Looking for a new car? Start here. Our Top Picks are as close as it gets to “no-brainers” in the auto market. They’re impressive all-around vehicles, chosen from more than 280 we’ve recently tested, that have excelled in our testing, are reliable, and have performed well in independent crash tests. What’s not to like?
For 2013, we have new winners in seven categories. Honda was a no-show last year, but it has picked up three slots on this year’s list with the redesigned Accord and the CR-V and Odyssey. Two European automakers return to the list; the BMW 328i and the Audi A6 are those carmakers’ first entries in our winners’ circle in 10 and 13 years, respectively. Also new are the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ sports-car twins. And theHyundai Elantra has returned after a one-year hiatus. No pickup was chosen because GM’s and Chrysler’s full-sized models have been revamped and we haven’t yet tested them.
Top Picks must meet our criteria in three areas:
- Road test. Each must rank at or near the top of its category in overall test score.
- Reliability. Each must have earned an average or better predicted-reliability Rating, based on the problems Consumer Reports subscribers reported on 1.2 million vehicles in our latest Annual Auto Survey.
- Safety. Top Picks must perform adequately if tested in crash or rollover tests conducted by the government or insurance industry.
Each model’s overall road-test score, predicted-reliability Rating, overall fuel economy, detailed pricing, and much more is available on their model pages. Prices reflect the sticker prices when we bought our tested cars.
The Accord was redesigned for 2013, and Honda nailed it, sending this sedan to the top of its class. This new model is roomy, nice to drive, well equipped, and very fuel efficient. With its four-cylinder engine, the Accord squeezes out 30 mpg overall and 40 on the highway, which is as good as the tiny Honda Fit. Higher-trim models have safety features seldom found in this category. And the Accord’s price is very reasonable: $23,270 to $30,860.
With redesigns of the Toyota RAV4 and Subaru Forester just arriving, the CR-Vhas taken over as our top small SUV. Virtues include a smooth, responsive powertrain, good fuel economy, a compliant ride, excellent braking, a roomy rear seat, and outstanding reliability. It’s also one of the more competitively priced choices in the class. $26,455.
Reliability of the Odyssey has improved, and it has earned our top spot among family haulers. It provides a comfortable ride and a roomy, quiet, and versatile cabin. The rear seat is generous and easy to access. The V6 engine performs well and delivers a competitive 19 mpg. And a backup camera—a great safety feature—is now standard on all models. $36,830.