The best cars combine style, performance and comfort with excellent fuel efficiency. They’re also reliable and safe, as well as being easy to own and maintain over the long term.
The EVs we love Most
For drivers who want to get out and explore the world around them without paying high gas prices, electric vehicles are the way to go. These cars offer impressive ranges and don’t require expensive maintenance, thanks to a battery pack that keeps them running at full power all the time.
They’re surprisingly fun to drive, too, and they look cool. It’s a tough choice between the Kia Niro and Tesla Model S for our EV of the Year, but it’s the Kia that really shines.
It’s hard to beat the Nissan Leaf for value, though. It’s the cheapest EV we tested and has plenty of room for passengers, a comfortable ride and an appealing appearance.
You can even find a hatchback version of the Leaf if you’re looking for something more sporty and fun, like our test-winning Nissan Leaf Plus. It delivers up to 212 miles of range and has a soft, quiet interior that’s easy to control.
The best medium cars for the money
Traditionally, medium-sized cars have been considered the best value in the car class, offering an abundance of features and comfort at a reasonable price. They’re also versatile and can accommodate a wide variety of cargo.
Many of them are also comfortable and efficient, which is a big deal for families who often have multiple passengers riding in the back seat.
They are also great for hauling heavy loads, with some models boasting up to 750 pounds of carrying capacity.
It’s important to pick a vehicle that’s well suited to the conditions you’ll be driving in, so make sure to read reviews about how a vehicle handles ice and snow. Some models, like the Mazda3 and Ford Focus, have built-in technology to prepare you for the worst weather conditions.
Some models also come with a backup camera and automatic emergency braking. These safety features can help you avoid a crash and keep your family safe on the road.
The Honda Civic
If you want a small car with a lot of personality, the Civic is a great choice. It’s fun to drive, gets good fuel economy and isn’t difficult to park.
The Honda Civic has been a solid mid-range vehicle for decades, and it’s only getting better in 2021. Its base models feature an impressive array of safety technologies, and the turbocharged N-Line adds some extra oomph to the engine.
You can even buy an all-wheel-drive model for more stability and traction.
If you don’t have a big budget, the Ford Fiesta and Hyundai Elantra are both excellent choices. These cars are both affordable and have lots of features, including a touchscreen display, Bluetooth connectivity, automatic climate control and satellite radio.
They’re also easy to drive, and they come with a large boot that makes them perfect for lugging around a few large items. But you should still be cautious when shopping for one of these cars, since some are quite old and could have minor to major dents.