US News sets out to find 21 best cars for the money image

The North American market, which continues its revival, sees every automaker flooding it with new models, well equipped and technologically advanced. But are they all a great deal?

The editors from US News decided to go out and hunt for the new models that find the right balance between being well equipped, critically acclaimed and also offer very good value for the price.

“Finding a great car that’s also a great deal is a challenge,” said Jamie Page Deaton, managing editor of U.S. News Best Cars. “Our awards are designed to help consumers identify great value cars that have also received critical acclaim and high safety and reliability scores. A good value car doesn’t have to be boring – cars with the latest features, great performance and comfortable interiors can also be smart financial choices.”

This is how they came up with their list of 21 cars that qualify as the “Best Cars for the Money” among 2014 models. With foreign brands dominating the list, with 13 of the 21 models, US automakers have some catching up to do for next year. US News watched a total of 225 cars for this year’s Best Cars awards, with some of the more important factors taken into account being initial purchase price, estimated five-year cost of ownership and quality.

Here’s the list of winners, alongside their respective category: Subcompact Cars – 2014 Ford Fiesta; Compact Cars – 2014 Mazda3; Hatchbacks – 2014 Ford Fiesta; Sports Cars -2014 Scion FR-S; Upscale Small Cars – 2014 Volkswagen GTI; Midsize Cars – 2014 Toyota Camry; Upscale Midsize Cars – 2014 Chevrolet Volt; Hybrid Cars – 2014 Ford Fusion Hybrid; Large Cars – 2014 Chevrolet Impala; Wagons – 2014 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen; Compact SUVs – 2014 Honda CR-V; 2-Row Midsize SUVs – 2014 Ford Edge; 3-Row Midsize SUVs – 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe; Hybrid SUVs – 2014 Lexus RX Hybrid; Luxury Compact SUVs – 2014 Acura RDX; Luxury 2-Row Midsize SUVs – 2014 Lexus RX 350; Luxury 3-Row Midsize SUVs – 2014 Acura MDX; Large SUVs – 2014 Chevrolet Tahoe; Minivans – 2014 Mazda Mazda5; Compact Pickup Trucks – 2014 Toyota Tacoma; Full Size Pickup Trucks – 2014 Ram 1500.