Honda Awards

Best Mid-Size Car: 5-Year Cost to Own

2014 Honda Accord

Last year, the introduction of an all-new Honda Accord raised the gold standard of midsize sedans and coupes to a new high level. Standard Accord equipment includes a spirited engine, a backup camera with 8-inch color display, and a healthy audio system that features Pandora radio compatibility. Even with all that, the base 2014 Accord LX officially starts under $23,000, but transacts below $21,000 in most markets. That's a great place to start if you're a car looking to hijack the #1 spot in the KBB 5-Year Cost to Own competition. And while its nearest rivals come hungrily close, the Honda Accord is untouchable.

With all other cost-to-own markers being frighteningly equal, it's the Accord's strong resale value that sways the results its way. There's just no denying a well-earned reputation for quality and reliability, and the soothing truth that an Accord is brilliantly easy to operate.

Beyond the sedan and coupe body styles, the Honda Accord spins a near-flawless web of variety — from a fuel-conservative 4-cylinder to a power-liberal V6, as well as three transmissions: 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic, and a PhD-worthy continuously variable automatic. New this year comes varietal icing on the cake: a 50-mpg hybrid model and a plug-in hybrid capable of 13 miles in electric-only mode.

The 2014 Honda Accord is the ablest car in a time of insanely able midsize cars. For the time being, at least, the twin virtues of high value and low cost-to-own don't have a more capable representative.

Best Sedan under $25,000

2014 Honda Accord

Reliable, efficient and always ready to please, the Honda Accord sedan takes top honors because it simply feels like your best friend on wheels. The Accord is also a friend to budgets with its sub-$25,000 starting price and the best residual value in its segment.

Best Resale Value: Mid-Size Car

The Honda Accord is no stranger to accepting our congratulations as the Best Resale Value Award winner in the Mid-Size Car category. It has won the prize in four of the last five years. This year's award is especially mantel-worthy, however, because the mass of superb mid-size sedans has never been better, their quality higher, their teeth sharper.

To say the the Accord stepped up to meet the competition head-on is a 6-feet-understatement -- the 2014 Accord buried the competition. With body styles that included a sedan and coupe, fuel-saving drivetrains that range from refined to rowdy, and a Christmas-morning set of standard features in all models, the 2014 Accord's appeal stretches frighteningly close to being universal. Near-absolute quality and reliability come standard as well.

New this year is the introduction of a hybrid model and a plug-in hybrid variant, both of which promise mpg in the high 40s.

So why the Accord? The things that make the 2014 Honda Accord so easy to recommend mirror what gives it such strong resale value: We expect an Accord to be good, but this Accord is better than our expectations. From its interior layout to its effortless driveability to the seamless performance of its continuously variable automatic transmission, the Accord takes complete care of your peace of mind.

Best SUV under $25,000

2014 Honda CR-V

Widely regarded as the most recommendable SUV by the KBB.com editors, the Honda CR-V claims the top spot on our list two years running for its matchless combination of value, reliability, and utility. As it has for over 15 years, the CR-V builds upon its core philosophy of providing practical-minded car shoppers worry-free transportation in a safe, sensible package.

Best Resale Value: Sporty Compact Car

2014 Honda Civic Si

Add a healthy dose of athleticism to a nameplate renowned for long-term reliability, and there's little doubt as to why the Honda Civic Si bests the competition when it comes to resale value. Just one model year removed from a significant refresh, the 2014 Civic Si reaffirms its place in the segment not only as a value proposition, but also as a class leader in refinement, technology and performance.

The defining characteristic of the Civic Si coupe and sedan is their high-revving 2.4-liter 4-cylinder that produces 201 horsepower at a lofty 7,000-rpm. Despite the fact that all power is directed to the front wheels, the Si is considered by many to be a bona fide driver's car. For instance, both body styles offer a limited-slip differential as standard fare, and the sole transmission option is a close-ratio 6-speed manual. In simple terms, the Civic Si takes the oxymoron out of 'front-wheel-drive sports car.'

Dynamics notwithstanding, at the end of the day, the Si is still a Civic. That means a long-standing record of dependability, fuel economy, quality, and the versatility to seat up to five people in both two-and-four-door configurations.

Starting in the low-$20,000 range, the 2014 Civic Si offers one of the best performance-per-dollar ratios in the business. What's more, the Si exudes its sporting demeanor without sacrificing everyday drivability, comfort, and practicality.

Best Resale Value: Plug-In Vehicle:

2014 Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid

Making its debut for the 2014 model year, the Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid wastes no time earning its first best resale value title in the Electric Vehicle category. Unlike many other all-electric vehicles, the 2014 Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid doesn't have to sweat anything that has to do with range anxiety. A 2.0-liter Atkinson cycle 4-cylinder gasoline engine and a 124-kilowatt electric motor help the Accord Plug-in Hybrid side-step nuisances like stopping for fuel, thanks to a combined gas-electric driving range of 570 miles. A bigger lithium-ion battery lets the Accord Plug-in Hybrid travel up to 13 miles on electricity alone before it calls in the gas engine for back-up.

Exterior styling cues like an additional outlet door above the front-left wheel and 17-inch alloy wheels with aerodynamic inserts help distinguish the Accord Plug-in Hybrid from the rest of its gasoline brethren. A larger front grille and Honda badge also separate the Accord Plug-in Hybrid from the rest of the herd. It takes anywhere from two to two and a half hours to recharge the battery when plugged in to a 120-volt outlet but you can get that time down to an hour or 90 minutes when drawing power from a 240-volt outlet.

The 2014 Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid sits at the top of the segment in terms of fuel economy with a combined rating of 115 MPGe for those first 13 all-electric miles. These figures combined with the usual features found on the gas-powered Honda Accord earn the Plug-in Hybrid the title of best resale value in the electric vehicle category for 2014.

About the Best Resale Value Awards

Fame can be a wonderful thing, but when fleeting, if it comes and goes in a matter of seconds, minutes or even days, it is ultimately unsatisfying. In fact it might even be worse than never having achieved fame at all. But then there is the fame that is long-lasting, built on a solid bedrock of achievement, fame that will stand the most rigorous and unforgiving test of all, the test of time. The winners of the 2014 Kelley Blue Book Best Resale Value Awards are deserving of that second kind of fame, because we have the most profound belief that each of them will stand the test of time, providing good value year after year after year.

The awards are based not on a feeling or a guess or a simple calculation, but instead on what we consider to be the best research and analysis process in the industry. As our post-award audits have demonstrated, our Kelley Blue Book projections of resale value are extremely accurate in estimating the future values of new vehicles, which is why they are used by so many of the nation's leading financial institutions. The awards recognize automakers' outstanding achievements in producing vehicles that best retain their value over the first five years (60 months) of new-vehicle ownership.

hy is this important to you? Very simply because choosing a vehicle with excellent projected resale value can help you save money over the long-haul, and that's just the kind of long-lasting fame we'd like to share.