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All Contents © 2020The Kiplinger Washington Editors
By Jessica L. Anderson, Associate Editor
| November 12, 2014
As part of Kiplinger's annual best list, which rounds up the year's best financial products and services, we selected the top vehicle for eight types of drivers.
There's something here for everyone -- from penny-pinchers to soccer moms to those in search of affordable luxury. Take a look.
All car data comes from Kelley Blue Book and is for 2015 car models unless noted otherwise.
Courtesy of Mazda
Sticker price: $17,740
Invoice price: $17,269
KBB Fair Purchase Price: $17,074
Resale value: 3-year: 60%; 5-year: 43%
MPG: 29 (city); 41 (hwy)
The Mazda3 has upscale features and looks, plus affordable five-year ownership costs that won’t dent your budget.
Courtesy of Honda
Sticker price: $22,895
Invoice price: $21,027
KBB Fair Purchase Price: $22,173
Resale value: 3-year: 55%; 5-year: 41%
MPG: 24 (city); 34 (hwy)
Honda has a well-deserved rep for reliability and high resale values, which helped the Accord snag a Kiplinger’s Best in Class award four of the past six years.
Courtesy of Subaru
Sticker price: $23,045
Invoice price: $21,845
KBB Fair Purchase Price: $21,908
Resale value: 3-year: 66%; 5-year: 50%
MPG: 22 (city); 29 (hwy)
With capable (and standard) all-wheel drive, Subaru's Forester will take you on or off road. It has plenty of cargo space and a suite of optional safety features.
Courtesy of Ford
Sticker price: $31,595
Invoice price: $29,830
KBB Fair Purchase Price: $30,247
Resale value: 3-year: 55%; 5-year: 39%
MPG: 17 (city); 24 (hwy)
The Ford Explorer seats up to seven, has 21 cubic feet of space behind the third row and keeps fuel costs low with an optional EcoBoost engine that gets 28 miles per gallon on the highway.
Courtesy of BMW
Sticker price: $33,900
Invoice price: $31,445
KBB Fair Purchase Price: N/A
Resale value: N/A
MPG: 24 (city); 36 (hwy)
The archetype of sports sedans, BMW's 3 series maintains its reputation generation after generation with plenty of power, a composed ride and agile handling.
Courtesy of Tesla
Sticker price: $71,070
Invoice price: N/A
MPG: 94 (city); 97 (hwy) mpg equivalent
European luxury sedans have nothing on Tesla's Model S. Starting at $71,070, the American-made auto matches their power and sleek looks and features an electric powertrain that delivers the equivalent of 95 mpg and can go 208 miles between charges.
Courtesy of Lexus
Price when new: $38,500
KBB Used Car Fair Purchase Price: $26,295
Certified used price: $28,795
Private party price: $23,644
MPG: 18 (city); 25 (hwy)
The RX 350 combines elegant packaging with a silky smooth ride. It has 10 standard air bags, and you’ll find models with a collision-warning system.
Courtesy of Kia
Price when new: $16,495
KBB Used Car Fair Purchase Price: $11,800
Certified used price: $12,400
Private party price: $9,827
MPG: 24 (city); 30 (hwy)
With its plethora of amenities and go-kart handling, the Soul+ offers a lot of bang for the buck. Funky looks combine with copious amounts of space.