5 On Your Side

Consumer Reports name top cars for the year

Posted February 26, 2013 5:25 p.m. EST
Updated February 26, 2013 6:19 p.m. EST

Each year, Consumer Reports engineers clock hundreds of thousands of miles as they put vehicles through all kinds of different tests – both on the road and in the garage.

When the testing is complete, they name their top picks in all ten of the car categories.

Among the dozens of tests, it is important to know how well a car can handle any emergency situation in respect to acceleration, braking and reliability.

Vehicle owners have helped Consumer Reports by communicating their experiences for 1.2 million vehicles.

In the luxury car category, the Audi A6 was chosen as a top pick.

“It’s a very comfortable car,” said Jack Fisher from Consumer Reports. “It’s got an amazing interior, nice ride, and agile handling.”

Of the sports sedans, the leader is the BMW 328i.

“It’s always been a really sporty, fun to drive car. But not with a new two-liter, turbo-charged engine, it’s actually very efficient too,” Fisher said.

Honda makes a big comeback this year with their newly redesigned Honda Accord as the winner for the top pick midsized sedan.

The Honda CRV is the leader among the small SUVs, while the Honda Odyssey regained the top pick minivan distinction.

If sports cars are more your speed, the Subaru BRZ and the Scion FR-S lead the pack and they’re nearly identical. The cars were co-developed by Toyota and Subaru. Testers describe them as exhilarating to drive, with sticker prices that are tough to beat.

Finally, if you’re looking for a car for under $20,000, the Hyundai Elantra is Consumer Reports top pick budget car.

The all-wheel-drive Subaru Impreza earned top pick for compacts.

The Toyota Highlander stayed on top in midsized SUVs and despite growing competition, the Toyota Prius remains the top pick green car – a distinction it has held for ten years and running.

No pickup was chosen this year because GM’s and Chrysler’s full sized models have been revamped and Consumer Reports has not yet tested them.