Looking to buy a new car? 2016 Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Award winners announced

This post is sponsored by iConnect Influencer Management and Kelley Blue Book. While travel expenses were provided, all opinions remain my own.KBB Ride n DriveThis past week I've been asked my opinion on what car someone should buy more times than I have in my entire life leading up to this point. This could be in part because friends, family, and readers know that last week I took a quick press trip to Irvine, California to learn all about the Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Awards and got to test drive a fleet of cars that were named as finalists. KBB Best Buy awardsAt this point I should clarify that I had absolutely nothing to do with the actual awards, I just got to meet the team behind the reviews and get a quick rundown of what all goes into their vehicle testing before they announced their winners.

And, I'm pretty sure it’s for the best that no one is relying on me for hard data because I somehow got my teammate, Missi from Life Is Poppin’, horribly lost on the first leg of the journey through Newport Beach. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm pretty good at navigating, so I think this goes to show my attention to detail, or lack thereof.

KBB test rideAnd, trust me when I say that the Kelley Blue Book team has it handled. Hearing their process and their system for reviews makes me very confident that they take what consumers want and need to heart. Although I might be an asset to the team in other, less detail-oriented ways, they are doing just fine on their own in terms of helping people like you and me buy cars.

Don't believe me? Look at this amazing line-up of cars named as Kelley Blue Book Best Buys for 2016. Of more than 300 new-car models available for 2016, Kelley Blue Book’s expert editors initially narrowed the field to 49 Best Buy Award Finalists in 12 major vehicle categories and then spent several weeks testing and evaluating all of the finalists head-to-head to ultimately determine these winners.
•    Overall Winner and Small Car Winner: 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

KBB take your pickAs I said, we got to test drive {and get lost in} many of these cars during our trip in Newport Beach. We got to do mock trials just like the real testers do and fit car seats, strollers, crowds of bloggers, and more into the vehicles. Not as part of our test runs, but more just for fun while we were riding as passengers, we got to try out navigation systems, climate controls, entertainment systems, and test out how many bloggers could fit in a Volvo XC90. The answer is "more than you would think", if you're wondering. KBB portrait in carMy favorite part of the Kelley Blue Book Ride-n-Drive event was learning from the folks at KBB about the things they see as most helpful for consumers. Hearing them talk about the little details that matter most to them made me think of what a hard job it is to truly review cars. When I think of a car review, I think of what I do where I test out a vehicle and tell you what type of person would love it. Reviewing 300 new cars on a more general scale is more than intimidating because vehicle preferences can be very subjective. KBB testingRich, one of the KBB testers said, “a phenomenal car is one I can sit behind myself in", and it made me really think about what makes a car awesome for someone tall, like myself and my husband, might be no big deal for someone else who only transports small children. But, hearing them talk about the intense number crunching process that vehicles go through in order to determine the cost of ownership made it very clear that hard facts aren’t impossible – you just have to know where to look. KBB test driving with teamAnd, now I know where I will be looking, because Kelley Blue Book has fully earned my trust. But, it’s not just me. With 20 million unique views a month at KBB.com, it’s clear they are the go-to site for vetting automobiles and finding data to help consumers make an informed vehicle purchase. The reputation of being the most well-respected and experienced editorial staff in the industry isn’t an accident. The people at Kelley Blue Book really know their stuff. KBB beautiful day for a driveWe had a great time cruising around California and popping down for an afternoon at the beach, but for the most part we were just having fun and enjoying some awesome rides – as passengers and as drivers. It may not have been part of the official Best Buy testing experience, but vital to what we were doing with Kelley Blue Book was hanging out with some truly amazing blogger friends, both old and new. KBB bloggers in front of carOf course, we took way too many photos, especially of food. And there was an abundance of amazing food. KBB Del Frisco's GrilleAlso, there were lots of selfies happening. KBB bloggers at beachAnd friendships solidified by a little ocean air and a whole lot of crazy hair. This picture took 6 takes with all of our ocean hair. KBB by the oceanLots of beautiful scenery and fun drives around the city. KBB California drivingAnd, there was even a little “me time”, which I forgot how much I missed. KBB me timeAt the end of the day, I escaped back to my room and wrote a blog post with no interruptions at all. This may not sound exciting, but this is the stuff of dreams for all bloggers. KBB hotel roomAs much fun as it was hanging out and eating lots of amazing food with some really fun people, I st
ill missed all my little people at home. Even though I knew I was going to be back before any mail could reach them, I still sent them the postcard Kelley Blue Book left for me the day I arrived so I could tell them just how much I missed home.
KBB Newport BeachWant to read more about the 2016 Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Award Winners? Let’s hear from the professionals and see what Kelley Blue Book has to say:

Overall Winner: 2016 Honda Civic – The venerable Honda Civic has been completely redesigned for 2016, and the compact car segment will never be the same. Stylish, refined and tech-savvy, sporting a powerful and efficient new powertrain, the wholly impressive and downright desirable new Civic is nothing less than the best car you can buy for under $20,000, and this year’s Overall Best Buy.
Small Car: 2016 Honda Civic – Last year’s Small Car Best Buy Award winner was completely redesigned for 2016, and took this year’s trophy even more convincingly. With a sharp new look, class-above interior, impressive new powertrain and cutting-edge technology, the wholly rethought Civic is the best of the class by a long shot.
Mid-Size Car: 2016 Kia Optima – After years of winning fans with its sharp style, premium features and solid value, a full redesign for 2016 has catapulted the Kia Optima past some truly great automobiles to claim this year’s Mid-Size Car Best Buy Award.
Full-Size Car: 2016 Chevrolet Impala – Chevy’s famously roomy, comfortable, affordable sedan is much more than that today. The latest iteration is also stylish inside and out, offers a long list of in-car technologies including Apple CarPlay and wireless phone charging, and balances smooth highway ride with responsive handling.
Luxury Car: 2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class – Last year’s redesign elevated the Mercedes-Benz C-Class to Luxury Car Best Buy status, and nothing could take it away this year. The distinctive design gets even more appealing with time, while the polished interior and surprisingly dynamic driving experience feel equally timeless.
Sports/Performance Car: 2016 Chevrolet Corvette – An unmatchable mix of performance and price has always been the Corvette’s trump card, but impressive fuel economy and resale value strengthen its case as the Best Buy in fun.
Electric/Hybrid: 2016 Chevrolet Volt – Another 2015 Best Buy that was completely redesigned for 2016, the second-generation Chevy Volt complements greater battery range and improved performance with sleeker styling, more features, and even-more-attractive pricing.
Small SUV/Crossover: 2016 Honda CR-V – The Honda CR-V is the best-selling SUV in the country, one of our 10 most awarded vehicles of the past year, and now it’s been named a Kelley Blue Book Best Buy two years in a row. Effortless driving manners, a roomy interior, and a bulletproof reputation for reliability continue to set the CR-V apart.
Mid-Size SUV/Crossover: 2016 Honda Pilot – After shining brightest in our midsize SUV comparison test earlier in the year, with a compelling combination of utility, comfort, features and price, none of our editors were surprised when the totally redesigned 2016 Honda Pilot also claimed this year’s Mid-Size SUV/Crossover Best Buy Award.
Full-Size SUV/Crossover: 2016 Chevrolet Tahoe – The Chevy Tahoe is far and away the best-selling vehicle in the segment, and its unique combination of style, comfort, economy and value has earned it Kelley Blue Book Best Buy honors for the second year in a row.
Luxury SUV/Crossover: 2016 Lexus RX – The Lexus RX isn’t just the best-selling model in the Lexus lineup, it's the best-selling luxury SUV in America. Buyers find great value in the comfortable, reliable, desirable RX, and a complete redesign for 2016 has helped it earn this year’s Luxury SUV/Crossover Best Buy Award.
Truck: 2016 Ford F-150 – Radically redesigned for 2015 with an aluminum-intensive architecture and an expanded lineup of powerful, efficient turbocharged V6 engines, the latest F-150 enters its second model year boasting best-in-class towing, payload and fuel economy, and now back-to-back Best Buy trophies.
Minivan: 2016 Honda Odyssey – Combining superior flexibility, unmatched practicality and renowned refinement, the Honda Odyssey remains the minivan of minivans and a repeat Best Buy Award winner.

When asked about the Best Buy Award winners, Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com said, “Kelley Blue Book Best Buys represent the highest level of quality and value of all vehicles available in the American market. With nearly 90 years of trust in providing car shoppers with valuable information, Kelley Blue Book takes great pride in providing a significant consumer service by identifying the new vehicles that our experts believe to be the absolute best-value choices for new-car shoppers.”  

For more information and news from Kelley Blue Book, be sure to follow @kelleybluebook on Twitter, like Kelley Blue Book on Facebook, and get updates on Google+.

About Kelley Blue Book
Founded in 1926, Kelley Blue Book, The Trusted Resource®, is the only vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the automotive industry. Each week the company provides the most market-reflective values in the industry on its top-rated website KBB.com, including its famous Blue Book® Trade-In Values and Fair Purchase Price, which reports what others are paying for new and used cars this week. The company also provides vehicle pricing and values through various products and services available to car dealers, auto manufacturers, finance and insurance companies, and governmental agencies. Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com ranked highest in its category for brand equity by the 2015 Harris Poll EquiTrend® study and has been named Online Auto Shopping Brand of the Year for four consecutive years.

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2 thoughts on “Looking to buy a new car? 2016 Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Award winners announced”

  1. I use Kelley Blue Book all the time for buying and selling cars, but I had no idea they had an award program. I’ll have to check it out, because this is a pretty awesome list of cars


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