If you’re looking for a vehicle right now, no doubt you want the best car you can afford. But which car models give you the biggest bang for your buck?
U.S. News & World Report recently unveiled its 2021 Best Cars for the Money report, which highlights the top vehicles in 11 automotive categories.
Looking for the Most Value in a Car? Read This.
The top two benchmarks that U.S. News used to judge the best cars, SUVs and minivans in each class are:
- Value: based on each model’s real-time transaction prices and proejcted five-year cost of ownership.
- Quality: based on a car’s overall score derived from safety and reliability data.
Money expert Clark Howard is a big proponent of knowing what you can afford before you go to the car lot. That way, not only do you save time, but you’ll likely save also money by basing your expectations on your budget.
“Know you’re good for the money before you go shopping for a car,” he says.
Let’s look at the best cars for your money, according to U.S. News & World Report. After that, we’ll get some more expert advice from Clark.
Best Cars for the Money
Clark recommends that, if you can’t pash, always shop around to get the best rate on a loan before you sign on the dotted line for a vehicle.
“If you’re not a member of a credit union, go join one before shopping for a car,” he says. “Credit union car loan rates are usually about a point and a half lower than from a bank.”
“They will be typically as much as 4-6 interest rate points lower at a credit union than they’ll be at a car dealer. So there’s huge money to be saved over time getting pre-qualified for financing,” he says.
Want to know more about the car-buying process? Read Clark’s money-saving steps.