Japanese automakers are well represented on the list.
Consumer Reports has come out with its annual list of the 10 models that it believes are the best choices in a variety of categories. The publication makes these picks by using both internal tests and survey results. Also, earning a spot requires the model coming standard with a forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection.
Small Car: Under $25,000
The Toyota Corolla remains the easy answer for anyone who is asking for a safe, yet inexpensive sedan. If a person is looking for slightly more performance capability, then there’s the Apex model. Plus, there’s a rumor of an even more exciting GR variant coming in the future.
Subcompact Crossover: Under $25,000
The Mazda CX-30 only debuted for the 2020 model year, and the model has already earned a spot on the Consumer Reports list of best cars. For 2021, the crossover received the Turbo trim. It starts at $29,900, which is higher than CR’s price range for the award, but the variant gets buyers a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder making 250 horsepower.
There are a lot of hybrid vehicles on the market these days, but Consumer Reports still ranks the venerable Toyota Prius as the best one in its price range. For the 2019 model year, Toyota even introduced an all-wheel-drive version for folks who love the vehicle but want a little more traction.
Midsized Sedan: $25,000-$35,000
Yep, it’s another Toyota. Midsized sedans might not be as popular as in previous years, but the Camry is still a stellar entry in the segment. The company offers lots of variants, too, like the hybrid, an all-wheel-drive version, and the sporty TRD. A minor refresh for the 2021 model year included improvements to the safety assistance tech.
Small Crossover: $25,000-$35,000
The Subaru Forester has a refresh on the way for the 2022 model year, but Consumer Reports thinks the existing one is good enough to earn a spot on this list. There’s also a more rugged Wilderness variant under development for buyers who intend to take the crossover off-road.
Here’s a second Subaru. The Outback is a bit bigger than the Forester but still offers two rows of seating. Its styling is more in line with a station wagon with a suspension lift, rather than a traditional crossover. A Wilderness version is coming for the Outback, too.
Midsized Three-Row Crossover: $35,000-$45,000
The Kia Telluride is a much-lauded vehicle with awards that include World Car of the Year and North American Utility of the Year. Consumer Reports likes it, too. For the 2021 model year, there’s a slight price increase.
Compact Pickup Truck: $35,000-$45,000
The Honda Ridgeline just received a refresh for the 2021 model year. The changes include a new face with blockier styling that’s generally more aggressive. All-wheel drive is now standard for all grades of the pickup.
Midsized Crossover: $45,000-$55,000
A refresh for the 2020 model year gave the Lexus RX a slightly updated appearance, including new headlights. The bigger changes were on the inside where the automaker made a 12.3-inch infotainment screen available. The safety tech improved, too.
Tesla Model 3
Electric Car: $45,000-$55,000
Consumer Reports is impressed with the Tesla Model 3, particularly the EV’s acceleration, handling, and massive touchscreen. To make the model even more impressive the automaker just cut its base price by $1,000. A higher capacity battery was also among some recent updates.
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