The best cars stand out for value, dependability, performance, and safety. Our Best Overall Car of 2016 is an unmatched combination of those qualities, but we’ve also picked “bests” for more focused needs, such as best inexpensive car, best luxury car, best fuel-efficient car, best sporty car, and many more.
If you’re focused on an SUV or crossover, even cheap cars that make you look rich, we’ve selected the best of those, too. For those list, plus a stimulating selection of other “Best of” and “Buying Guide” articles, go to CarPreview.com. (And please note that the base prices listed here include manufacturer destination fees, which average around $850.)
The Best Overall Car of 2016 is the Honda Accord. Base-price range: $22,952-$35,400
The power-hungry and prestige-conscious can spend more, but their car dollar won’t buy a better transportation value than this midsize sedan and coupe. No other affordable automobile matches this blend of practicality, reliability, residuals, and driving satisfaction. It’s an accomplishment enhanced for 2016 via freshened styling, upgraded road manners, and new safety and connectivity features.
Accord’s spacious sedan outsells the coupe and returns in base LX, handling-tuned Sport, volume-selling EX, leather-upholstered EX-L, and flagship Touring trim. All have front-wheel drive. Included with Touring and available in EX-L is a 278-horsepower V-6. Standard otherwise is a 185-horsepower four-cylinder with a continuously variable (automatic) transmission; LX and Sport are available with manual transmission.
Depending on transmission, four-cylinders rate an outstanding 27-31 mpg city-highway combined, V-6s 25-26 mpg.
With their restyled nose and tail all but the LX gain LED running lights and fog lamps and split/folding rear seatbacks. The dashboard adds a 7-inch screen for Honda’s Display Audio System with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for smartphone-linked navigation and data streaming. It’s included in all but LX and Sport. Embedded navigation is available on EX-L and standard on Touring.
Honda Sensing introduces the safety of automatic braking to mitigate frontal collisions, self-correcting steering to prevent lane and road departures, and adaptive cruise control. Standard on Touring, it’s bundled with navigation for $2,000 on EX-L models and is a $1,000 extra for other non-manual-transmission Accords.