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How can you get the biggest bang for your buck out of a car? That happens when a vehicle delivers much more than expected. It could have exceptional safety ratings, a lower-than-anticipated starting price, or higher-quality materials than expected. Could one of the best cars for the money fit your needs? Find out the winners.

Here are 12 of the best cars for the money in 2023

Best cars for the money: 2023 Hyundai Palisade
2023 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy | Hyundai

U.S. News gives Best Cars for the Money awards in numerous categories. That makes finding a high-rated vehicle to meet your driving needs easy. Here are the 12 winners for 2023:

  • Hyundai Santa Fe: Best 2-Row SUV
  • Hyundai Palisade: Best 3-Row SUV
  • Honda Civic: Best Compact Car
  • Mazda CX-5: Best Compact SUV
  • Chevrolet Bolt: Best Electric Car
  • Chevrolet Bolt EUV: Best Electric SUV
  • Hyundai Elantra Hybrid: Best Hybrid Car
  • Kia Sportage Hybrid: Best Hybrid SUV
  • Kia K5: Best Midsize Car
  • Honda Odyssey: Best Minivan
  • Kia Rio: Best Subcompact Car
  • Hyundai Kona: Best Subcompact SUV

Hyundai has four winners, while Kia has three. That means Hyundai Motor Group makes seven of the 12 winners. In addition, the Honda Odyssey won this award for the seventh time, while the Honda Civic has won four times.

U.S. News determines the best cars for the money based on several criteria, including quality and value. Each vehicle’s overall score also factors into the calculation.

Do all the best cars for the money rank at the top of their classes?

2023 Honda Odyssey: Best minivan for families
2023 Honda Odyssey interior | American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

Not all of these vehicles are the top-rated models in each category. The distinction is that these models deliver the most value for the price.

Here’s how U.S. News ranks the Best Cars for the Money winners in their classes overall:

  • Hyundai Santa Fe, Third
  • Hyundai Palisade, Second
  • Honda Civic, First
  • Mazda CX-5, First
  • Chevrolet Bolt, First
  • Chevrolet Bolt EUV, Fourth
  • Hyundai Elantra Hybrid, Sixth
  • Kia Sportage Hybrid, First
  • Kia K5, Second
  • Honda Odyssey, First
  • Kia Rio, Third
  • Hyundai Kona, Third

Several models are the best car for the money and the top-rated in their class, but many are not. For instance, the Hyundai Elantra Hybrid is the lowest-rated model on this list at sixth in its category, while the Chevy Bolt EUV is the next-lowest at fourth.

What does that say about these cars and SUVs?

U.S. News ranks these cars, SUVs, and one minivan as the best value, but they aren’t necessarily the top-rated in their class. That means you might have to make a few concessions if you choose one of the best cars for the money. Still, getting the biggest bang for your buck will likely leave you feeling highly satisfied with a vehicle.


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