Awards Season

These are the U.S. News & World Report 2021 Best Cars for the Money

The 2021 Honda Passport offers buyers a lot of bang for their buck.

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Mfg. Inc.

It isn't just about which cars are good. For many buyers, it's about reaching the perfect blend of good, fuel efficient, and bang for your buck. The annual U.S. News & World Report Best Cars for the Money awards rates many of those factors, and more.

"When it comes to car buying, value is about more than a low price tag," said Jamie Page Deaton, executive editor of U.S. News Best Cars. "Buying the least expensive car on the lot can mean buyers end up with high ownership costs and a vehicle that doesn't necessarily fit their needs. The Best Cars for the Money award winners have strong value propositions at the dealership and down the road. They are all also a pleasure to own, with the performance, comfort and features buyers appreciate."

Within each class, the award winner has the best combination of quality and value. U.S. News & World Report measured quality using a car's overall score in the U.S. News Best Car Rankings. The overall score is based on safety and reliability data, as well as the collective opinion of the automotive press on a given model's performance and interior and how strongly each reviewer recommends the car. They measured value by looking at each model's real-time transaction prices, provided by TrueCar, and five-year total cost of ownership data, calculated by Vincentric.

Covering 11 categories, the awards highlight the cars, SUVs ,and minivans that give drivers the best combination of quality and value in their respective classes.

Here are the winners.

Best 2-Row SUV for the Money: 2021 Honda Passport

2021 Honda Passport Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Mfg. Inc.

Best 3-Row SUV for the Money: 2021 Kia Sorento

2021 Kia Sorento Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Best Compact Car for the Money: 2021 Kia Forte

2021 Kia Forte Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Best Compact SUV for the Money: 2021 Honda CR-V

2021 Honda CR-V Touring Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Best Hybrid and Electric Car for the Money: 2021 Toyota Corolla Hybrid

2021 Toyota Corolla Hybrid

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Best Hybrid and Electric SUV for the Money: 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Best Large Car for the Money: 2021 Toyota Avalon

2021 Toyota Avalon Limited AWD Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

Best Midsize Car for the Money: 2021 Toyota Camry

2021 Toyota Camry XSE Blueprint Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

Best Minivan for the Money: 2021 Honda Odyssey

2021 Honda Odyssey Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co. Inc.

Best Subcompact Car for the Money: 2021 Hyundai Accent

2021 Hyundai Accent

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

Best Subcompact SUV for the Money: 2021 Kia Soul

2021 Kia Soul Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

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Honda notified dealers of upcoming supply cuts.

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Honda, like all major automakers today, is truly a global operation. Though it produces plenty of vehicles here in the United States, many of the components it relies on for manufacturing come from elsewhere in the world. That means Honda, like the other auto giants, needs its global supply chain operating smoothly in order to prevent disruption. Unfortunately for Honda dealers and potential customers, disruption is what's about to happen. The automaker recently sent a letter to its dealers, forecasting reduced vehicle supply in the coming weeks.


2021 Honda Ridgeline No. 19 - Honda Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc


The dealer letter, posted to the Civic XI forum and fan site, was dated August 25 and confirmed by a dealer upset with the development, according to Automotive News. In the letter, Honda cites the ongoing pandemic and microchip shortages as major factors impacting its production efforts. Total shipments to dealers could be cut by up to 40 percent, but not all models will be affected to the same degree.

The letter noted that supplies of the Pilot and Passport SUVs will hold steady, and shared that production of the Civic hatchback is on schedule. However, the situation is fluid and could change at any time, so there's a chance that timelines could speed up or slack off as necessary.


2022 Honda Pilot Some models will see more cuts than others.Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc


Honda is just the latest in a long line of automakers struggling to keep pace with demand in the face of several converging global crises. In an effort to keep vehicles rolling out of factories, General Motors has implemented selective feature cuts in some of its new vehicles, such as the removal of engine start/stop tech from some trucks and SUVs. Earlier this month, Ford Motor Company told Mustang Mach-E buyers to expect delays of at least six weeks as it grapples with the chip shortage, and will temporarily reduce production capacity at a few of its plants.

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Vehicle sales numbers

Toyota has sold over 50 million Corollas

Toyota has sold tens of millions of Corollas over the last 55 years.

Toyota

The Toyota Corolla entered its 12th generation in 2019, after more than 50 years on sale. Now, in 2021, the automaker says the car has reached another benchmark, this time with an almost unbelievable number attached to it. In Today, Toyota says that in July 2021, it sold the 50-millionth Corolla. That's almost one Corolla sold for every six Americans alive today, though the sales total includes international vehicles as well.


1969 Toyota Corolla The Corolla's frugal powertrain helped it grow quickly in the United States.Toyota


The Corolla debuted in 1966 but didn't make its way to our shores until spring 1968. Sold as a 1969 model, the car had a starting price of around $1,700 at a time when the median household income was $7,700. The first cars had a short-stroke 1,077-cc four-cylinder engine, 12-inch wheels, and a four-speed manual transmission. That powertrain produced only 60 horsepower, which was good for the car to (eventually) reach 60 mph in about 17 seconds.

Though the car's quality and design helped, it was the oil crisis in the early 1970s that really pushed it to the top of buyers' lists. Big American cars powered by V8 engines fell out of favor as fuel rationing and higher prices took hold. The early Corolla's fuel economy of over 35 mpg helped it earn a place in many Americans' driveways as a result.


2021 Toyota Corolla Cross 2021 Toyota Corolla Cross Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Corporation


Toyota notes that it was building Corollas in the United States by the mid-1980s and says that the current generation car is built at its manufacturing facility in Mississippi. The automaker's new joint plant with Mazda, which is located in Huntsville, Alabama, will start building the new Corolla Cross this summer.

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