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Toyota earned the most Kelley Blue Book Awards in 2021

The RAV4 was named car of the year

Toyota RAV4 vehicle
Photo (c) Sjo - Getty Images
With new cars being hard to come by, and with prices at record highs, you don’t want to make a mistake when you buy one. Considering the recognition and praise that a particular make and model has received from the industry might help you make a good choice.

In 2021, Kelley Blue Book singled out cars and trucks as the best in breed in certain categories. This month, the editors boiled down their list and named the 10 Most Awarded Cars of 2021 and 10 Most Awarded Brands of 2021.

Automotive experts reviewed this year’s various awards programs and looked for vehicles that tended to land on multiple lists across a range of categories. They factored in the vehicles and brands featured most on lists like the Best Family Cars, Best Luxury Cars Under $35,000, and Best Hybrid Cars Under $40,000, to name a few.

"There are many noteworthy automotive brands and vehicles in the marketplace, but ultimately Toyota and its RAV4 won the most Kelley Blue Book awards and accolades in 2021," said Jason Allan, director of editorial for Kelley Blue Book. 

Premium price

If a RAV4 is on your holiday shopping list, be prepared to pay a premium. Not surprisingly, the SUV is highly popular with consumers. Last month, automotive publisher Torque News reported that a 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE was being sold at one specific Toyota dealership with a $40,000 “Dealer Added Markup.”

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 is KBB’s most awarded car of the year. The 5-passenger compact SUV won points for being spacious and comfortable, with a wide range of trims and engine options. 

“The RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid earned a 2021 Best Buy Award and a spot on the 14 Best New and Redesigned SUVs list. The RAV4 also was a 2021 Best Buy Award winner and one of the 12 Best Family Cars of 2021,” KBB stated in a news release.

Toyota was also KBB’s most awarded brand of 2021, with a total of 41 accolades. Hyundai was second with 22, and Ford was third with 18.

"Our team works year-round testing and reviewing vehicles, along with examining all kinds of relevant data, to compile our recommendations for the best cars in a wide range of categories – all with the ultimate goal to help car shoppers as they navigate their journey,” Allan said. “The standout vehicles are strong enough that they often appear on multiple lists, and the top brands boast lineups full of award winners."

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