These Are the 16 Best Cars to Buy in 2021

Kelley Blue Book has revealed the best cars to buy awards for 2021. The results may surprise you.

2021 ford f 150 raptor
Ford

Every year, Kelley Blue Book released its Best Buy Awards, and 2021 is no exception. Their clever experts work hard to calculate the best cars to buy for any given year, looking for models that offer "the best blend of comfort, quality, dependability, low ownerships costs and affordability in a package that is easy and fun to drive." This year, the Hyundai Motor Group (Kia, Genesis and Hyundai) took home top honors with six category winners — just edging out Toyota and Lexus, which had five.

Check out the full list of cars, trucks and SUVs here.

ford f 150 best cars to buy 2021 f150
Ford
1 of 18
Best Full-Size Pickup: Ford F-150

2021 is technically a mid-cycle refresh for the Ford F-150. But it's one packed with substantive updates, including a new hybrid powertrain. (An all-electric version called the F-150 Lightning is coming for 2022, as well.)

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toyota tacoma best cars to buy 2021
Toyota
2 of 18
Best Midsize Pickup: Toyota Tacoma

Reliability and durability are two defining attributes across Toyota’s entire lineup. The Tacoma has always exhibited both qualities in spades.

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kia seltos sheep 2021
Kia
3 of 18
Best New Car / Best Subcompact SUV: Kia Seltos

The Kia Seltos, at least in fully-loaded spec, will blow away most of its segment with its capability, looks and space. And it will reel in some buyers who weren’t even shopping for a subcompact.

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mercedes amg gla45 s 4matickraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert 9,3 9,2  l100 km co2 emissionen kombiniert 212 210 gkm exterieur, front perspektive, amg spezifische kühlerverkleidung  mercedes amg gla45 s 4matic combined fuel consumption 9,3 9,2 l100 km combined co2 emission 212 210 gkm, exterior, amg specific radiator grill, front perspective
Mercedes-Benz
4 of 18
Best Luxury Subcompact SUV: Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class

The new, second-generation Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class has better styling, more advanced tech and is a clear upgrade over its predecessor.

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toyota rav4 best cars to buy 2021
Toyota
5 of 18
Best Compact SUV: Toyota RAV4

If you tried to distill down what the average new car buyer wants these days into a single vehicle, you might well end up with something very much like the Toyota RAV4. In fact, the RAV4 happened to be the best-selling vehicle that wasn’t a pickup truck in America last year; Toyota moved more than 448,000 of them off dealer lots from January 1st to December 31st.

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audi q5 2022
Audi
6 of 18
Best Luxury Compact SUV: Audi Q5

Audi's best-selling car in America, the Q5, gets a redesigned exterior and a slight power bump for 2021.

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hyundai santa fe 2021 best cars to buy
Hyundai
7 of 18
Best Midsize SUV: Hyundai Santa Fe

The Hyundai Santa Fe received some major updates for 2021, including upgraded engines, hybrid and plug-in hybrid options and a range-topping Calligraphy trim.

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kia telluride best cars to buy 2021
Kia
8 of 18
Best Midsize 3-Row SUV: Kia Telluride

Unlike much of the three-row crossover field, you don’t feel like you’re sacrificing for your family with the Kia Telluride. Instead, you feel like you’re being rewarded — even pampered.

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genesis gv80 2021
Genesis
9 of 18
Best Midsize Luxury SUV: Genesis GV80

Genesis added its first SUV to the lineup with the luxurious and head-turning GV80. It's already begun upsetting the balance of power in the hotly competitive midsize SUV segment.

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2021 ford expedition xl stx best cars to buy
Ford
10 of 18
Best Full-Size SUV: Ford Expedition

The Ford Expedition features best-in-class towing capability at up to 9,300 pounds, and offers both King Ranch and Texas editions for folks who really love the Lone Star State.

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rear view of dog sitting in car trunk
Jairo Díaz / EyeEmGetty Images
11 of 18
The Gear You Absolutely Need for Car Camping

Car camping makes getting away easy as pie.

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hyundai elantra n line best cars to buy 2021
Hyundai
12 of 18
Best Compact Car: Hyundai Elantra

The Hyundai Elantra is all-new for 2021. It looks great and drives well, and it's also efficient and affordable. There's also sporty N-line version comparable to the Civic Si and VW GTI, with an even sportier Elantra N coming soon.

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honda accord 2021 best cars to buy
Honda
13 of 18
Best Midsize Car: Honda Accord

The Honda Accord is the BMW 3 Series of affordable sedans. It’s the benchmark other manufacturers aspire to, a car that drives much better than it should considering its price point.

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lexus es 300h
Lexus
14 of 18
Best Luxury Car: Lexus ES

Seven generations is a long time to get things right, and with that in mind, the Lexus ES has honed its role. Slotted closer to the IS on the automaker’s sedan spectrum, it provides the full Lexus sedan experience without expanding to the heftier GS and LS models.

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2021 toyota sienna
Toyota
15 of 18
Best Minivan: Toyota Sienna

The Toyota Sienna is all-new for 2021 with SUV-rivaling style and a standard 245-horsepower hybrid powertrain that gets 36 mpg.

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2021 toyota rav4 prime hybrid phev
Toyota
16 of 18
Best Plug-In Hybrid: Toyota RAV4 Prime

The Toyota RAV4 Prime offers 40-plus miles of EV range and is eligible for the full $7,500 federal tax credit. And, oh yeah, it's quicker than the four-cylinder Supra.

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2021 hyundai kona ev electric car suv crossover
Hyundai
17 of 18
Best Electric Car: Hyundai Kona Electric

Small crossovers tend not to make great drivers’ cars, but the Kona EV is not the Nissan Leaf proxy many would expect. It offers 291 lb-ft of torque — comparable to a VW Golf R — and because it has an electric powerplant, that torque comes immediately at zero rpm.

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roofnest eagle gear patrol detail
Roofnest
18 of 18
The Best Rooftop Tents You Can Buy

If you’ve always enjoyed the top bunk, you should invest in a rooftop car tent.

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