Everyone wants to make the right choices on life’s most important decisions…from everyday grocery buying to large impact ones like buying a house, choosing when to retire…and yes, buying a new car. Consumer Reports chooses the best performing vehicles of the year…every year…in a number of important categories. The status quo of vehicle evolution and the industry in general over the last several years are discussed…in addition to the bottom line top vehicle choices and carmaker brand rankings. These 2018 picks are all around top performers based on consumer satisfaction, reliability and safety. Ultimately, they’ve scored extremely well on thorough owner surveys and Consumer Reports own tough driving track tests.
After you watch the Top Picks video and read the details…and you’d like to give your two cents…a fun quick poll follows that you take to reveal you top purchasing pick.
To be a “Top Pick”…a model must achieve an exemplary Overall Score in its category . This single number combines road-test performance, reliability, owner satisfaction, and safety.
- Owner Satisfaction: Owner satisfaction based on the percentage of surveyed owners who say they’d definitely buy the same vehicle again.
- Reliability: Likely these new cars will perform reliably based on problems reported by subscribers for more than 500,000 vehicles (in CR latest survey).
- Safety: Top performers in CR’s accident-avoidance tests while providing effective occupant protection in government or insurance industry crash tests (if the vehicle has been tested). Bonus points given to models with standard forward-collision warning and/or automatic emergency braking.
- Road Test: Scoring based on 50+ tests and evaluations conducted at CR Auto Test Center by highly experienced staff.
And now, the top 10 vehicles are listed below by size class.
Midsized SUV: Toyota Highlander
Many families have voted on three-row SUVs as their vehicle of choice. Providing all-weather traction and roomy interiors…they just don’t look as boxy as a minivan. The Highlander stands out in this crowd with its good performance, fuel economy, and reliability. It benefits from Goldilocks sizing: large enough to accommodate eight passengers but small enough for relatively easy parking. The Highlander rides well, and its handling is secure. Recent updates have improved fuel economy and power, adding to the Highlander’s appeal. And advanced safety features are now standard across the lineup. Overall, the Highlander is a rational choice that will appeal to the majority of buyers looking for a well-rounded, highly functional three-row SUV.
Price range of tested vehicles: $41,169-$50,875
Want to see the other 9 vehicles?