Whether you are planning to spend less than $20,000 or more than $40,000 on your new car, SUV or pick-up truck, some models simply offer more value for the money than others. Here’s the list of best cars for the money according to U.S. News & World Report, by size category. Even though the list is mostly import names, some of the vehicles, including the VW Jetta, Hyundai Santa Fe and Toyota Camry, are produced in American factories.
Toyota, with its Scion and Lexus brands, leads the list with wins in five categories, Sports Cars, Hybrid SUVs, Midsize Sedans, Luxury 2-Row Midsize SUVs and Compact Pickup Trucks. The Lexus RX-350 has won a Best Car for the Money award six years in a row.
Ford leads the list of domestic automakers and any single brand, winning four awards for Subcompact Cars, Hatchbacks, Hybrid Cars and 2-Row Midsize SUVs. For three consecutive years, the Ford Edge and Ford Fusion Hybrid have won Best Car for the Money awards.
Best 2014 cars for the money, by category:
- Subcompact Car – Ford Fiesta
- Compact Car – Mazda3
- Hatchback – Ford Fiesta
- Sports Car – Scion FR-S
- Upscale Small Car – Volkswagen GTI
- Midsize Car – Toyota Camry
- Upscale Midsize Car – Chevrolet Volt
- Hybrid Car – Ford Fusion Hybrid
- Large Car – Chevrolet Impala
- Wagon – Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen
- Compact SUV – Honda CR-V
- 2-Row Midsize SUV – Ford Edge
- 3-Row Midsize SUV – Hyundai Santa Fe
- Hybrid SUV – Lexus RX Hybrid
- Luxury Compact SUV – Acura RDX
- Luxury 2-Row Midsize SUV – Lexus RX 350
- Luxury 3-Row Midsize SUV Acura MDX
- Large SUV – Chevrolet Tahoe
- Minivan – Mazda Mazda5
- Compact Pickup Truck – Toyota Tacoma
- Full Size Pickup Trucks – Ram 1500
U.S. News considered 225 cars for the Best Cars for the Money awards. The award methodology factors quality and value data into a composite score. Value is measured by a combination of a vehicle’s five-year total cost of ownership provided by Vincentric, LLC and the average price paid for the vehicle at the time the awards are published, as calculated by TrueCar.com.