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Tuesday, November 15 2016 08:06

Rides: 2017 Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Award Winners Revealed!

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  • While all content is editorially chosen, articles may contain affiliate links which may generate revenue for the site when a purchase is made.

This post is sponsored by Life of Dad and Kelley Blue Book. All opinions are that of James Zahn, aka "The Rock Father"

Earlier this year, I had the unique opportunity to become one of the very first #KBBDads - an elite team assembled by Life of Dad to partner with Kelley Blue Book to showcase some of the best cars and trucks for families. I headed for KBB Headquarters in Irvine, California where I went hands-on with a fleet of vehicles, hitting the roads of Southern California after getting the details on how to evaluate like the team at Kelley Blue Book - direct from the KBB Editors. Kelley Blue Book is the trusted resource for new and used car buyers, available 24/7 to help people make the best possible buying decisions. Their yearly Best Buy Awards are a pinnacle of what they do, and as we prepare to flip the calendar for a new model year, I'm excited to share with you the 2017 Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Award Winners - a field of 12 vehicles that have secured positions ahead of their competitors.  Check out the full list along with a few "Rock Father Picks" below!

2017 Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Award Winners

Overall Winner: 2017 Honda Civic

Today’s compact cars are roomier, safer, more comfortable and tech-savvier than ever, and the recently redesigned Honda Civic is the undisputed king of the category.  Boldly styled, famously refined, supremely efficient, satisfying to drive, comfortable and loaded with appealing features, the Honda Civic is the first vehicle to be named our Overall Best Buy two years in a row.

2017 Honda Civic

Small Car: 2017 Honda Civic

The Honda Civic’s current run of Best Buy recognition spans two generations and now three model years.  Last year’s redesign earned it both a Best Buy Award and the top spot on our list of favorite new cars of the year, and it remains just as impressive and dominant in its second model year.

Mid-Size Car: 2017 Honda Accord

2017 Honda Accord

Honda’s famously dependable mid-size sedan is a resale value standout, keeping overall ownership costs low.  But the Accord also is satisfying to drive and thoroughly refined, qualifying it as a well-rounded package and earning it a second Best Buy Award.

Full-Size Car: 2017 Chevrolet Impala (Rock Father Pick!)

2017 Chevrolet Impala

The Chevy Impala remains as roomy, comfortable and value-oriented as you might expect.  But it’s also a design and tech standout, mixing stylish sheetmetal with an attractive interior and an impressive list of in-car technologies including Apple CarPlay and wireless phone charging.  A strong combination of purchase price and resale value help it win its third Best Buy Award in as many years.

Luxury Car: 2017 Audi A4

2017 Audio A4

The totally redesigned Audi A4 claims this year’s Luxury Car Best Buy title with an elevated mix of tastefully modern exterior and interior styling, advanced but friendly technologies, excellent driving dynamics and lower overall ownership costs than some key competitors.

Sports/Performance Car: 2017 Porsche 718 Boxster

2017 Porsche 718 Boxster

With a newfound emphasis on fuel economy, connectivity and everyday usability, the revamped 2017 Porsche 718 Boxster has effectively broadened its appeal while retaining the world-class dynamism for which the nameplate is renowned.

Electric/Hybrid: 2017 Toyota Prius Prime

2017 Toyota Prius Prime

The Prius lineup expands again for 2017, this time with a distinctly styled and outfitted plug-in model that delivers 25 miles of pure electric range, 640 miles of total full-charge/full-tank range, and a 133 MPGe rating that’s the highest of any electric car of any sort currently available.  Combined with the lineup’s well-documented history of reliability and low ownership costs, the Toyota Prius Prime wins our Electric/Hybrid Best Buy of 2017.

Small SUV/Crossover: 2017 Kia Sportage (Rock Father Pick!)

2017 Kia Sportage
Photo Credit | James Zahn

Kia’s class-leading warranty coverage remains, but everything else about the Kia Sportage is all-new for 2017.  Its Best Buy Award-winning strengths include the bold face and sleek rear end, attractive and functional cockpit, roomy rear seat and practical cargo area.

Mid-Size SUV/Crossover: 2017 Honda Pilot

2017 Honda Pilot

Fresh off a complete redesign last year, the newest Honda Pilot has it all – including its second Best Buy trophy.  It’s not only the roomiest and most practical SUV in the segment, it’s also comfortable, pleasant to drive and loaded with features that serve drivers and passengers alike.

Full-Size SUV/Crossover: 2017 Chevrolet Tahoe

2017 Chevrolet Tahoe

Offering a combination of style, comfort, economy and value that’s positively unmatched in market appeal, the Chevy Tahoe is the best-selling SUV in the segment and now a back-to-back-to-back Kelley Blue Book Best Buy for the third year running.

Luxury SUV/Crossover: 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC

One vehicle at a time, Mercedes-Benz continues to build its most appealing lineup in years.  The exterior designs are intrinsically appealing, while the interiors are as rich as ever but far more contemporary and desirable.  Class-leading safety and convenience technologies also are part of the story, as is the persistent prestige of the three-pointed star.  The GLC embodies every bit of the automaker’s rediscovered style and swagger.

Truck: 2017 Ford F-150

2017 Ford F-150

Radically redesigned with an aluminum-intensive architecture two years ago, the Ford F-150 has been named our Pickup Truck Best Buy ever since.  Beneath the groundbreaking construction are a variety of advanced engines and transmissions, and a long list of clever features and appealing technologies.  This year it adds one more trophy to its growing collection with its third consecutive Best Buy Award.

Minivan: 2017 Chrysler Pacifica (Rock Father Pick!)

2017 Chrysler Pacifica

Chrysler’s all-new Pacifica minivan doesn’t just replace the long-running Town & Country, it blends luxury and practicality like no other minivan before it. Luxury-level dash design up front is complemented by rear quarters that offer all the utility you expect in a minivan, but with uncommon design sensibilities.  It’s also a pleasure to drive, helping it lock up a Best Buy Award in its first year on the market.

The awards are the culmination of a year-long regimen of expert vehicle evaluation and testing of nearly every new vehicle available in America, along with analysis of a broad swath of vehicle-related data, including vehicle pricing/transaction prices, 5-Year Cost to Own data (which includes depreciation, insurance, maintenance, financing, fuel, fees and taxes for new cars), consumer reviews and ratings, and vehicle sales/retail sales information.  Of more than 300 new-car models available for 2017, Kelley Blue Book’s expert editors initially narrowed the field to a few dozen Best Buy Award contenders in 12 major vehicle categories and then spent several weeks testing and evaluating all of the finalists head-to-head to ultimately determine the winners.

Families come in all different shapes and sizes, so if you're looking to make a new or used car purchase, be sure to visit Kelley Blue Book, the trusted resource!

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

Learn more here

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