Dad and daughter car shopping at the dealership.

Best New Cars for the Money 2015

With new car sales booming at the start of 2015, the new car industry is looking to break some records. Manufacturers are pushing low interest rates and large incentives to help dealers reach their goals.

Even with these enticing offers, each month the average new car transaction price is increasing. To avoid this you can buy a cheaper or less expensive vehicle, but you’ll have to give up some creature comforts to do so. This means driving a vehicle you may not like and nobody wants to do that.

U.S. News has released its 2015 Best Cars for the Money awards, they pick one vehicle for each of the 21 automotive categories. The winner is based on a multitude of categories which include:

  • Average price paid (data from TrueCar).
  • Press coverage about the vehicle’s performance, features, comfort.
  • Total ownership cost data from Vincentric, LLC with the U.S.News Best Cars rankings data.
  • Reliability and safety ratings.

To find the award winners, we combined the average price paid from TrueCar, Inc. and five-year total cost of ownership data from Vincentric, LLC with the U.S. News Best Cars rankings data. The U.S. News rankings are based on the opinion of the automotive press about a car’s performance, interior features and interior comfort, along with reliability and safety ratings.

Best New Cars for the Money 2015

CategoryWinnerPricingFinalists
Subcompact
Cars
2015 Honda FitAvg. Paid: $16,292 – $21,637
MSRP:$15,650 – $20,925
Invoice:$15,241 – $20,353
MPG:33 City / 41 Hwy
Ford Fiesta
Kia Rio
Compact
Cars
Volkswagen GolfAvg. Paid: $19,273 – $39,550
MSRP:$19,295 – $39,090
Invoice:$18,523 – $37,527
MPG:25 City / 36 Hwy
Kia Soul
Mazda Mazda3
HatchbacksHonda FitAvg. Paid: $16,292 – $21,637
MSRP:$15,650 – $20,925
Invoice:$15,241 – $20,353
MPG:33 City / 41 Hwy
Kia Soul
Volkswagen Golf
Upscale Small CarsAudi A3Avg. Paid: $29,455 – $40,735
MSRP:$29,900 – $41,100
Invoice:$27,808 – $38,224
MPG:23 City / 33 Hwy
Audi A4
BMW 2-Series
Midsize CarsHyundai SonataAvg. Paid: $21,307 – $33,289
MSRP:$21,150 – $33,525
Invoice:$20,295 – $31,425
MPG:25 City / 37 Hwy
Honda Accord
Toyota Camry
Upscale
Midsize Cars
Acura TLXAvg. Paid: $31,408 – $43,633
MSRP:$31,445 – $44,800
Invoice:$29,584 – $41,944
MPG:24 City / 35 Hwy
Hyundai Genesis
Lexus ES Hybrid
Large CarsChevrolet ImpalaAvg. Paid: $27,034 – $39,947
MSRP:$27,060 – $40,660
Invoice:$26,113 – $38,830
MPG:22 City / 31 Hwy
Toyota Avalon
Toyota Avalon Hybrid
Hybrid CarsToyota Camry HybridAvg. Paid: $26,073 – $29,077
MSRP:$26,790 – $29,980
Invoice:$24,647 – $27,583
MPG:43 City / 39 Hwy
Ford Fusion Hybrid
Toyota Prius c
Sports CarsVolkswagen GTIAvg. Paid: $24,546 – $32,445
MSRP:$24,785 – $32,640
Invoice:$23,793 – $31,334
MPG:25 City / 34 Hwy
Ford Mustang
Scion FR-S
WagonsSubaru OutbackAvg. Paid: $24,616 – $32,061
MSRP:$24,895 – $32,995
Invoice:$23,407 – $30,860
MPG:25 City / 33 Hwy
Ford C-Max Hybrid
Toyota Prius V

Best New SUVs and Minivans for the Money 2015

CategoryWinnerPricingFinalists
Compact SUVsHonda CR-VAvg. Paid: >$23,560 – $33,589
MSRP:$23,445 – $32,895
Invoice:$22,022 – $30,868
MPG:27 City / 34 Hwy
Mazda CX-5
Nissan Rogue
Luxury
Compact SUVs
Acura RDXAvg. Paid: $34,124 – $38,966
MSRP:$35,095 – $40,195
Invoice:$32,962 – $37,682
MPG:20 City / 28 Hwy
Infiniti QX50
Lincoln MKC
2-Row SUVsNissan MuranoAvg. Paid: $29,832 – $40,288
MSRP:$29,560 – $40,600
Invoice:$27,542 – $37,810
MPG:21 City / 28 Hwy
Jeep Grand Cherokee
Luxury 2-Row SUVsLexus RX 350Avg. Paid: >$40,185 – $47,907
MSRP:$40,970 – $48,710
Invoice:$38,307 – $45,543
MPG:18 City / 25 Hwy
Cadillac SRX
Lexus RX Hybrid
3-Row SUVsHyundai
Santa Fe
Avg. Paid: $25,160 – $35,478
MSRP:$24,950 – $36,000
Invoice:$23,964 – $33,858
MPG:20 City / 27 Hwy
Toyota Highlander
Luxury 3-Row
SUVs
Acura MDXAvg. Paid: $41,503 – $55,478
MSRP:$42,765 – $56,980
Invoice:$39,621 – $52,630
MPG:20 City / 28 Hwy
Infiniti QX60
Lexus GX
Large SUVsMazda CX-9Avg. Paid: $28,975 – $35,214
MSRP:$29,985 – $36,625
Invoice:$28,382 – $34,658
MPG:17 City / 24 Hwy
Chevrolet Traverse
Dodge Durango
Hybrid SUVsToyota Highlander HybridAvg. Paid: $47,883 – $50,335
MSRP:$47,750 – $50,240
Invoice:$43,596 – $45,869
MPG:27 City / 28 Hwy
Lexus RX Hybrid
MinivansMazda Mazda5Avg. Paid: $21,176 – $24,563
MSRP:$21,240 – $24,770
Invoice:$20,325 – $23,698
MPG:21 City / 28 Hwy
Honda Odyssey
Toyota Sienna

Best New Trucks for the Money 2015

CategoryWinnerPricingFinalists
Full Size
Trucks
Ram 1500Avg. Paid: >$25,351 – $49,324
MSRP:$25,410 – $50,380
Invoice:$23,813 – $46,202
MPG:17 City / 25 Hwy
Chevrolet
Silverado 1500
Ford F-150
Compact
Trucks
Chevrolet
Colorado
Avg. Paid: $21,040 – $34,527
MSRP:$20,120 – $34,415
Invoice:$20,019 – $32,694
MPG:19 City / 26 Hwy
GMC Canyon
Toyota Tacoma

If you’re considering the purchase of a new vehicle, I recommend using a free online referral service such as Ryde Shopper and Motor Trend to guarantee you pay the lowest price. These services will tell you what others are paying for the vehicle you’re considering in your local area and which dealers give the greatest discounts.