Report: These 12 Vehicles Are the Best for the Money in 2023

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U.S. News & Report’s Best Cars for the Money Awards show the best vehicles that rate well when it comes to cost and quality. “The Best Cars for the Money awards find the balance between cars that focus on value and cars that provide excellent ownership experiences,” says the site.

In this article, I’ll show you the rankings and offer money expert Clark Howard’s advice on buying a car right now.

Which Cars and SUVs Combine the Best Quality and Cost?

To determine the vehicles with the best quality, U.S. News used scores from its Best Car rankings along with car reviews from the automotive press.

“We combine that analysis with fuel economy, cargo space and safety and reliability data to get a numerical overall score, which we use to measure quality in the Best Cars for the Money awards,” the report says.

Here are some key findings from the report:

  • The awards were broken down into three categories: cars, SUVs and minivans.
  • Hyundai leads the list this year with four Best Car for the Money awards.
  • The only other multiple winners were Kia, which earned three awards and Chevrolet and Honda, which won two awards each.

Let’s take a look at the best cars for the money, which are all 2023 models.

Here Are the Best Cars for the Money for 2023

Let’s take a look at the best cars for the money, which are all 2023 models.

Honda CivicBest Compact Car for the Money
Chevrolet BoltBest Electric Car for the Money
Hyundai Elantra HybridBest Hybrid Car for the Money
Kia K5Best Midsize Car for the Money
Kia RioBest Subcompact Car for the Money
Mazda CX-5Best Compact SUV for the Money
Kia Sportage HybridBest Hybrid SUV for the Money
Honda OdysseyBest Minivan for the Money
Hyundai Santa FeBest 2-Row SUV for the Money
Hyundai PalisadeBest 3-Row SUV for the Money
Hyundai KonaBest Subcompact SUV for the Money
Chevrolet Bolt EUVBest Electric SUV for the Money

Clark offers a dose of reality for car shoppers: The market continues to be overpriced although used cars have seen some decline in recent months.

New Car Prices: What To Expect

The average transaction price of a new vehicle in December 2022 hit $49,507, an all-time record high and 1.9% ($927) more compared to the previous month, according to data released by Kelley Blue Book.

Clark says new vehicle inventories are starting to improve after historic lows over most of the past couple of years. That should help bring prices down, but it’s not likely to happen until the latter half of 2023.


“This is the time to take your time and wait for the market to settle down,” says Clark.

At this moment, the best time to buy a new vehicle is when car prices drop.

If you can, he suggests that you keep the car you have and make any needed repairs.

If You Must Buy a New Car Right Now…

Clark recommends widening your search to include vehicles that may be hundreds of miles away. Not only can you save money, but you’re more likely to get the vehicle you want rather than settling for one you don’t really want just because it’s in your local area. Read about Clark’s long-distance approach to buying a new vehicle.

Used Car Prices: What To Expect

When it comes to used cars, Clark says prices have already started to fall and will continue to do so throughout 2023.

“The greatest movement in pricing has been in the used vehicle market,” says Clark. “This is really good news for your wallet because used vehicle prices at one point went up 70%! Since that peak, the prices have been going down month by month by month.”

If You Must Buy a Used Car Right Now…

Clark advises that in this crazy vehicle market you comparison shop to make sure you don’t pay more for a used car than its newer model. You’ll also want to:

Read our step-by-step guide on how to buy a used car.

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