike when it comes to the features and characteristics that best capture our hearts and minds. That’s why automakers are able to offer more than 300 unique nameplates.


But in any given segment, in any given model year, there exists a single entry that’s the best choice for the most buyers. These are the cars, trucks and SUVs that take home our annual Best Buy Awards.


And it turns out you, the car buyer, are pretty good at picking cars. Because the cars that earn our Best Buy Awards are very often among their segment’s best-selling vehicles.


How Do We Choose?

Every year we drive and review hundreds of new cars, trucks and SUVs, a nonstop process of evaluation that also informs our Buyer’s Guides, Comparison Tests, 10 Best lists and more. Then, at the beginning of each new model year, we gather the previous year’s Best Buy Award winners, the best of the challengers and all the brand-new models we can get our hands on -- sometimes pre-production versions of vehicles not yet on dealer lots -- and subject them to several weeks of focused, side-by-side evaluation.


The driving component is critical, of course, but a big part of what makes our Best Buy Awards so valuable is the data behind it. Our resale value and 5-Year Cost to Own calculations loom especially large in our analysis. Depreciation is almost always the biggest expense in new-car ownership, and without taking it into account it’s almost impossible to know which of two similarly priced cars will cost you more in the long run. If you want to get the most car for your money, you have to consider all your costs.


Almost every car in every segment is the right choice for someone. And with unprecedented levels of quality it’s harder to choose a bad vehicle nowadays. But even if by the slimmest of margins, there's always a vehicle that offers a stronger mix of attributes than its competitors.


Here are 12 of them.




Overall Best Buy

2018 Honda Accord

The midsize sedan segment has long been a sweet spot of needs, wants and value, and the new Accord is as sweet as it gets. Read More



Category Best Buys

Small Car
2018 Honda Civic

Honda’s highly recommendable compact car has now claimed our Small Car Best Buy Award four years in a row. Read More


Midsize Car
2018 Honda Accord

Groundbreaking style and excellent tech help the totally redesigned Accord set a new standard in the popular midsize sedan segment. Read More


Full-Size Car
2018 Chevrolet Impala

Another four-time Kelley Blue Book Best Buy, the Impala again outshined some impressive competition. Read More


Small SUV
2018 Honda CR-V

Whether you want a flexible and fuel-efficient errand-runner or a leather-laden commuter with enough premium amenities to pass for a luxury SUV, here it is. Read More



Midsize SUV
2018 Honda Pilot

Combining style and substance with a renowned reputation, Honda’s 3-row SUV nevertheless had to fend off some strong new challengers this year. Read More



Full-Size SUV
2018 Ford Expedition

From powertrain and driving dynamics to technology and practicality, the 2018 Ford Expedition is the clear new class leader. Read More




2018 Honda Odyssey

In our first review of the totally redesigned 2018 Honda Odyssey we called it the best family car in the world. Now we’re only more convinced. Read More


Pickup Truck
2018 Ford F-150

This four-time Best Buy now has an even tighter grip on the trophy thanks to a variety of meaningful enhancements for 2018. Read More


Electric/Hybrid Car
2018 Honda Clarity PHEV

The impressively well-rounded Clarity Plug-in Hybrid combines 5-passenger capacity and 47 miles of all-electric range with an available $7,500 federal tax credit. Read More


Performance Car
2018 Porsche 718 Boxster

It may be better associated with checkered flags than value honors, but this is the second Best Buy Award in a row for Porsche’s mid-engine magician. Read More


Luxury Car
2018 Audi A5 Sportback

The sleeker, roomier and more versatile new Audi A5 Sportback just offers a little more to love than last year’s Luxury Car Best Buy, the Audi A4. Read More


Luxury SUV
2018 Audi Q5

The totally redesigned Audi Q5 claims its first-ever Best Buy Award by taking its contemporary design, impressive tech and satisfying drive to class-leading levels. Read More