After nearly 15 years of reviewing cars, the one question I get asked more than all other questions combined is “what new car would you buy?” There’s no right answer. With about 350 makes and models of new models, a case could be made for every car or truck available to be the best choice for someone.
I often ask the person who’s asked a few followup questions — their available budget to their driving habits. I ask if they’re car buying for a one-person family or if they have a spouse and children and are car shopping for a larger family? Do they need cargo space? Will they often drive in inclement weather? Do they drive primarily in city traffic situations or spend hours in freeway driving?
Not every vehicle gets top marks in every category, and it’s a daunting thought to test drive or at least research what every car has to offer. Selecting the year’s best buys is a task better handled by Kelley Blue Book (KBB).
In its annual Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Awards, the California-based vehicle valuation and automotive research company, simplifies the process. It selects the best-in-class in 12 categories and a best overall winner.
As it turns out, KBB in its recently announced its best buys for 2018 selected the same car I’ve chosen for years as the best overall car available — the Honda Accord.
If I get asked what’s the best car to buy without following up with questions to a pending buyer, I just say Honda Accord.
With its criteria that includes the upfront payment, cost to operate and resale value, KBB not only selected the Accord as its best buy for a midsize car, but it also picked the Accord as the best overall winner for 2018.
The publication’s editors, seeking to remove the stress consumers often encounter when buying a new vehicle, also determine their choices while calculating safety, functionality, lifestyle and overall style. The editors drive new vehicles throughout the year. Six weeks of further detailed testing determines the category winners and overall titlist.
Why was the Accord chosen for two awards?
Editors for KBB note the 2018 Honda Accord, with an entry price of $23,570, has standard features not available on some $50,000 cars. Safety and technology features have been expanded for 2018, including adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist.
But in selecting the Accord, KBB is most impressed with the top-line Touring trim. It features state-of-the-art wireless phone charging, built in Wifi and a and damper system that optimizes handling and ride.
Combined with its longstanding reputation for cost-efficient ownership and durability, the KBB’s editors succinctly defined the Honda Accord as “value without compromise is as rare as it is desirable.”
TheWeeklyDriver.com has included the Honda Accord on its top-10 list six times in the past decade. I haven’t reviewed the Honda Accord for a few years, but a paragraph from my 2013 review remains accurate:
“The reliable, keen resale value family sedan is now a luxury car disguised as a sedan. The newly designed Accord features a simple, but a hard-to-decipher persona. Its more sleek, chiseled exterior styling makes the Accord smaller. Yet the interior is more spacious with room for five adults.”
In addition to best buy for a midsize car and the overall best buy, KBB also yearly selects best buys for the categories: small car, full-size car, small SUV, midsize SUV, full-size SUV, minivan, pickup truck, electric/hybrid car, performance car, luxury car and luxury SUV.
Beyond its 2018 best buy selections, KBB has hundreds of new car reviews and comparisons with brand segments.
(This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of Kelley Blue Book; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.)