Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Awards of 2016
As many of you know, I was recently in Orange County hanging out with the awesome folks from Kelley Blue Book, AND checking out some of the top contenders for the Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Awards. Lucky for you, I am going to tell you all about my trip and of course — the vehicles.
First things first:
About Kelley Blue Book
Founded in 1926, Kelley Blue Book, The Trusted Resource®, is the only vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the automotive industry. Each week the company provides the most market-reflective values in the industry on its top-rated website KBB.com, including its famous Blue Book® Trade-In Values and Fair Purchase Price, which reports what others are paying for new and used cars this week. The company also provides vehicle pricing and values through various products and services available to car dealers, auto manufacturers, finance and insurance companies, and governmental agencies. Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.comranked highest in its category for brand equity by the 2015 Harris Poll EquiTrend® study and has been named Online Auto Shopping Brand of the Year for four consecutive years.
Where we stayed:
Check out this view! Nothing like having a room that overlooks a beautiful golf course and yes, that is the Pacific Ocean. I am in love. I may have been a mermaid in my past life because I sure do love the water. It’s so calming and peaceful. Anyway, this is the gorgeous Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa. Highly recommended!
Bright and early we headed over to the KBB Headquarters which was a neat experience all in itself. I have always thought about Kelley Blue Book as a great place to find out how much your car is worth., orr a great resource when buying a new car as far as prices go. I never knew there were so many more layers to what they actually do.
What I learned from my time at KBB HQ:
- They are real people with real lives that actually test out each and every car that they review and award. They drive them, they throw strollers in them and they put them through real life scenarios. They aren’t being paid by any of the manufacturers to win these awards
- There are more than 300 new-car models are available for 2016…. that’s a lot of cars to choose from if you are in the market for a new ride.
- It seems like working at KBB would pretty much be my dream job.
Getting to drive the top contenders:
They let us loose for the majority of the day getting to drive some of their top contenders that would be great for Moms on an awesome journey along the coast. I was lucky enough to partner up with the amazing Leanne from Rave and Review for this road trip. We may or may not have gotten lost, but we still ended up where we needed to be. That’s what counts, right?
Meet my partner in crime:
Thanks for this great pic Leanne 🙂
We all met up at the beautiful Baby Beach. The view was incredible and made from some great photo ops for us and of course the cars.
Time to switch cars and drivers. After a few pictures of course….
Here’s to everlasting friendships!! And as always “crazy hair, don’t care”. We all know my hair cannot be tamed. It was meant to be near the ocean for this exact reason.
Here’s the whole crew! We had so much fun learning about all of the great vehicles KBB brought us in to check out.
The scenery was perfect. Palm trees, ocean views and fun curvy roads. What more could a girl ask for?
And not to mention amazing food! Take a look at this bad boy!
Overall I can say that Kelley Blue Book has gained a new groupie. I am overly impressed with their entire operation and I cannot say enough great things about them as a whole. They are here to fully serve everyday “normal” people like you and me. If we are normal… but you get the point. They really do know what they are talking about. I was impressed they even drove us around to show us what exactly it is that they do to test out the cars, what they look for etc. It’s not that far off from how we do our reviews at Life is Poppin’.
So are you wondering how KBB makes their picks?
These are the 12 categories of focus:
- Small Car
- Midsize Car
- Full-Size Car
- Small SUV
- Midsize SUV
- Full-Size SUV
- Performance Car
- Electric/Hybrid Car
- Luxury Car
- Luxury SUV
As you will notice there aren’t any sports cars or anything crazy and exotic. I told you they are all about the people and chances are if you are looking to buy a Lambo or Ferrari you aren’t going to care for anyone else’s opinions anyway. Kelley Blue Book is here for the soccer Moms, Baseball Dads, single people, short people, tall people, and everyone else in-between.
And here’s the part you have all been waiting for!
Award Categories and WINNERS:
Overall Winner: 2016 Honda Civic – The venerable Honda Civic has been completely redesigned for 2016, and the compact car segment will never be the same. Stylish, refined and tech-savvy, sporting a powerful and efficient new powertrain, the wholly impressive and downright desirable new Civic is nothing less than the best car you can buy for under $20,000, and this year’s Overall Best Buy.
Small Car: 2016 Honda Civic – Last year’s Small Car Best Buy Award winner was completely redesigned for 2016, and took this year’s trophy even more convincingly. With a sharp new look, class-above interior, impressive new powertrain and cutting-edge technology, the wholly rethought Civic is the best of the class by a long shot.
Mid-Size Car: 2016 Kia Optima – After years of winning fans with its sharp style, premium features and solid value, a full redesign for 2016 has catapulted the Kia Optima past some truly great automobiles to claim this year’s Mid-Size Car Best Buy Award.
Full-Size Car: 2016 Chevrolet Impala – Chevy’s famously roomy, comfortable, affordable sedan is much more than that today. The latest iteration is also stylish inside and out, offers a long list of in-car technologies including Apple CarPlay and wireless phone charging, and balances smooth highway ride with responsive handling.
Luxury Car: 2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class – Last year’s redesign elevated the Mercedes-Benz C-Class to Luxury Car Best Buy status, and nothing could take it away this year. The distinctive design gets even more appealing with time, while the polished interior and surprisingly dynamic driving experience feel equally timeless.
Sports/Performance Car: 2016 Chevrolet Corvette – An unmatchable mix of performance and price has always been the Corvette’s trump card, but impressive fuel economy and resale value strengthen its case as the Best Buy in fun.
Electric/Hybrid: 2016 Chevrolet Volt – Another 2015 Best Buy that was completely redesigned for 2016, the second-generation Chevy Volt complements greater battery range and improved performance with sleeker styling, more features, and even-more-attractive pricing.
Small SUV/Crossover: 2016 Honda CR-V – The Honda CR-V is the best-selling SUV in the country, one of our 10 most awarded vehicles of the past year, and now it’s been named a Kelley Blue Book Best Buy two years in a row. Effortless driving manners, a roomy interior, and a bulletproof reputation for reliability continue to set the CR-V apart.
Mid-Size SUV/Crossover: 2016 Honda Pilot – After shining brightest in our midsize SUV comparison test earlier in the year, with a compelling combination of utility, comfort, features and price, none of our editors were surprised when the totally redesigned 2016 Honda Pilot also claimed this year’s Mid-Size SUV/Crossover Best Buy Award.
Full-Size SUV/Crossover: 2016 Chevrolet Tahoe – The Chevy Tahoe is far and away the best-selling vehicle in the segment, and its unique combination of style, comfort, economy and value has earned it Kelley Blue Book Best Buy honors for the second year in a row.
Luxury SUV/Crossover: 2016 Lexus RX – The Lexus RX isn’t just the best-selling model in the Lexus lineup, it’s the best-selling luxury SUV in America. Buyers find great value in the comfortable, reliable, desirable RX, and a complete redesign for 2016 has helped it earn this year’s Luxury SUV/Crossover Best Buy Award.
Truck: 2016 Ford F-150 – Radically redesigned for 2015 with an aluminum-intensive architecture and an expanded lineup of powerful, efficient turbocharged V6 engines, the latest F-150 enters its second model year boasting best-in-class towing, payload and fuel economy, and now back-to-back Best Buy trophies.
Minivan: 2016 Honda Odyssey – Combining superior flexibility, unmatched practicality and renowned refinement, the Honda Odyssey remains the minivan of minivans and a repeat Best Buy Award winner.
The Volvo XC90! It has everything I could ever want in a “Mommy Mobile” and so much more. It holds 7 passengers and still gets 25mpg on the highway. There are a million reasons that I love this car so i won’t get crazy with all of the specs, but if you ever get a chance to drive one you should totally do it.
Here are a few other awesome pictures from the trip:
Head over to KBB.com and take a look for yourself. I think you will be just as impressed as I am.