- Consumer Reports released its annual Top Picks list.
- Ten cars all from different segments of the market were selected based on its performance in road testing, predicted reliability, safety, and owner satisfaction.
- Toyota led the way with four cars on the list while Chevrolet followed with two entries.
- Ford, Subaru, Audi, and BMW are all represented on the list.
Consumer Reports recently released its annual list of the top cars on sale in the US. The venerable consumer publication picked out 10 cars – all representing different segments of the auto market – for its Top Picks list.
The segments covered include best compact car, best compact green car, best luxury compact car, best mid-size car, best large car, best compact SUV, best luxury compact SUV, best mid-size SUV, best minivan, and the best full-size pickup truck.
In order to become a Consumer Reports Top Pick, a vehicle must prove to be outstanding all-around performers – living up to the publication’s stringent road testing regime, exhibit stellar predicted reliability, safety, and consumer satisfaction.
Toyota led the way with four vehicles on the list while GM’s Chevrolet had two vehicles in the top 10. Three models, the Chevrolet Impala, Subaru Forester, and Toyota Highlander were holdovers from last year’s list.
The Impala’s return appearance can be attributed to its refined ride and premium feel. While the Forester earned praise for its practicality, efficiency, and smart packaging. The Toyota Highlander earned plaudits from the publication for its performance, fuel economy, and reliability.
The only EV to make the list is the Chevrolet Bolt. The staff at Consumer Reports were impressed by its 250 miles of range and 60 kWh battery pack.
The test cars on the list ranged in price from $US20,000 for the compact Toyota Corolla to nearly $US54,000 for the BMW X3.
Here’s a closer look at Consumer Reports’ Top Picks for 2018:
1. Compact car: Toyota Corolla
Price as tested: $US20,650
Why it’s here: “This practical, fuel-efficient sedan has all the virtues that small-car shoppers seek, backed by its strong reliability track record,” the publication said in a statement. Consumer Reports praised the Corolla for its roomy interior, secure handling, superior ride, and solid 32 mpg fuel economy.
2. Compact green car: Chevrolet Bolt
Price as tested: $US38,424
Why it’s here: “We put the Bolt through our battery of rigorous tests and drove it thousands of miles, both at our test track and on public roads,” Consumer Reports’ director of automotive testing, Jake Fisher said in a statement. “With the ability to go up to 250 miles on a charge, the Bolt is a good option for someone who might never have considered an EV before.”
3. Luxury compact car: Audi A4
Price as tested: $US48,890
Why it’s here: “The A4 shines by being sporty, luxurious, and polished in a competitive category,” Consumer Reports wrote. “It’s very satisfying to drive, with nimble, secure handling helped by its minimal body roll and responsive steering.”
4. Midsize car: Toyota Camry
Price as tested: $US26,364 – $US28,949
Why it’s here: Consumer Reports praised the Camry for its overall competence, new styling, and improved handling. The publication was also particularly impressed by the four-cylinder Camry’s 32 mpg fuel economy as well as the Camry Hybrid’s 47 mpg.
5. Large car: Chevrolet Impala
Price as tested: $US39,110
Why it’s here: “The Impala continues to be a gem among large cars, providing a driving experience that’s akin to a luxury car,” Consumer Reports gushed. Its staff was also impressed by the Impala’s spacious, quiet, and well-appointed cabin.
6. Compact SUV: Subaru Forester
Price as tested: $US27,145
Why it’s here: “This is a practical, smartly packaged small SUV that emphasises fuel economy, room, visibility, and reliability over trendiness or flash,” Consumer Reports wrote.
7. Luxury Compact SUV: BMW X3
Price as tested: $US53,745
Why it’s here: “This luxury compact SUV combines driving enjoyment, comfort, slick technology, and utility in an appealing package,” the publication wrote. “It’s sharp, sporty handling encourages drivers to seek curvy roads.”
8. Midsize SUV: Toyota Highlander
Price as tested: $US41,169 – $US50,875
Why it’s here: The Highlander garnered praise for its good performance, fuel economy, and reliability. In addition, the three-row SUV’s ability to handle eight occupants while remaining small enough to be easy to park also won the Highlander plaudits.
9. Minivan: Toyota Sienna
Price as tested: $US38,424
Why it’s here: “In this segment, the Sienna offers the best all-around package with a comfortable ride, an energetic powertrain, and respectable fuel economy,” Consumer Reports wrote. “The spacious cabin features convenient folding seats and available seating for eight.”
10. Full-sized pickup truck: Ford F-150
Price as tested: $US52,535
Why it’s here: “The F-150 tops the full-sized pickup truck category,” the publication wrote. “The best-selling vehicle in America is an impressive workhorse that pulls ahead of the pack thanks to its weight-reduced design and fuel-efficient turbocharged six-cylinder engine.”
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