Kelley Blue Book Names Most Awarded Cars, Automotive Brands of 2021

IRVINE, Calif., Dec. 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — With more than 300 different new models available in the marketplace each year, it can be overwhelming for car shoppers to know where to begin as they search for their next vehicle. To help shoppers narrow their focus and provide an at-a-glance look at the top winners this year according to the experts, Kelley Blue Book recently named its 10 Most Awarded Cars of 2021 and 10 Most Awarded Brands of 2021.




The standout vehicles are strong enough that they often appear on multiple lists…

To compile these lists, Kelley Blue Book’s experts culled through all of the winners from the company’s 2021 awards programs, tallying the cars and brands that were awarded most often. Kelley Blue Book’s major annual awards programs include the Best Buy Awards, Best Resale Value Awards, 5-Year Cost to Own Awards and Brand Image Awards. They also factored in the vehicles and brands featured most on the various accolade and 10 Best lists created by Kelley Blue Book’s editorial staff this year – including the Best Family Cars, Best Luxury Cars Under $35,000, Best Hybrid Cars Under $40,000, and many more.

“There are many noteworthy automotive brands and vehicles in the marketplace, but ultimately Toyota and its RAV4 won the most Kelley Blue Book awards and accolades in 2021,” said Jason Allan, director of editorial for Kelley Blue Book. “Our team works year-round testing and reviewing vehicles, along with examining all kinds of relevant data, to compile our recommendations for the best cars in a wide range of categories – all with the ultimate goal to help car shoppers as they navigate their journey. The standout vehicles are strong enough that they often appear on multiple lists, and the top brands boast lineups full of award winners.”

Kelley Blue Book’s 10 Most Awarded Cars of 2021

Rank

Year

Make

Model

Sample Editorial Comments

 

1

2021

Toyota

RAV4

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 is our most awarded car of the year. This 5-passenger
compact SUV is spacious and comfortable with a wide range of trims and
engine options. The RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid earned a 2021 Best Buy
Award and a spot on the 14 Best New and Redesigned SUVs list. The RAV4
also was a 2021 Best Buy Award winner and one of the 12 Best Family Cars
of 2021.

2

2021

Hyundai

Elantra

The roomy 2021 Hyundai Elantra sedan is available with gas and hybrid
powertrains. It was a 2021 Best Buy Award and 5-Year Cost to Own Award
winner, along with being named one of the 10 Best Sedans Under $30,000,
10 Coolest Cars Under $30,000, 10 Best Hybrid Cars Under $30,000, and 10
Best Road Trip Cars of 2021.

3

2021

Toyota

Sienna

The 2021 Toyota Sienna minivan is the ultimate family hauler, with room for
everyone and their stuff, the convenience of sliding doors, available all-
wheel drive, and a standard hybrid engine rated to return up to 36 mpg. It
was a 2021 Best Buy Award and Best Resale Value Award winner, along with
being named one of the 12 Best Family Cars, 10 Best Road Trip Cars, and 8
Best Hybrid Cars Under $40,000 for 2021.

4

2021

Jeep

Wrangler

A longtime top pick for off-road enthusiasts, the 2021 Jeep Wrangler can go
where other vehicles don’t stand a chance. Available as a 2-door or 4-door,
owners can even remove the doors and roof to fully enjoy the outdoors. It
was a 2021 Best Resale Value Award and 5-Year Cost to Own Award winner,
along with being named one of the 10 Most Fun SUVs and 10 Coolest Cars
Under $30,000 for 2021.

5

2021

Kia

Telluride

The 2021 Kia Telluride is a 3-row SUV with all of the comfort and features a
busy family wants, along with a smooth, quiet ride, lots of room for cargo,
and a beautiful, upscale interior. It was a 2021 Best Buy Award and Best
Resale Value Award winner, along with being named one of the 12 Best
Family Cars and 10 Best Road Trip Cars of 2021.

6

2021

Toyota

Corolla

The 2021 Toyota Corolla is available in a wide range of configurations with
multiple engine options, all with quality materials and affordable pricing. The
hatchback was named one of the 10 Coolest Cars Under $20,000 and a 10
Best Family Cars Under $25,000 winner for 2021. The sedan was named one
of the 10 Best Sedans Under $30,000, while the hybrid earned a spot on the
10 Best Hybrid Cars Under $30,000 list for 2021.

7

2021

Kia

Seltos

The 2021 Kia Seltos subcompact SUV has seating for five people and good
room for cargo, along with eye-catching styling that packs in a lot of features
for the price, making it a great value. It won two 2021 Best Buy Awards
including Best New Model. It also was named one of the 10 Best Family Cars
Under $25,000 and 14 Best New and Redesigned SUVs for 2021.

8

2021

Toyota

Tacoma

The 2021 Toyota Tacoma midsize pickup can carry a payload and tow larger
items while having more city-friendly dimensions. It was a 2021 Best Buy
Award and Best Resale Value Award winner, along with being named one of
the 10 Coolest Cars Under $30,000 for 2021.

9

2021

Hyundai

Santa Fe

The 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe midsize SUV has room for the family and all their
stuff in a quiet and well-appointed interior, offered with a fuel-efficient gas
engine or as a hybrid. It was a 2021 Best Buy Award winner, along with being
named one of the 12 Best Family Cars, 14 Best New and Redesigned SUVs,
and 8 Best Hybrid Cars Under $40,000 for 2021.

10

2021

Subaru

Outback

Standard all-wheel drive and a durable interior designed to withstand
outdoor adventures make the 2021 Subaru Outback a great choice for active
lifestyles. It’s also a terrific value, winning a 2021 Best Resale Value Award
and a 5-Year Cost to Own Award, along with being named one of the 10 Best
Road Trip Cars of 2021.

Kelley Blue Book’s 10 Most Awarded Brands of 2021

Rank

Year

Make

Number of 2021 Awards
and Accolades

1

2021

Toyota

41

2

2021

Hyundai

22

3

2021

Ford

18

4

2021

Kia

17

5

2021

Honda

15

6

2021

Subaru

15

7

2021

Jeep

11

8

2021

Lexus

10

9

2021

Mazda

10

10

2021

Nissan

9

To see KBB.com’s complete coverage of the 10 Most Awarded Cars of 2021, visit https://www.kbb.com/best-cars/most-awarded-cars-2021/. For full coverage of the 10 Most Awards Brands of 2021, visit https://www.kbb.com/best-cars/most-awarded-brands-2021/.

To discuss this topic, or any other automotive-related information, with a Kelley Blue Book analyst on-camera via the company’s on-site studio, please contact a member of the Public Relations team to schedule an interview.

For more information and news from Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com, visit www.kbb.com/media/, follow us on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/company/kelley-blue-book/, Twitter at www.twitter.com/kelleybluebook (or @kelleybluebook), like our page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kbb  and follow us on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/kbb_com/ (or @kbb_com).

About Kelley Blue Book (www.kbb.com) 
Founded in 1926, Kelley Blue Book, The Trusted Resource®, is the vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the automotive industry. Each week the company provides market-reflective values on its top-rated website KBB.com, including its famous Blue Book® Trade-In Values and Kelley Blue Book® Price Advisor tool, which provides a range for what consumers can reasonably expect to pay for a vehicle in their area. Car owners looking to sell immediately can also get a redeemable, transaction-ready offer with Kelley Blue BookSM Instant Cash Offer. The company also provides vehicle pricing and values through various products and services available to car dealers, auto manufacturers, finance and insurance companies, and governmental agencies. Kelley Blue Book is a Cox Automotive brand. 

About Cox Automotive
Cox Automotive Inc. makes buying, selling, owning and using vehicles easier for everyone. The global company’s more than 27,000 team members and family of brands, including Autotrader®, Dealer.com®, Dealertrack®, Dickinson Fleet Services, Kelley Blue Book®, Manheim®, NextGear Capital®, VinSolutions®, vAuto® and Xtime®, are passionate about helping millions of car shoppers, 40,000 auto dealer clients across five continents and many others throughout the automotive industry thrive for generations to come. Cox Automotive is a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises Inc., a privately-owned, Atlanta-based company with annual revenues of nearly $20 billion. www.coxautoinc.com


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SOURCE Kelley Blue Book

Katherine E. Ackerman

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