Best small sedan
Top pick: Hyundai Elantra SE
Consumer Reports verdict: The Hyundai Elantra SE is a comfortable, roomy small car that provides good fuel economy, a quiet and nicely finished interior, and plenty of features for the money. Only the SE version comes with standard electronic stability control, which is absent on many other small cars.
Best midsized SUV
Top pick: Toyota Highlander
Price: $26,000 to $41,000
Consumer Reports verdict: The Highlander is a very refined and versatile vehicle. It provides a comfortable and quiet ride, a nicely finished interior, three rows of seats, and decent fuel economy for its class. The Highlander Hybrid’s fuel economy, 24 mpg overall, is among the best of any SUV in Consumer Report’s Ratings. First-year reliability has been excellent.
Best pickup truck
Top pick: Chevrolet Avalanche
Price: $36,000 to $47,000
Consumer Reports verdict: The Chevrolet Avalanche full-sized crew cab is one of the most versatile and comfortable pickups that Consumer Reports has tested. Its unified bed and cab helps give it a solid feel and a comfortable, quiet ride. Its innovative partition, between the cab and the bed, can be folded to allow longer cargo to extend into the back of the cab.
Best overall vehicle
Top pick: Lexus LS 460
Price: $64,000 to $77,000
Consumer Reports verdict: With a road test score of 99 out of 100, the Lexus LS 460 is Consumer Reports’ highest-scoring vehicle. It provides a luxurious, uncompromising driving environment, with a supremely comfortable ride and a roomy, well-finished, and exceptionally quiet interior. The LS is brimming with electronic amenities, yet the controls are easy to use. Its 380-hp, 4.6-liter V8 and eight-speed automatic transmission deliver smooth, quick acceleration and relatively good fuel economy.
Best family sedan
Top pick: Honda Accord
Price: $21,000 to $31,000
Consumer Reports verdict: The Honda Accord is a roomy, well-rounded sedan that’s easy to live with and enjoyable to drive. It offers a comfortable ride, agile handling, and efficient, refined four- and six-cylinder powertrains. Electronic stability control is standard, and crash-test results are impressive.
Best upscale sedan
Top pick: Infiniti G37 (formerly G35)
Price: 33,000 to $36,000
Consumer Reports verdict: One of the highest-rated sedans tested, the G37 (formerly the G35) combines sportiness and luxury in a very appealing package. It has a very lively powertrain, agile handling, a comfortable ride, and a nicely appointed interior. For 2009, it also has a larger, 328-hp, 3.7-liter engine and a seven-speed automatic transmission, which improves fuel economy.
Most fun to drive
Top pick: Mazda MX-5 Miata
Price: $22,000 to $29,000
Consumer Reports verdict: Mazda’s MX-5 Miata is a true sports car at a reasonable price. With quick, precise steering, a crisp-shifting manual transmission, and balanced handling, it virtually tied the Porsche Boxster in test scoring, but it costs about half the price.
The Best 7 Top Car Picks Customer
- The Best 7 Top Car Picks Customer