If you’re looking for a great value on a new family vehicle – and want a new model – Kiplinger has 11 suggestions that might make a good choice. The publication’s 2011 Best New Car Values: New Models includes eight foreign and three domestic picks in 11 different categories. The good news for families is that most of them are apparently selling below sticker.
How did Kiplinger choose these particular 2011 models? The criteria included performance, value, and safety, along with Kiplinger editors’ driving impressions. Note that specific model/trim listed were the Kiplinger selections. Here, FamilyCarGuide looks at each of the category best new picks in terms of how they relate to family transportation.
2011 Hyundai Elantra – Cars under $20,000
Although it’s a compact, the redesigned 2011 Hyundai Elantra is mid-size roomy inside, with comfortable seating for five. Power comes from a 148-horsepower 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers EPA-estimated 29 mpg city/40 mpg highway. Optional heated leather seats in the back -- a first in the segment – plus many other impressive features make Elantra a great small car pick for families. And the starting base price for the GLS is just $14,830. TheCarConnection's editors give the 2011 Hyundai Elantra an 8.2 (out of 10) overall rating – see why here.
2011 Hyundai Sonata HybridEnlarge Photo
2011 Hyundai Sonata – Cars $20,000 - $25,000
In its SE 2.0T trim, the all-new for 2011 Hyundai Sonata mid-size family sedan provides seating for five, 274-horsepower 2.0-liter twin-scroll turbo four-cylinder engine, and fuel economy of 22 mpg city/33 mpg highway. There’s also a 2.4-liter gasoline engine and new Sonata Hybrid available. Long list of standard equipment, Hyundai’s 10-year/100,000-mile warranty, and low starting price of $24,345 make the 2011 Hyundai Sonata a tremendous value for families looking for a great-looking car that does everything well. TheCarConnection's editors give the 2011 Hyundai Sonata an 8.7 (out of 10) overall rating in this review.
2011 Kia Optima HybridEnlarge Photo
2011 Kia Optima – Cars $25,000 - $30,000
Kia bills Optima as “not your average mid-size sedan,” and the description is totally appropriate. The 2011 Kia Optima, all-new inside and out, seats five in comfort, has a long list of standard features, gasoline direct-injection, gasoline direct-injection turbo and hybrid powertrain, and impressive fuel economy. As most consumers know, Hyundai owns Kia, so the Kia Optima is closely related to the Hyundai Sonata. A Top Safety Pick designation by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is icing on the cake. Starting base price for the 2011 Kia Optima EX 2.0T (274-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine) is $24,495. Be sure to check out Bengt Halvorson’s first drive of the 2011 Kia Optima.
2011 Lincoln MKZ HybridEnlarge Photo
2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid – Cars $30,000 - $45,000
In pricing the 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid the same as its gasoline counterpart, Lincoln gave consumers a real advantage – especially those looking for a stylish luxury vehicle that’s also a hybrid. In fact, the 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, with its 41 mpg city/36 mpg highway, is more than the sum of its parts. At $34,605 starting price, the MKZ Hybrid (essentially the same car as the 2011 Ford Fusion Hybrid, but with more upscale features) is less expensive than the 2011 Lexus HS 250h (starting price of $34,650) and better fuel economy than the Lexus HS 250h’s 35 mpg city/34 mpg highway. See why TheCarConnection's editors give the 2011 Lincoln MKZ an 8.3 (out of 10) overall rating.