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15 Greatest Cars of the 21st Century

Courtesy Ford Motor Company

Kiplinger ranks cars and SUVs every year, choosing the best in various price categories based on performance, value and safety. So we combed a decade and a half of our buyer's guides to find the vehicles that showed up as winners time and time again. When the choices got tough, we gave the nod to iconic vehicles that have endured the test of time with continuing quality and sales.

One clear takeaway: Cars have gotten better and better since the turn of the millennium. The new models are more fuel-efficient and more powerful and pack a lot more high-tech content than vehicles did 15 years ago. Plus, they are safer—stability control became standard equipment in 2012, and a slew of other features, such as rearview cameras and forward-collision warning, are making their way to less-expensive models.

The really good news: All of these 2015 models are better values today than their forebears of a decade and a half ago. For example, the Subaru Forester sold for $20,590 in 2000; the 2015 model has a sticker price of just $23,045. That's a minuscule increase, especially when you consider that the 2000-model price would be $28,414 in inflation-adjusted dollars.

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