Author: Steve Allen |

Kelley Blue Book is an Irvine, California-based vehicle valuation and automotive research company that is recognized by both consumers and the automotive industry. The company is part of Cox Automotive, a unit of Atlanta, GA-based Cox Enterprises.

The company reports market value prices for new and used automobiles of all types, as well as motorcycles. For both new and used automobiles, KBB provides a Fair Market Range and Fair Purchase Price, based on actual transactions of what others are paying for a vehicle and adjusted regularly as market conditions change. For new automobiles, KBB also provides information about a car’s MSRP and dealer invoice price. For used cars, KBB provides retail value, certified pre-owned value, trade-in value and private party value. Kelley Blue Book also offers expert and consumer vehicle reviews and ratings, and 5-Year Cost to Own information for new cars.

Small Car — 2016 Honda Civic

2016 Honda Civic Sedan © Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

2016 Honda Civic Sedan © Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

Virtually everything about the 2016 Civic Sedan is new – an all-new vehicle architecture, sporty and sophisticated new interior and exterior styling, a more spacious and high-quality cabin, two advanced new engines, and a host of new premium features and technologies.

Further, with the addition of Honda Sensing™ safety and driver-assistive technologies and the first application of Honda turbo engine technology to Civic, the 2016 Civic Sedan offers buyers a wider range of options than ever before. Civic models powered by the new 2.0-liter i-VTEC™ engine are designated as the Civic LX and EX trims. Civic models powered by the new turbocharged 1.5-liter engine are designated as the EX-T, EX-L (with leather-trimmed interior) and new line-topping Civic Touring, which reaches higher into the upper end of the compact car market than ever before.

In designing the new Civic, Honda designers and engineers sought to deliver a sportier and more premium-quality Civic that recaptures the sporty proportions and athletic stance of earlier Civics while thoroughly advancing Civic design into the future. The 2016 Civic Sedan is lower and wider with a short front overhang and long rear deck, and larger wheels and tires that create a more sporting wheel-to-body relationship.

The taut and tidy overall proportions of the new Civic Sedan are complimented and accentuated by its design details, including its sleek, swept-back bodylines, its sharp and aggressive face, and its bulging wheel arches. The hood features sharply defined character lines that draw the eye forward and down to the Civic’s aggressive new face, highlighted by a chrome-plated Honda “wing” that runs the full width of the front fascia and is flanked by available new LED headlights in an in-line configuration.

The new Civic’s ultra-thin A-pillars lend the cabin an open, airy feeling with excellent forward visibility, while the aggressively sloped roof line connects seamlessly with gracefully arching C-pillars that carry the curvature of the roof rearward to the outside rear corners of the long deck, where they intersect with distinctive C-shaped “light-pipe” LED taillights.

The sharply creased and curving upper-body side line swells over the rear wheel arches and curves aggressively inward to join the upper bend of the distinctive LED taillights, while the upswept lower-body side line is bisected by the bulging rear wheel arches before bending inward to meet up with the rear bumper’s upper surface. The overall effect is one of dynamism and premium quality with an unmistakable and yet thoroughly modern Civic design aesthetic.

Midsize Car — 2016 Kia Optima

2016 Optima © Kia Motors Corporation

2016 Optima © Kia Motors Corporation

Because the previous generation Optima was such a success story for the brand, Kia’s designers had to strike a delicate balance, retaining the identity of the vehicle while, at the same time, making a confident move forward to keep the car modern and fresh. Sweeping contemporary surfaces and modern architecture inspired the design of the all-new Optima, leading to a sophisticated and dynamic sedan that is instantly recognizable yet has more road presence than ever.

The all-new Optima is boldly designed to be functional and sporty with exterior dimensions that are marginally longer, taller and wider. The wheelbase has been extended to 110.4 inches (increased 0.4 inches), and the vehicle has been widened to 73.2 inches (increased 1.2 inches). Both changes enable a roomier and more comfortable cabin with more head room, shoulder room and rear seat leg room. The increased dimensions also allow for more cargo capacity in the trunk, up 0.5 cu.-ft. from the previous-generation Optima to 15.9 cu.-ft.

The aggressive front clip pulls the sheet metal taut over the wheel arches, and the swept-back headlights reach deeply into the fenders. On the SX and SXL trims, Kia’s signature tiger-nose grille is hot stamped and composed into a sophisticated pinpoint design that bears a strong resemblance to Kia’s luxury sedan, the K9001. The all-new Optima introduces Kia’s first application of Bi-Xenon HID headlights with available Dynamic Bending Lamps, which illuminate the tarmac around corners, and High Beam Assist.

The greenhouse silhouette maintains the raked A-pillar and sweeping C-pillar that lend the Optima its sport-sedan shape. The rear quarter windows kick up smartly just ahead of the carved rear fenders. As with its predecessor, the all-new Optima incorporates a raised deck lid, and the use of available LED halo-style tail lights mimics that of the Cadenza premium sedan.

The 2016 Optima rides on alloy wheels ranging from 16 to 18 inches, with four new unique wheel designs, depending on trim level. Three new exteriors colors complement the latest Optima’s sophisticated styling: a vibrant blue inspired by a sparkling ocean underneath a sunny sky, a dynamic grey with olive undertones, and a deep red that gains depth from the use of aluminum pigments.

Full-Size Car  — 2016 Chevrolet Impala

2016 Chevrolet Impala © General Motors

2016 Chevrolet Impala © General Motors

For 2016, Impala is offered in LS, LT and LTZ models, with a standard 2.5L engine paired with fuel-saving stop/start technology and an available 3.6L V-6 engine rated at 305 horsepower (227 kW). A special Midnight Edition is also offered on LT and LTZ V-6 models.

Impala also has 10 standard air bags, full-speed-range Adaptive Cruise Control, Crash Imminent Braking, Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, ear camera and rear-park assist. The spacious interior blends with almost endless infotainment options via MyLink and BOSE® active noise cancelation technology on 2.5L models.

Building on its connectivity capabilities, the 2016 Chevrolet Impala introduces available Apple CarPlay capability and wireless charging technology to help customers stay connected anytime, anywhere.

Through Apple CarPlay capability, Impala’s all-new Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system provides simple and intuitive use of smartphones in the vehicle. It integrates certain phone functions onto eight-inch-diagonal color touchscreen, allowing them to call up music, navigation apps and more.

With wireless charging, smartphone users simply place their phone on a charging pad in front of the shifter that draws electricity to the device, with no need for cords or wires. The time needed to charge is comparable to using a wired method without the hassle of finding charging accessories. It is available in Technology Packages for LS and LTZ models, complementing last year’s introduction of OnStar with 4G LTE connectivity and Wi-Fi hotspot.

Small SUV — 2016 Honda CR-V

2016 Honda CR-V © Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

2016 Honda CR-V © Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

So much to do, so much to see. The CR-V has a 185-hp* EarthDreams® engine and continuously variable transmission (CVT) with G-Design Shift that helps you adapt to any situation.

The night is young, and there’s plenty to do. Sleek curves and a spacious interior give the CR -V plenty of style and incredible versatility.

A modern interior welcomes you with comfortable seats, ample legroom and an elegant console interface. Sit back and enjoy the ride in the available leather-trimmed seats (EX-L, Touring).

The CR-V features a whole suite of innovative technology to help navigate and keep you connected.* Equipped with a 7-inch Display Audio (EX and above), you can tap, pinch and swipe to access features like Bluetooth®1 HandsFreeLink® and SMS text message function.

Midsize SUV — 2016 Honda Pilot

2016 Honda Pilot Elite © Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

2016 Honda Pilot Elite © Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

The all-new 2016 Honda Pilot SUV, with seating up to eight passengers, joins the Honda CR-V and all-new HR-V as the flagship in an expanded lineup of innovative, benchmark-setting Honda SUVs. It is the third generation of Honda’s popular three-row SUV to be designed, developed and manufactured in America. The new Pilot was designed and developed by Honda R&D Americas, Inc., in Los Angeles and Ohio, and is manufactured exclusively by Honda Mfg. Alabama, Inc. in Lincoln, Alabama.1

Since its arrival in 2003 as the first three-row, mainstream SUV to be developed on a car-like unit-body platform, the Pilot has helped set industry standards for fuel efficiency, spacious and thoughtful interior packaging, safety performance, and dynamic handling performance in the midsize SUV segment. American consumers have responded by purchasing more than 1.4 million Pilots over the past 12 years. Pilot also ties the CR-V in having the highest brand loyalty of any Honda model, with approximately 63 percent of Pilot buyers returning to purchase another Honda vehicle.

Reengineered from the ground up, virtually every aspect of the 2016 Pilot has been thoroughly redesigned to better accommodate the needs of all its occupants – the driver and all passengers – delivering more family-friendly utility, more advanced technology, and more premium attributes and amenities than ever before. The 2016 Pilot also ups the ante for premium refinement with major upgrades to interior quality and more standard comfort and convenience features on all trims, along with the addition of a new, line-topping Elite version that offers a series of Honda-first features including 20-inch wheels and tires, ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, a heated steering wheel, a first-ever panoramic glass roof and many other luxury features.

The 2016 Pilot receives a new engine from Honda’s EarthDreams® Technology powertrain series – a direct-injected 3.5-liter SOHC i-VTEC® V-6 engine with Variable Cylinder Management™ (VCM®) – along with the available two new advanced transmissions and a class-defining all-new intelligent variable torque management (i-VTM4™) AWD system with Intelligent Traction Management and torque vectoring capability. Together, these features make this the most powerful, refined and capable Pilot Honda has ever offered. These technologies, combined with a nearly 300-pound reduction in vehicle weight (on upper trims), improved aerodynamics and reduced running resistance, make this the most fuel-efficient offering in the midsize SUV segment, with EPA fuel-economy ratings improved by as much as 2/2/2 mpg city/highway/combined2 over the previous model.

Full-Size SUV — 2016 Chevrolet Tahoe

2016 Chevrolet Tahoe © General Motors

2016 Chevrolet Tahoe © General Motors

For 2016, several new safety and technology advances give the full-size SUV high-end details that make driving the Tahoe a superior experience.

A new Enhanced Driver Alert package, available on the LS, includes a number of collision avoidance features and security functions, such as power-adjustable pedals, Forward Collision Alert and Safety Alert Seat.

Also included in the package, Lane Keep Assist helps avoid unintentional lane departures and actually assists in keeping the vehicle in the correct lane by gently turning the steering wheel as the SUV approaches a detected lane marking without the use of a turn signal. Using a camera mounted on the windshield in front of the rearview mirror, Lane Keep Assist works between the speeds of 37 mph and 112 mph and won’t engage if it detects the driver is actively steering.

IntelliBeam headlamps, another feature in the Enhanced Driver Alert Package, automatically turn a high-beam headlight on and off according to traffic conditions, making for a safer ride.

Also new for 2016, a head-up display is included with the available, enhanced driver information center – with 8-inch-diagonal configurable multicolor display – offered on LTZ models.

New phone integration technology displays content from Apple iPhone 5 or later models on the multicolor screen through the Apple CarPlay feature. Supported apps for the system include phone, messages, maps, music and compatible third-party apps.

Two new premium exterior colors are added to Tahoe’s palette: Siren Red Tintcoat and Iridescent Pearl Tricoat.

With a range of recent vehicle-wide enhancements such as aerodynamic designs and a direct-injected EcoTec3 5.3L engine, Tahoe is the industry’s best-selling full-size SUV. Along with the Chevrolet Suburban, Tahoe accounts for almost 50 percent of the segment.

Minivan — 2016 Honda Odyssey

2016 Honda Odyssey © Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

2016 Honda Odyssey © Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

The Odyssey delivers groundbreaking technology and conveniences that keep your family connected and comfortable. Top it all off with sleek, modern styling, and you’ve got a minivan that really hits it home.

The Odyssey didn’t get to where it is today by standing still. Our signature family vehicle continues to deliver innovative technology, tasteful styling and impressive performance.

Pickup Truck — 2016 Ford F-150

2016 Ford F-150 © Ford Motor Company

2016 Ford F-150 © Ford Motor Company

The 2016 Ford F-150, part of Ford F-Series, America’s best-selling truck for 38 years, continues to innovate with the addition of breakthrough towing technology, new Special Edition Appearance Packages, SYNC 3 and alternative fuel capability.

ll-new Pro Trailer Backup Assist makes it easier for drivers of all skill levels to back a trailer up to launch a boat or park in a driveway. The segment-first technology allows customers to steer a trailer instinctively by turning a knob left or right to indicate direction; the truck controls its steering and limits vehicle speed. Ford engineers developed the system leveraging advanced camera technology and tested it for almost a decade. Ford earned five patents for the technology along the way, with 10 more pending.

The Special Edition Packages for XLT and Lariat further personalize F-150 to customer tastes, adding all-new unique 20-inch premium anodized dark-painted aluminum wheels with red sport lettering, black running boards, smoked headlamps, unique bodyside graphics and badging, special edition seats with Alcantara® inserts, red contrast stitching and red bolsters, and unique red stitching on the steering wheel, transmission gear selector boot and instrument panel. This package also features a dark anodized grille with black mesh on XLT while the Lariat dark anodized grille receives red accents.

F-150 also features SYNC 3 – Ford’s newest communications and entertainment system that features enhanced voice recognition, high-speed performance and capacitive touch screen and easier-to-understand graphical interface.
Responding to customer requests, the 2016 Ford F-150 with the 5.0-liter V8 engine will offer a gaseous-fuel prep option, making it the only light-duty pickup capable of running on compressed natural gas or propane.

Performance Car — 2016 Chevrolet Corvette

2016 Chevrolet Corvette © General Motors

2016 Chevrolet Corvette © General Motors

Along with all that’s new with the 2016 Corvette Stingray, it carries over an unmatched combination of performance and efficiency. Power comes from the 6.2L LT1 V-8 rated at an SAE-certified 455 horsepower (339 kW) and 460 lb-ft of torque (624 Nm) – and 460 horsepower (343 kW) and 465 lb-ft (630 Nm) with the available performance exhaust system. The LT1 engine is offered with a seven-speed manual transmission with Active Rev Match and a paddle-shift eight-speed automatic transmission that offers quick shifts on par with the world’s best dual-clutch transmissions – delivered with the smoothness unique to a transmission with a torque converter.

Corvette Stingray’s powertrain enables manual-transmission Z51-equipped models able to accelerate from 0-60 in 3.8 seconds – 3.7 seconds with the eight-speed automatic – and run the quarter-mile in 12 seconds at 119 mph, while the Corvette’s chassis and suspension features contribute to 1.03g in cornering grip and stop from 60 mph in 107 feet.

The Corvette Stingray backs its performance capability with the greatest efficiency of any sports car on the market with more than 450 horsepower, delivering an EPA-estimated 17 mpg city driving and 29 mpg on the highway with the seven-speed manual transmission.

Corvette Stingray is offered in 1LT, 2LT and 3LT trim levels.

Electric/Hybrid Car — 2016 Chevrolet Volt

2016 Chevrolet Volt © General Motors

2016 Chevrolet Volt © General Motors

The all-new 2016 Volt electric car with extended range offers a sleeker, sportier design – along with 53 miles of EV range, greater efficiency and stronger acceleration.

In fact, with its new, efficient propulsion system, the new Volt offers a General Motors’-estimated total driving range of more than 400 miles and with regular charging, owners are expected to travel more than 1,000 miles on average between gas fill-ups.

“The 2016 Chevrolet Volt provides our owners with a no-compromise electric driving experience,” said Alan Batey, president of GM North America. “We believe our engineering prowess combined with data from thousands of customers allows us to deliver the most capable plug-in vehicle in the industry.”

The 2016 Chevrolet Volt’s technology and range advancements are complemented by a design that blends sculpted, muscular proportions with aerodynamic efficiency, and an all-new interior with seating for five and improved functionality.

New smartphone projection technology on Volt’s MyLink system displays content from Apple iPhone 5 or later models on the multicolor screen through the Apple CarPlay feature. Supported apps for the system include phone, messages, maps, music and compatible third-party apps.

Everything on the 2016 Volt, from charging the battery and checking the charge status, to the intuitiveness of instrument panel controls, were designed for easier use.

Luxury Car — 2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Mercedes-Benz C © Daimler AG

Mercedes-Benz C © Daimler AG

The car was officially unveiled on 16 December 2013 at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show. W205 production commenced on 4 February 2014 at the Bremen plant. European sales began in March 2014, while the vehicle went on sale in North America in September 2014, and in South Africa in March 2015.

As the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class (released in April 2013) took the mantle of being the new entry-level sedan in Mercedes’ line up of cars, Mercedes decided to make the W205 C-Class larger than its predecessor and more like the W222 S-Class, thus making it a “mini-S-Class”.

It includes Sport and Luxury trims with 241-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged I4 engine and 329-hp 3.0-liter bi-turbo V6 engine options. Mercedes all-wheel drive 4MATIC is standard across the initial offering. The car is about 3.7 inches (94 mm) longer and 1.7 inches (43 mm) wider than the W204.

Based on the new modular MRA rear-wheel drive platform, it features front axle four-link and rear axle five-link suspension.

Luxury SUV — 2016 Lexus RX

2016 Lexus RX © Toyota Motor Corporation

2016 Lexus RX © Toyota Motor Corporation

Since the model’s launch in 1998, the Lexus RX has proved immensely popular with those needing the flexibility of a sport-utility vehicle combined with the driving comfort of a luxury sedan, all wrapped in an attractive, elegant package. The all-new RX’s mix of sharp creases and curves represents a bold evolution in the model’s styling, sharing the same design DNA with other recently-launched models in the Lexus lineup. Moreover, this perennial best-selling luxury crossover features hybrid and gasoline powertrains, sophisticated safety features, driver aids and welcome new convenience and technology features to make this one of the best Lexus luxury utility vehicles offering to date.

The front view of the new RX is characterized by an emboldened version of the Lexus brand’s signature spindle grille, featuring a chrome-plated border and triple L-shape-LED headlamps. The available L-shaped LED headlight is accompanied by 18 individual LEDs that surround the headlights and act as turn signal indicators. A compact Bi-LED headlight is standard. Also, Intelligent High Beam (IHB) is available as part of available Lexus Safety System +. Intelligent High Beam helps ensure optimal forward visibility during nighttime driving and automatically turns off the high beam headlamps when another vehicle is detected. When no other vehicle is present, the system turns on the high beams.

The spindle design theme of the front of the RX also defines its rear design, providing a high level of aesthetic balance and consistency to the vehicle’s overall demeanor. The LED rear combination L-shaped taillights envelope the tailgate while wrapping forward around the rear fender sections, resulting in a powerful and wide stance. Of particular note are the blacked-out C-pillars, which provide a floating-roof effect never before seen on a Lexus product. Other new exterior features are flush-fitting headlight washers, panoramic moonroof design, solid roof rails, redesigned SmartAccess door handles and convenient door handle illumination.

Also, three new exterior colors have been added: Caviar, Autumn Shimmer and Nightfall Mica. All RX models feature a scratch-resistant self-restoring coat in the body paint, which uses a high-performance macromolecular polymer. The high elasticity of the material helps resist scratches, such as from fingernail marks around the door handles. The paint also possesses a high level of gloss retention to help enhance the initial gloss and color of the paint over a long period of time.