- Consumer Reports released its annual “Top Picks” list on Thursday.
- Ten cars all from different segments of the market were selected based on performance in road testing, predicted reliability, safety, and owner satisfaction.
- Toyota led the way with four cars on the list, while Subaru followed with two entries.
- Ford, Hyundai,Audi, and BMW are all represented on the list.
On Thursday, Consumer Reports released its list of the top cars on sale in the US for 2019. The nonprofit consumer publication selected 10 vehicles for its 2019 “Top Picks,” all representing different segments of the auto market.
In order to appear on Consumer Reports’ list, a vehicle must prove to be outstanding all-around performers – living up to the publication’s stringent road-testing regime and exhibiting stellar predicted reliability, safety, and consumer satisfaction.
The publication’s road-test regime features a series of tests to evaluate braking, handling, comfort, convenience, safety, and fuel economy over roughly 6,000 miles of driving on vehicles purchased anonymously from dealerships.
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Safety took top priority this year. In fact, only cars that come standard with automatic emergency braking were considered for the publication’s top honours.
“Safety should always be standard, not a luxury reserved only for those who can afford it,” Marta Tellado, president and CEO of Consumer Reports, said in a statement. “Automatic emergency braking has proven to reduce crashes and save lives. We believe it should be standard in all new cars, just as backup cameras are today.”
Toyota led the way with four cars on the list, while Subaru followed with two winners. Audi, BMW, Ford, and Hyundai all had models that made the Consumer Reports list for 2019.
The 10 vehicles featured on the latest list range in price from just less than $US18,000 to more than $US68,000.
Here’s a closer look at the 2019 Consumer Reports “Top Picks” in alphabetical order.
1. Compact luxury car: Audi A4.
Price as tested: $US48,890.
Why it’s here: “The A4 is a thoroughly satisfying sports sedan with precise handling, the latest technology, and undeniable cachet,” Consumer Reports said. “Its interior is quiet and decked out in high-quality materials.”
“The balanced suspension provides secure handling and a taut ride that effectively smooths rough patches in the road,” the publication added. “The turbocharged four-cylinder engine has superb response, with plenty of power when needed and a slick-shifting automatic transmission.”
2. Luxury SUV: BMW X5
Price as tested: $US68,730.
Why it’s here: “Redesigned for 2019, the midsized X5 is one of the best SUVs that CR has ever tested,” the publication said. “It’s difficult to make an SUV both luxury-car comfortable and fun to drive, but here BMW strikes the perfect balance.”
3. Full-size pickup truck: Ford F-150
Price as tested: $US52,535.
Why it’s here: “The F-150 continues to be King of Pickup Mountain, despite tough competition from the recently redesigned Chevrolet Silverado 1500, GMC Sierra 1500, and Ram 1500,” CR said. “The 2.7-litre V6 turbo version we tested delivered brisk acceleration, effortless towing ability, and impressive fuel economy.”
4. Subcompact SUV: Hyundai Kona
Price as tested: $US25,025.
Why it’s here: “The Kona is a fun, new entry in a growing class of subcompact SUVs. It has a snazzy-looking exterior and an inviting interior,” the publication said. “Despite its compact proportions, the Kona’s smart design creates quite a bit of versatility thanks to its tall liftgate and split rear seats that fold down.”
5. Midsize SUV: Subaru Ascent
Price as tested: $US43,867.
Why it’s here: “The three-row Ascent debuted at the top of CR’s midsized SUV ratings thanks to its smooth power delivery, enjoyable ride, and functional interior,” the publication said. “It has a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that’s energetic in everyday traffic, with plenty of reserve power for passing.”
6. Compact SUV: Subaru Forester
Price as tested: $US29,341.
Why it’s here: “The Forester is a versatile, no-nonsense vehicle that has broad appeal,” Consumer Reports said. “This compact SUV’s roomy interior focuses on practicality and functionality.”
“The 2019 redesign doesn’t look much different from its predecessor, but the Forester is now a more solid vehicle – quieter, with a more premium feel inside,” CR added. “Its power is admittedly modest, but its fuel economy tops the class.”
7. Large car: Toyota Avalon Hybrid
Price as tested: $US38,643.
Why it’s here: “The redesigned Avalon is a smart, value-driven alternative to luxury sedans such as the Acura TLX and Lexus ES,” CR said. “The spacious, richly furnished cabin has an upscale feel with soft materials and tasteful details.”
8. Midsize car: Toyota Camry Hybrid
Price as tested: $US28,949.
Why it’s here: “The Camry Hybrid is a hyper-efficient car that gets 47 mpg overall in CR’s tests, and its hybrid-electric powertrain doesn’t compromise the driving experience,” the publication said. “A comfortable ride and capable handling add to the appeal.”
9. Hybrid/electric car: Toyota Prius
Price as tested: $US27,323.
Why it’s here: “The Prius returns to our Top Picks list for a record 16th time,” CR said. “This pioneering hybrid has long been a paragon of efficiency, with the current model achieving 52 mpg overall and a stunning 59 mpg on the highway in CR’s tests.”
10. Subcompact car: Toyota Yaris iA
Price as tested: $US17,570.
Why it’s here: “The Yaris sedan delivers an impressive degree of quality and joyful driving experience at an affordable price.” the publication said. “The 2019 model gets improvements that include a new XLE trim level that adds upscale touches including automatic climate control.”