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Kia, Mercedes-Benz dominate top cars of 2021 list

Edmunds ranks vehicles on quality, ride, and other factors

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Photo (c) tomeng - Getty Images
Kia has driven off with the top award in two key categories of Edmunds’ top-rated cars of 2021 -- sedans and SUVs.

The awards are determined by Edmunds' extensive new vehicle testing and proprietary rating process. According to the automotive publisher, and the winners represent the best vehicles available to car buyers today.

"At Edmunds, our primary focus is to help inform and empower consumers as they search for their next vehicle,” said Alistair Weaver, editor-in-chief at Edmunds. “And that's why, unlike other industry awards that tend to highlight the hottest new vehicles that just happened to debut this year, the Edmunds Top-Rated Awards recognize the best vehicles on sale today, irrespective of when they were launched." 

The Kia K5 was named the best sedan. Edmunds says the K5 edged out more established sedans like the Honda Accord and Mazda 6. The editors praised the K5's ride, comparing it to that of some luxury sedans. 

“At highway speeds, the K5 is nearly silent inside,” the editors wrote. “Kia has also made sure it comes with the latest technology features, including wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.”

Best SUV

For the second year in a row, Edmunds named the Kia Telluride as the best SUV. It was singled out for a combination of “high-quality design, family-friendly functionality, and impressive value.” It won similar praise in 2019.

“A year has passed, and a number of new competitors have arrived, but none have been good enough to dethrone the Telluride,” the Edmunds editors wrote.

Mercedes-Benz was the only other manufacturer to come out on top in two categories. Its Mercedes-Benz E Class was named top luxury sedan and the Mercedes-Benz GLE placed first among luxury SUVs.

Edmunds praised the E Class for its “fastidious attention to detail, impressive technology, and a near-total lack of noise from the outside world.” It described the GLE as "stylish, spacious and packed with technology that really works,” noting there is plenty of competition in that category.

Best Pickup

The Ford F150 earned top honors among pickup trucks; the Tesla Model 3 was named best EV; the new Ford Mustang Mach-E was named best luxury EV while the Chevrolet Corvette was named the best sports car for 2021.

"Each year, Edmunds' editors drive over half a million miles and conduct thousands of hours of testing on more than 300 vehicles,” Weaver said. “Car shoppers looking for vehicles that deliver a best-in-class experience need to look no further than the Edmunds Top-Rated Awards."

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