These Car Brands Have the Best Values, Says IntelliChoice

Finding good value options on the car market can be tough. It’s hard to consider upfront costs versus long-term ownership, maintenance bills, and retained value. Luckily, MotorTrend and IntelliChoice have come up with the 2022 Best Value of the Year Awards to help you find the best deals on the market. 

IntelliChoice’s Best Value of the Year Awards

A speech from the MotorTrend Group, the company that also holds the IntelliChoice Awards
A speech from the MotorTrend Group | Amanda Edwards/Getty Images for Discovery, Inc.

Founded in 1986, IntelliChoice updates vehicle data monthly to determine ownership costs. This considers factors like incentive programs, car rebates, and insurance and fuel costs.

IntelliChoice adds that to general market analysis to come up with the best value options. The best value car brands and vehicles are determined using a five-year cost to own. IntelliChoice compiled data on nearly 2,500 vehicles for the 2022 awards. 

According to MotorTrend, there are three categories within the awards: highest retained value, best value, and lowest cost of ownership categories. Each category has two winners, a popular and premium brand.

2022 Highest Retained Value Awards

The car brands that get this designation keep the best value over the five-year analysis. For 2022, the popular brand winner is Jeep, and the premium brand winner is Porsche. Jeep takes the popular title from Toyota for 2022 as one of the best value car brands.

Jeep earned IntelliChoice’s best overall value popular vehicle award with the Wrangler/Wrangler Unlimited. Overall, Jeep won three awards from IntelliChoice for 2022. The Jeep Wrangler took home the best compact utility value, the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited won best midsize utility value, and the Jeep Grand Cherokee won best premium midsize utility value.

Porsche won the best luxury performance car value with the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4/Spyder. This is not too much of a surprise. Kelley Blue Book named Porsche the best resale value luxury brand in 2021. Due to lower overall production compared to the likes of Toyota and Honda, there are fewer Porsches on the road. However, those models will retain their value over five years.

2022 Best Value Awards

Jeep shines again with IntelliChoice’s best value awards, winning the popular award category. Jeep wins this from Toyota again. With the best overall value popular vehicle, it’s no surprise to see Jeep take this award.

In the premium category, IntelliChoice names Lincoln as the best value. This is a new winner as well – as Lexus took home the title in 2021. No Lincoln models won individual awards for 2022, but IntelliChoice chose the car brand as a best value thanks to costs over time.

Lincoln models cost less to own than many luxury rivals. Consumer Reports found that Lincoln’s average annual ownership cost is $159 for the first three years. At 10 years, the yearly average ownership cost is $290. This makes the Lincoln Navigator one of the longest-lasting SUVs on the market. 

2022 Lowest Cost of Ownership Awards

This award is given to brands whose vehicles have lower than expected ownership costs. The popular category winner for 2022 is Subaru. RepairPal data gives Subaru an above-average reliability rating (3.5 out of 5 stars). Average annual repair costs are $617, which is lower than the average of $652. Data shows the average Subaru visits a repair shop 0.3 times per year, which is also below average. The most reliable model in the brand’s lineup is the Crosstrek.

The award is in contrast to Consumer Reports which named Subaru one of the most expensive non-luxury brands to own. However, the same group says new Subaru models are some of the most reliable on the market.

In the premium category, Acura gets the award for the lowest cost of ownership. Neither Acura nor Subaru won any individual value awards from IntelliChoice, but Acura does have a reputation for reliability and longevity. 

RepairPal gives Acura 4 out of 5 stars for reliability – second only to Honda, its parent car brand. Additionally, an iSeeCars study shows how well used Acuras perform. The car brand won best-used luxury small SUV with the Acura RDX and was runner-up in three used car categories: best luxury midsize SUV and luxury crossover SUV with the Acura MDX, and best luxury large car with the Acura RLX.

Which car brand is best for the money?

Looking at all of the awards, it’s hard to argue with Jeep as the best car brand for the money. Wins from IntelliChoice in highest retained value and best value put it ahead of the competition.

A close second is Ford. IntelliChoice gave the car brand five best overall value of the year awards: cargo van (Transit Connect Cargo Van), midsize pickup (Maverick), minivan (Transit Connect Passenger Wagon), premium full-size utility (Expedition), and sporty/coupe (Mustang). That many wins make it another best-value car brand.

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