April 12, 2024

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Kelley Blue Book 2023 Best Buy Award Winners

Kelley Blue Book 2023 Best Buy Award Winners

The 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 5 seen from a front quarter angleThe 2023 Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Awards are here. The list of the best vehicles for your money includes some repeat winners, some newcomers, and more electric cars than ever before. An electric vehicle (EV) even claimed the top of the podium for the first time.

This year’s highest honor of Best New Model goes to the 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 5.

Our Best Buy Awards program highlights the top model in vehicle segments most relevant to new-car shoppers. Award categories evolve over the years to align with the changing automotive landscape. The 2023 Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Awards encompass 19 categories covering the entire spectrum of automotive needs.

This year, we added categories to reflect the growing roster of electric choices.

Our team of editors spends months evaluating more than 300 new-vehicle models. We conduct head-to-head tests. We also perform in-depth data analysis to find the vehicle in each segment that strikes the best balance of performance, capability, low operating costs, and affordability.

Editors consider 5-Year Cost To Own data that factors in depreciation, insurance, maintenance, financing, fuel, fees, and taxes for new cars – along with consumer reviews and ratings, plus vehicle sales information.

To be considered for Kelley Blue Book’s highest accolade, Best New Model, the vehicle must be an all-new or redesigned vehicle – unavailable before the prior year’s final Best Buy Awards testing – and offer a strong value proposition to consumers based on pricing, innovation, and available standard technology and safety features.

The Winners

The 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 5 seen from a front quarter angle

Best New Model: 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 5

“Our team was so impressed with the all-new Hyundai Ioniq 5 during this year’s Best Buy Awards testing that we didn’t just give it the title of Best Electric Vehicle for 2023; it also earned our Best New Model trophy,” says Jason Allan, principal editor of reviews and ratings.

The Ioniq 5 “exemplifies how easy it can be now to go all-electric, boasting the kind of impressive range and tech features that consumers have come to expect, and offering terrific value relative to the competition.”

This year, Kelley Blue Book partnered with NASCAR driver Toni Breidinger so she could use her professional race-car driver skills to put the top winner to the test.

“The spacious interior and extended dashboard really stood out to me,” Breidinger notes. “Most importantly, I appreciated the all-electric range. After a test day with the Ioniq 5, I can confirm this year’s Best New Model is racer-approved.”

Best Electric Vehicle and Best New Model: 2023 Hyundai IONIQ 5

With more than 300 miles of range, a spacious, tech-filled interior, and an impressive starting price, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 shows how easy it can be for someone to go all-electric. You can even go from a 10% charge to 80% in as little as 18 minutes.

Best Compact Car: 2023 Honda Civic

Silver 2022 Honda Civic Sedan near palm trees

There’s a reason the 2023 Honda Civic tops our Best Compact Car list. It has accomplished that feat for eight of the past nine years because it just does everything right. The Civic sedan is a joy to drive. It’s a worry-free mode of transport that won’t break the budget and holds its value exceptionally well.

Best Subcompact SUV: 2023 Kia Seltos

2023 Kia Seltos in white

When you’re shopping for a subcompact SUV, every dollar counts. That’s why the Kia Seltos is our Best Subcompact SUV winner again for 2023. Its low starting price, long list of standard tech and safety features, impressive fuel economy, and fantastic warranty make the Seltos a terrific value. This stylish SUV also boasts one of the roomiest interiors in its class.

Best Compact SUV: 2023 Honda CR-V

2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid near trees.

The Honda CR-V has been among the easiest vehicles to recommend for many, many years. In fact, it has been named a Kelley Blue Book Best Buy more times than any other compact SUV. Fresh off a complete redesign and now bigger and better than ever, the CR-V has reclaimed its place as the compact SUV we deem to be the best choice for the most people.

Best 2-Row Midsize SUV: 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe

2023 Hyundai Santa Fe in white.

We recognize not only the immense value of this 5-passenger SUV but also its wide appeal. Hyundai hangs its hat on its value story. Nowhere is that value more apparent than in the level and quality of its technology. An SUV at this price point with this degree of attention to detail inside and out is a tribute to Hyundai’s genius for making every dollar count.

Best 3-Row Midsize SUV: 2023 Kia Telluride

2023 Kia Telluride X-Line

The Telluride wins this category for the fourth time. It has taken the prize every year since it went on sale. The Telluride is great-looking and roomy, with an upscale interior. It’s practical with a stacked roster of standard safety and convenience equipment. The Telluride is an excellent value in the midsize SUV segment.

Best Full-Size SUV: 2023 Ford Expedition

Red 2022 Ford Expedition

The 2023 Ford Expedition is a comfortable, refined 8-passenger full-size SUV that is ready for work and travel. It can tow up to 9,300 pounds. Features like Pro Trailer Backup Assist 2.0 and a blind-spot system that also accounts for the trailer make towing easier.

Best Compact Pickup Truck: 2023 Ford Maverick

2022 Ford Maverick FX4

The Ford Maverick heralds the return of the compact pickup, providing light-duty versatility in a truck as easy on gas as it is on the eyes. With nearly 500 miles of range, the hybrid Maverick bests even the most frugal subcompact. Yet it’s capable of hauling a 1,500-pound payload and towing up to 2,000 pounds – or 4,000  with the all-gas powertrain.

Best Midsize Pickup Truck: 2023 Toyota Tacoma

A 2023 Toyota Tacoma drives past a rocky ridge. The truck is red, and pulling a pair of motorcycles on a trailer.

The 2023 Toyota Tacoma cannot be beaten where midsize pickup trucks are concerned. No matter the metric you use, the Tacoma tops its class. This begins in the showroom, where you will find the cab style, trim level, cargo-box length, engine, and drivetrain to suit your needs. Thanks to the Tacoma’s Toyota-tough reliability, you won’t be on a first-name basis with the local dealership’s service writer. Moreover, when you’re finally ready to trade in or sell your Tacoma, you’ll appreciate its uncanny ability to retain its value over the years.

Best Full-Size Pickup Truck: 2023 Ford F-150

Silver 2023 Ford F-150 Rattler

Whether it’s a basic work truck, an opulent people mover, or something in between, Ford offers an F-150 to do the job. On a mission to put its own stamp on future mobility, Ford loads up the 2023 Ford F-150 with technology while electrifying the lineup with a hybrid and fully electric model. The F-150 excels when towing and hauling, and Ford continues to exceed buyers’ expectations.

Best Electric Truck: 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

The Ford F-150 Lightning, the all-electric version of the perennially best-selling Ford F-Series, is a great buy for its reasonable pricing, impressive range, and advanced tech features. As for its capabilities, the F-150 Lightning has some impressive specs for an EV. It can tow up to 10,000 pounds and has a maximum payload rating of 2,000.

Best Minivan: 2023 Toyota Sienna

Blue 2022 Toyota Sienna near building.

The Toyota Sienna is our Best Buy in the Minivan segment for the third consecutive year. Its “threepeat” is well deserved for offering just about everything you could want in a family hauler. The Sienna’s interior is an excellent execution of the “living room on wheels” characteristic that families love. The hybrid powertrain gives it low fuel costs. The Sienna also is an outstanding value when it comes to what minivan drivers value – safety and reliability.

Best EV Under $35,000: 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUV

2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUV

As a slightly longer version of the Bolt EV, the Bolt EUV (Electric Utility Vehicle) impressed the KBB.com editors with its roomy back seat and excellent build quality, along with its great price and impressive 247-mile range. With EVs, shoppers tend to measure value in a simple fashion — how far they can go on a full charge. It is a fair, real-world approach. By this measurement, the 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUV shines brightly.

Best Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle: 2023 Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid

White 2023 Kia Sportage PHEV

The best of both worlds, the Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid is both the most powerful and the most fuel-efficient model in the all-new Sportage lineup. With 34 miles of all-electric range followed by hybrid fuel economy of 35 mpg, you can enjoy driving in comfort while only occasionally having to stop for gas.

Best Luxury Car: 2023 Lexus ES

White 2023 Lexus ES 300h parked near fence

The Lexus ES checks all the boxes for a luxury vehicle – and then some – yet does so in an unpretentious way. On the road, its manners are without fault. Yet the success story of the ES goes far beyond it being a rewarding car to drive. Its narrative includes plot lines not usually associated with luxury cars, including a stellar value proposition and rock-solid reliability.

Best Subcompact Luxury SUV: 2023 BMW X1

2023 BMW X1 xDrive28i

All-new for 2023 with bolder looks, better technology, and a grown-up persona, the BMW X1 also is a first-time Best Buy Award winner. The BMW X1 has long been a gateway into the German luxury brand, representing BMW’s smallest SUV and one of its best values. Now is the X1’s time to shine.

Best Compact Luxury SUV: 2023 Genesis GV70

Red 2022 Genesis GV70

It is no mystery why GV70 continues to win accolades. Its enticing good looks and feature-rich equipment offerings are alluring, but the GV70’s value story turns just as many heads.

Best Midsize Luxury SUV: 2023 Genesis GV80

2023 Genesis GV80

The Genesis GV80 is the brand’s first SUV and a relative newcomer to the midsize luxury SUV segment, yet it already has established itself as a leader in this competitive class. It has a roomy, luxurious interior with available 3-row seating, an engaging drive with two engine options, excellent safety ratings, and a class-leading warranty.