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Looking for a new car? Kia, Chevy, Subaru top annual list of best buys

Posted March 6

Looking to buy a new car?

Consumer Reports' annual list of top picks is out, and small SUVs are dominating the latest rankings.

Consumer Reports looks at road test ratings, reliability, owner satisfaction and safety to determine its list each year.

Topping that category is the Subaru Forester, which Consumer Reports says "sets the standard for small SUVs" with excellent fuel economy, super-easy visibility and top-notch safety ratings.

In the midsize SUV category, the Toyota Highlander got high marks and did well in reliability tests and with owner satisfaction.

In the midsize sedan category, the Kia Optima beat out the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. Testers said the Optima is stylish and responsive, and it's a good value at about $25,000.

"All of our top picks have high scores in road test performance, reliability, owner satisfaction, safety. These are the ones that beat out the competition," Consumer Reports' Tom Mutchler said.

Need a smaller car?

The roomy Chevrolet Cruze has a smooth and quiet ride and gets about 47 miles per gallon on the highway. Its overall scored beat out the popular Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla.

In the compact pickup truck category, Consumer Reports found that the redesigned Honda Ridgeline handles and rides far better than any other model.

It also gets impressive gas mileage and has a versatile tailgate and under-bed storage.

As for brand reliability, Consumer Reports says to think about foreign automakers.

"Consumer Reports looks at data across an entire model line to come up with a brand report card. This year, the top three are all German automakers – Audi, Porsche and BMW," Mutchler said.

The brands at the bottom of the brand report card? Mitsubishi, Jeep and Fiat.

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