What are the Best and Worst Cars in the United States Going into 2021? (A Review by Kelley Blue Book, Car and Driver, & JD Powers)

The best and worst reviewed cars in the US according to Kelley Blue Book, Car and Driver, and JD Powers include the 2020 Honda Civic, 2020 Nissan Sentra, 2020 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid, 2020 BMW M340i, 2019 Nissan Altima, 2020 Honda Accord, 2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35, 2020 Cadillac CT5, and 2020 Cadillac CT4. Additional details have been provided below.

In this other post, you will discover The Biggest Vehicle Ownership Frustrations. Also, feel free to check out the Biggest Frustrations for New Car Buyers.

Kelley Blue Book

Best Reviewed Cars

  • According to Kelley Blue Book, the 2020 Honda Civic is one of the best small cars in 2020. It has an expert rating of 4.6 out of 5. According to the website, the Civic excels when it comes to resale value and it has rock-solid reliability.
  • Kelley Blue Book ranks the 2020 Nissan Sentra as the best small car in 2020. It has an expert rating of 4.6 out of 5. Expert reviews note that the car has upscale touches, excellent connectivity options, high levels of safety, and improved handling.

Worst Reviewed Cars

  • The 2020 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid received the worst expert review and had a rating of 4.0 out of 5, which is the lowest for new 2020 sedans. According to an expert review, “the 2020 RLX sedan is the conservative’s approach to luxury, offering almost every feature as standard at a price that undercuts the competition by thousands.” The review also notes that the car does not thrill the way a luxury car worth $55,000 should.
  • The 2020 Volvo S90 is among the cars that received the worst expert review by Kelley Blue Book. Despite the car handling well, it does not have the same agility as a rear-wheel-drive vehicle such as the BMW 5 Series. Also, the car is only available with a 4-cylinder engine.

Car and Driver

Best Reviewed Car

  • The 2020 BMW M340i received one of the best reviews from Car and Driver. According to the site, “the M240i also has a magnificent powertrain: a potent 382-hp turbocharged inline-six mated to an expertly calibrated eight-speed automatic.”

Worst Reviewed Car

  • The 2019 Nissan Altima is among the cars that received that worst reviews from Car and Driver. The car failed to reach 40,000 miles, which is the standard end point when it comes to extended mileage reviews. The car only managed to reach 32,852 miles and was described as having a droning engine and lazy acceleration.

JD Powers

Best Reviewed Cars

  • The 2020 Honda Accord is among the best reviewed cars by JD Power. The car has received positive reviews because it provides a top-flight driving character and offers comfort, safety, efficiency, and technology at a competitive price.
  • The 2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 also received one of the best reviews by JD Power. According to the review, “with the 302-hp Mercedes-AMG 35, the automaker offers an in-house tuner-car version that has the performance and fun-to-drive demeanor to back up its looks.”

Worst Reviewed Cars

  • The 2020 Cadillac CT5 is among the worst reviewed cars because of its 4-cylinder turbo engine. According to the review, “the twin-turbo 3.0 V6 in the Premium Luxury and CTS-V trims rises to the same level and excellence that chassis delivers and is well worth the extra few thousand dollars for a more refined and enjoyable premium midsize sedan ownership experience.
  • Also, the 2020 Cadillac CT4 received one of the worst reviews because of its suspension calibration and standard engine. In addition, the car has a tiny trunk and one is required to purchase Premium Luxury or Sport trim to enjoy safety technologies that are available on a standard Toyota Corolla.

Common Themes and Trends of the Review Articles

  • All the three sites looked at similar themes and trends when reviewing the cars. These themes included quality, reliability, value, performance, comfort, and styling.
  • In most cases, the articles mainly focused on performance and value in their reviews.
  • Another trend that was identified is that most of the reviews were done by experts. Besides Kelley Blue Book having a customer review section, JD Power and Car and Driver only published reviews done by experts.
Glenn is the Lead Operations Research Analyst at The Digital Momentum with experience in research, statistical data analysis and interview techniques. A holder of degree in Economics. A true specialist in quantitative and qualitative research.

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