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The Car Guide’s Best Buys for 2018!

Every year, The Car Guide announces its Best Buy awards in several vehicle categories. Check out this year’s top picks! In each category, we’ve listed a winner, two runner-ups and the rest of the category contenders.
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Credit LC Média inc

Every year, The Car Guide announces its Best Buy awards in several vehicle categories. Check out this year’s top picks!

In each category, we’ve listed a winner, two runner-ups and the rest of the category contenders.

Here are the categories:

  • City cars
  • Sub-compacts
  • Compacts
  • Mid-size sedans
  • Luxury sedans under $50,000
  • Luxury sedans between $50,000 and $100,000
  • Luxury sedans and coupes over $100,000
  • Full-size sedans
  • Coupes under $50,000
  • Coupes between $50,000 and $100,000
  • Sports cars under $50,000
  • Sports cars between $50,000 and $100,000
  • Sports cars over $100,000
  • Convertibles and roadsters under $50,000
  • Convertibles and roadsters over $50,000
  • Wagons under $50,000
  • Subcompact SUVs
  • Compact SUVs under $40,000
  • Compact SUVs over $40,000
  • Mid-size SUVs under $50,000
  • Mid-size SUVs over $50,000
  • Full-size SUVs
  • Minivans
  • Compact and mid-size pickup trucks
  • Full-size pickup trucks

As you can imagine, the winners aren’t picked at random. But determining the best in class does help guide consumers—and that’s our goal at The Car Guide! Each vehicle is assigned a score for specific criteria and compared against other contenders from the same category. After all, it wouldn’t make sense to compare a Toyota Prius Prime to a Dodge Charger Hellcat.

Reliability, safety, fuel economy and infotainment each count for 10% of the overall score (for a total of 40%). Driving pleasure and the overall rating account for another 30% each (for the remaining 60%). It’s true that these last two criteria are more subjective, so our journalists get together to discuss them. And we recognize that this percentage is quite high, but considering how much time we spend behind the wheel, we think that enjoyment is an important factor. It’s also easy to mix up these two criteria—and though they sometimes go hand-in-hand, there can be notable exceptions. The perfect example is a Ferrari that is tons of fun to drive, but can be a royal pain for your everyday needs. In contrast, a Hyundai Accent is less exciting, but much more appropriate for the daily grind.