One of the most important aspects of any new car, to the point where it is almost crucial, is the value proposition. How much can this car do and how much can it bring you for what amount? While this may be the biggest concern for most people buying a car, even enthusiasts are concerned about how much value you get for the money. Indeed, some cars cost quite an exorbitant amount and don’t offer that much, and some even go up in value.
But even in this world of inflation, dealer margins and a focus on making every car as luxurious as possible, there are a handful of cars on the market that offer some pretty incredible value for money. They are all different, both in terms of segment and what drives them, but they are all united by one thing; you get a lot for the money you pay.
10 Kia Telluride
The Telluride is easily one of the best examples of great value for money in the auto industry right now. After Kia’s previous effort, the Borrego, failed to make an impact on the market, they knew something had to change.
The Telluride is a three-row family crossover, taller than the Sorento, and it’s easily one of the best in its class. Decent fuel economy, lots of space, great styling, great features and very little money for what it is. If you’re looking for a three-row SUV, the Telluride should be high on your shortlist. In addition, it was recently updated and improved for the 2023 model year.
9 Hyundai Ioniq 5
Today, it’s hard to imagine a time when no one thought anyone would ever beat Tesla. However, every automaker has kicked their plan into high gear, and we’re slowly starting to see viable, solid alternatives to Los Angeles’ favorite EV. One of the best alternatives at the moment is Hyundai’s retro-tastic Ioniq 5.
With maximum range that rivals the Tesla Model Y, the Ioniq 5 gets it right right away. It’s also comfortable, extremely spacious, looks great and is packed with great technology at a great price. No wonder it wins prizes left, right and center.
8 Volkswagen Jetta GLI
The North American market has enjoyed the Jetta GLI the longest. It’s easy to see why, since the GLI is essentially a sedan version of the Golf GTI. Not too long ago, VW revamped it for the 2022 model year and it looks even better.
The Jetta GLI has all the functionality and sensibility of the regular Jetta, with enhanced exterior and interior styling and technology. The technology is slightly better than the Mk8 Golf GTI, and the Jetta has just as much power, it is also available with a six-speed manual transmission and it has a larger trunk. All in all a fantastic compact performance sedan.
7 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing
Everyone is talking about the CT5-V Blackwing and its driving experience, which is so good that the German competitors can cry in the corner. But the CT4-V Blackwing, the smaller one, is nothing to scoff at either, even if it’s already reached underrated status.
The twin-turbo V6 develops 472 horsepower, which is a very healthy figure, and Cadillac offers a six-speed manual transmission. The CT4-V Blackwing is very fast and can make sports cars blush on the track, all for a significantly lower price than say the BMW M3. We will be very sad to see both Blackwing cars leave when their time comes.
6 Peugeot 508 PSE SW
With Peugeot’s return to endurance racing, it’s only natural that they have put together a road car to commemorate the return and launch of their new performance division. Instead of making a street version of the 9X8, they put together something really special.
The 508 PSE is not a hot hatchback, unlike almost all previous performance Peugeots, but rather a plug-in hybrid mid-sized sedan and station wagon. A 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbo is mated to an electric motor for a total of 360 horsepower and a 0-60 time of approximately 5 seconds. It also looks great, has surprisingly good gas mileage and in many European markets it is cheaper than cars such as the new Mercedes-AMG C43 and BMW M340i Touring. Too bad North America can’t enjoy it.
5 Dacia Duster
Another piece of forbidden fruit for Americans, but it’s one that could potentially succeed if given the chance. For over a decade, the Dacia Duster has been Europe’s favorite ultra-affordable SUV and it just keeps getting better.
The Duster is not only offered with the right AWD, but is in fact pocket money. While it’s not a luxury car, you can get it with all the essentials, and it’s not bad to drive at all. It’s a real shame that the Duster isn’t offered in North America, as it’s the complete package without the overpriced price.
4 Nissan Z
Since its first announcement in 2020, the new Nissan Z has had its eyes everywhere. It turned out that the hype and excitement was well worth it, as Nissan completely knocked it out of the park with the new Z.
Nissan recently announced pricing for the Z, and it undercuts the GR Supra quite a bit, while being better to drive in many ways. It’s also heavily updated compared to the 370Z, the manual is a free option, it looks great, and it’s a ray of hope for a dying breed of sports cars.
3 Mazda 3
While compact cars are not as popular as they once were, thanks in part to the rise of crossovers, they are cars like the Mazda 3 showing us that there will always be a place for great compacts on the market.
The current-generation Mazda 3 came out in 2019 and is easily one of the top contenders in the segment. It was one of the first to show off Mazda’s intent to tackle the premium segment, and it certainly has the most premium feel of any compact car, while still retaining that fun Mazda DNA and some truly amazing, revolutionary powertrains.
2 Subaru Outback
Recently revamped for the 2023 model year, the Subaru Outback is one of the icons of the estate car world. It was a new kind of crossover when it first debuted, as it combined everything people loved about SUVs into a more approachable station wagon form factor.
The 2023 model is better than ever. We recommend sticking with the turbocharged engine, and with that, the Outback performs solidly in just about any environment and circumstance, no matter what you choose. Even in a world dominated by SUVs, the Outback still performs well.
1 Ford Maverick
Ford has exceeded all expectations with the new Maverick. Not only is it one of the cheapest new cars in North America today, but it’s also one of the most efficient, with a hybrid hitting more than 40 MPG.
That’s seriously impressive, and it doesn’t even surface the Maverick’s multitude of talents. It’s a pickup truck, so it can do pickup truck stuff. You can also drive it off-road if you specify it correctly, and it has all the latest technology you could wish for on a brand new car. Even the loaded models are not that expensive. The Blue Oval definitely has a winner here.
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