BEST RIDES: Consumer Reports' Top Car For Every Kind Of Driver

2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 ConvertibleFord Mustang: Best Sports Car

Photo: Courtesy Ford

Each year, Consumer Reports releases their must-read automotive issue for prospective buyers of new cars.The 2012 issue just came out, and along with the usual rankings, Consumer Reports has also made it easier by putting all the best cars in each class in one simple ranking.

But what criteria do they use to rank the best cars?

  • The cars need to perform well through Consumer Reports’ gamut of road tests.
  • They also need to earn better than average marks for reliability.
  • Finally, they must be top safety picks in their class.

It’s interesting to note that the list is dominated by cars from one brand: Toyota. It seems that consumers have gotten over the recalls that painted Toyota in a negative light over the last few years.

High fuel economy, a quality interior, and solid construction have made the Toyota Camry Hybrid the best Family Car on the market.

The legendary Ford Mustang is the pick for best Sports Car. Good fuel economy for the class and great driving dynamics helped it beat out other contenders.

CR says you can't go wrong with the Hyundai Sonata for an Affordable Family Sedan. We agree. A great warranty, good looks, supreme ride comfort, and an engine that just sips fuel make it the car to buy.

Toyota's RAV4 is the best Small SUV to buy. A versatile design and great fuel economy makes this a perfect choice; an attractive price doesn't hurt either.

For a Family Hauler, CR says you cannot go wrong with the Toyota Sienna. It is not a performance machine, but the eight people on board will be very comfortable. Another bonus is that this is the only minivan with all-wheel drive.

For a Sports Sedan, the Infiniti G surprisingly beats out the BMW 3-Series. CR picks the G because it's quick off the line, handles great, and has a nicely appointed interior.

The perennial winner for eco-friendly drivers, the Toyota Prius, takes the crown in the Green Car category. 44 miles per gallon puts it at the top of the class.

A surprise winner, the new Subaru Impreza is the best Small Car. The all-wheel drive car has a roomy interior and returns 27 MPG on the road; not too shabby.

The Chevy Avalanche is the top Pick Up Truck on the roads. A versatile bed design earns it top marks.

For a Family SUV, you can't go wrong with the Toyota Highlander. It's a reliable car and if you opt for the Hybrid, it's economical too.

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