Consumer Reports, not a bastion of automotive enthusiasm but a respected resource nonetheless, has named its ten best cars.
The Hyundai Elantra takes the crown of best small sedan. Consumer Reports refuses to give a crown to any vehicle lacking Electronic Stability Control. That safety feature is standard on the Elantra along with a host of other pieces of equipment relevant to passenger protection. Apart from ESC, the Mazda 3 and Honda Civic would rank as highly as the Elantra. ESC is not standard on those two Japanese sedans, however.
Not surprising to readers of GoodCarBadCar, the Hyundai Santa Fe is a terrific small utility vehicle. It earns the nod from Consumer Reports in the midsize SUV, with respect given to its excellent fit and finish among other things.
If it weren’t for reliability questions, the Toyota Tundra may have beaten out the Chevrolet Silverado Crew Cab. Reliability matters. Silverado takes the pickup title at Consumer Reports.
Lexus’ hybrid version of its LS luxo-limo-sedan lost out to a vehicle offering far greater value, the Lexus LS460L. Factor in fun-to-drive and the LS is still a little too Lexus and not enough BMW, but it still earned a near-perfect score from Consumer Reports.
Honda’s Accord took the family sedan category. “Surprise; surprise”, say those familiar with The Good 12. Similar words in reaction to the Infiniti G35’s win in the upscale sedan sector. I gots to say – them are good picks.
A separate category for “Fun-To-Drive” strikes me as humorous, but the Mazda MX-5 has earned its stripes. The Toyota RAV4, discussed on this page earlier today in relation to the new Subaru Forester, captures Consumer Reports’ award for small SUVs. Surprising speed will be forever linked to the present generation’s V6 version. On the other hand, the four-cylinder RAV4 is the most fuel efficient non-hybrid SUV available.
Although recognizing the Honda Odyssey as more fun, Consumer Reports presents the Toyota Sienna as its minivan pick. Meanwhile, for the fifth year in a row, Toyota’s Prius wins the green car award.