This week, Consumer Reports released its latest 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.
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, exhibit solid reliability, safety, and consumer satisfaction.
In other words, these cars, “have won our admiration, and we recommend them with confidence,” Consumer Reports wrote.
This year, Toyota led the way with three entrants on the list, followed by Chevrolet with two winners.
Here’s a closer look at Consumer Reports’ 2017 Top Picks:
Subcompact: Toyota Yaris iA
Price as tested: $17,570
Why it’s here: Developed by Mazda, the Toyota Yaris iA sedan has won over Consumer Reports’ staff who describe the car as a refined alternative in a segment filled with insubstantial models. The publication praised the iA for its smooth and gutsy four-cylinder engine as well its compliant ride and refined automatic transmission.
Compact: Chevrolet Cruze
Price as tested:$23,145
Why it’s here: By beating out the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla, the Chevy Cruze climbed one heck of a mountain to take the top spot in this segment. The CR staff praised the Cruze for its quiet cabin, smooth ride, generous feature content, and a powerful yet frugal turbocharged engine.
Compact hybrid: Toyota Prius
Price as tested: $27,323
Why it’s here: The Toyota Prius has long been a stand out for its stellar fuel economy, but the frugal hybrid proves to be more than just a money-saving device. The publication was impressed by the new generation Prius’ improved ride, quieter cabin, better driving dynamics, and a comprehensive suite of standard safety features.
Sports car: Mazda MX-5 Miata
Price as tested:$29,905
Why it’s here: “The Mazda MX-5 Miata is the embodiment of driving pleasure,” Consumer Reports wrote. The Miata has long been one of the finest driving machines in the world. And the latest iteration continues down that path with the publication impressed by its driving dynamics, world-class manual transmission, and frugal fuel economy.
Midsized sedan: Kia Optima
Price as tested: $25,860
Why it’s here: The Kia Optima takes the crown in the segment over industry stalwarts such as the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. However, according to Consumer Reports, the Optima’s victory is more than deserved.
“It checks all of the right boxes for family-sedan buyers, with responsive handling, a steady ride and pleasant powertrain, short stopping distances, easy-to-use controls, and a roomy backseat,” CR wrote.
Large sedan: Chevrolet Impala
Price as tested: $39,110
Why it’s here: Once again, the Chevy Impala takes home the prize as the best large sedan. The publication was impressed by the Impala’s supportive seats, roomy cabin, refined ride, and responsive handling.
Small SUV: Subaru Forester
Price as tested: $27,145
Why it’s here: Subaru has been on a roll in recent years. And the Forester crossover has certainly played a major part in the brand’s success.
“The Subaru Forester sets the standard for small SUVs, combining relatively roomy packaging, fuel efficiency, solid reliability, and easy access,” Consumer Reports wrote.
Midsized SUV: Toyota Highlander
Price as tested:$41,169
Why it’s here: “In this competitive segment, midsized SUVs have to do it all well, and none do it better than the Toyota Highlander,” Consumer Reports wrote.
The publication went on to praise the Highlander’s functionality, reliability, and safety.
Luxury SUV: Audi Q7
Price as tested: $68,695
Why it’s here: According to Consumer Reports, the Audi Q7 is the highest scoring SUV it has tested in recent years. And for good reason. the Q7 offers luxury sedan like refinement, comfort, and performance in a three-row SUV. In addition. the Q7 feature’s Audi’s world-class infotainment technology.
Compact pickup: Honda Ridgeline
Price as tested: $36,480
Why it’s here: All new for the 2017 model year, the Honda Ridgeline launched to rave reviews. And it continues here with Consumer Reports who came away impressive by its refinement and versatility.
“CR’s engineers found the Ridgeline drives more akin to a sedan than its roughneck rivals. It also handles far better than any compact or full-sized pickup, and achieves a 20-mpg overall, shaming all non-diesel trucks for fuel economy,” the publication wrote.