Ford Fusion
Base price: $21,700

The Fusion won KBB's 2013 Best Redesigned Vehicle award in a large part because the midsized sedan has the hottest looks in what's often a boring class of cars, Nerad says.

"When you look at the Fusion's exterior design you say: 'Wow, that's pretty cool,'" he says. "That also extends to the interior design, while the choice of available power trains is almost mind-blowing."

On the outside, the Fusion takes its styling cues from Aston Martin, the sporty British brand that Ford once owned. (Actors Daniel Craig brought James Bond's Aston Martin back to cheers in the recent Skyfall -- then blew it up.)

Inside, the new Fusion boasts a larger cabin than its 2012 predecessor, plus options such as automatic parallel parking and a system that can keep you from drifting out of a lane if you're dozing off.

But the second-generation Fusion really shines under the hood.

KBB editors love the car's three available four-cylinder engines -- a base 175-horsepower version and optional 178- and 240-horsepower turbocharged versions. The turbocharged engines, new for 2013, come with "EcoBoost" technology to improve fuel efficiency.

There's also a Fusion Hybrid that gets 47 mpg city/highway, while a plug-in hybrid version due in showrooms later this year rates 108 mpge (miles per gallon equivalent) in combined city/highway driving.

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