Consumer Reports Top Picks
Lexus is the Leader
By Ron Amadon
DAMASCUS, MD. – This line said it all: “Consumer Reports currently recommends 100% of the Lexus vehicles it has tested.”
In the magazine’s annual auto issue unveiled today Lexus earned the best overall score followed while Subaru and Mazda tied for second place. CR said both brands “build solid cars with good handling, fuel economy and versatility at relatively affordable prices.”
Toyota and Acura rounded out the top five brands. Acura was followed by Honda, Scion, Audi, Infiniti, and Mercedes Benz.
By now you’re probably wondering about the Detroit automakers? Cadillac had the best score among the former Big Three coming in 14th among the 26 models rated. CR said it was helped by its CTS model and weighed down by the “complicated CUE” infotainment controls.
Once again this year, CR marked down Ford and Lincoln, in part, because of its complicated MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch systems. But the magazine had praise for the Ford C-Max and the Fusion Hybrid. Yet Ford finished 23rd on the CR list.
Dodge finished last on the CR list. Only one of its products, the Durango impressed enough to get a recommended rating. As for Jeep, only the V6 Grand Cherokee got a recommend rating and editors said Chrysler is saddled with many older, uncompetitive models. CR said fewer than half of the domestic brands it tested received a recommended rating and most of them came from Chevrolet and GMC.
The magazine said it must have information on at least three models for a brand to be included on its annual list, and that is why Fiat, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mitsubishi, Porsche, Ram. and Smart were not included.
Breaking it all down by category, the Honda Accord was named best midsized sedan, CR saying Honda “nailed it” with the redesigned 2013 model.
The top rated budget car was the Hyundai Elantra. Editors said it packs good value for the dollar and has nimble handling and a fairly comfortable ride.
No surprise that the Toyota Prius was at the top of the Green Car list. “No current plug-in car can match the Prius hatchback for its blend of fuel efficiency, practicality and affordability,” said the editors. onda, Hond
Two brothers topped the best Sports Car list – the Subaru BRZ and the Scion FR-S. CR said both are exhilarating to drive with super-sharp handling.
Saying the 2012 redesign “breathed new life into the all-wheel drive Impreza” Suby’s baby was named top Compact Car.
Consumer Reports picked the Audi A6 as the top Luxury Car saying it “surrounds you with a sumptuous, impeccably finished cabin.”
Honda picked up two another categories – best small SUV – with its popular CRV and best minivan with the Odyssey.
Toyota’s Highlander was named best midsized SUV.
And what some are now calling a legendary car, BMW’s 328i top the Sports Sedan category, CR praising it for its excellent handling and fun to drive character.