When you hear the brand, Kelley Blue Book, what do you think of? Most will immediately associate it with fair used and new car prices. However, the company that has earned the trust of millions is much more than just a price comparison site. You’ll also find reviews, buying guides, and other automotive-related resources from and in-house expert editorial team. How do I know this? Last week I met many of the faces behind the articles found on KBB.com as we discussed the Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Awards.
Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Awards
The Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Awards were created to help consumers decide which car(s) to buy. Internal data shows that, out of the 20+ million unique monthly visitors KBB.com receives, 70% are looking to buy a new car but that two-thirds of those visitors are undecided as to what vehicle to buy. Pretty much all vehicles on the market these days are good but, if you go with a Best Buy Award winner, you’ll know that you’re getting a car that excels in both quality and value.
Kelley Blue Book reviews over 300 vehicles during the year and was able to narrow down the competition to only 49 contenders across 12 segments. Each of the nominees were rigorously tested and directly stacked against the competition by an expert editorial team. How? The evaluations began in August 2015. In addition to pricing, driving dynamics, parking, vehicle controls and infotainment systems, interior space, safety, and more checked.
Jack Nerad, Executive Editorial Director at Kelley Blue Book, took my group for a ride along the standard drive route they use. The route was focused on driving situations most people would encounter on a typical day including city driving, traffic at signals, freeway driving, and finally parking at the local shopping mall. Following this same route allowed each team member a standard to base their reviews.
We then had the opportunity to drive some of the nominees in the Mid-Size SUV and Luxury SUV categories. The direct comparison had a huge impact on how we personally liked the cars. At one checkpoint, strollers and car seats were even on hand so we could see how well each car would handle such basic family gear.
2016 Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Awards Winners
So, do you want to know which cars won in each segment? I have to admit that I was surprised at many of them and only a couple of my favorites made the cut. You can see the full list of nominees here. And the winners are…
- Overall Winner: 2016 Honda Civic
- Small Car: 2016 Honda Civic
- Mid-Size Car: 2016 Kia Optima
- Full-Size Car: 2016 Chevrolet Impala
- Luxury Car: 2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
- Sports/Performance Car: 2016 Chevrolet Corvette
- Electric/Hybrid: 2016 Chevrolet Volt
- Small SUV/Crossover: 2016 Honda CR-V
- Mid-Size SUV/Crossover: 2016 Honda Pilot
- Full-Size SUV/Crossover: 2016 Chevrolet Tahoe
- Luxury SUV/Crossover: 2016 Lexus RX
- Truck: 2016 Ford F-150
- Minivan: 2016 Honda Odyssey
To find out why these particular vehicles won the Best Buy Awards, you can read the full article on KBB.com.
Are any of these on your list of potential cars to buy?
I attended an all-expense paid media event for editorial purposes. All opinions are my own.