Consumer Reports’ Names Its 10 Top Cars For 2019 – And There’s Only One American Model

It is that time of year when Consumer Reports drops its best and worst lists and we’ll take a few minutes of your time to talk about the consumer magazine’s 10 Top Picks for 2019.

Some of the entries in the following list may turn out to be surprising but you should know they’re the result of rigorous testing, the assessment of safety features and crash test results, as well as the analysis of reliability and consumer satisfaction data from Consumer Reports’ Auto Survey.

All of that is combined into an Overall Score, which Consumer Reports says it’s “the most comprehensive view of vehicle quality available.” CR experts have tested nearly 50 new cars to arrive at these 10 top picks. Interestingly, the magazine only chose vehicles that feature automatic emergency braking (AEB) as standard since it believes automakers have no excuse for not offering it in 2019.

Without further ado, here are the vehicles CR believes set the industry standard for safety, technology, fuel economy, and performance.

 


Subcompact Car: Toyota Yaris ($17,570 as tested)

It may be badged a Toyota but the Yaris sedan is actually a Mazda2 sedan. Which is great for Toyota because the quality is impressive and the driving experience is “joyful” for this affordable price. The handling is responsive and the ride is considered good for the class. The smooth four-cylinder engine and quick-shifting six-speed automatic transmission get good marks as well, as does the new-for-2019 XLE trim level that adds upscale touches.

 


Subcompact SUV: Hyundai Kona ($25,025 as tested)

A newcomer into a highly-contested segment, the Hyundai Kona is a fun crossover that offers great handling thanks to limited body lean and quick steering. Despite its compact footprint, it’s also practical and versatile thanks to a tall tailgate and split-folding rear seats. Consumer Reports also appreciated the usability of the infotainment system compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, as well as the extensive standard safety equipment.

 


Hybrid/Electric Car: Toyota Prius ($27,323 as tested)

The Toyota Prius is present in the Top Picks list for a record 16th time. Why? It delivers a stunning combined fuel economy of 52 mpg (4.5 l/100 km), a great record for reliability and owner satisfaction, and a new-for-2019 all-wheel-drive option. On top of that, the Prius offers decent room and versatility, as well as a generous suite of safety tech.

 


Compact SUV: Subaru Forester ($29,341 as tested)

Subaru does seem to know a thing or two about making great SUVs — it has two of them in this list. The redesigned Forester comes with a roomier and quieter interior that also brings a more premium feel. It could use some more power but the compact SUV tops the class when it comes to fuel economy and strikes a good balance between comfort and handling. The standard safety kit is above average.

 


Midsize car: Toyota Camry Hybrid ($28,949 as tested)

A Camry ranking at the top of its segment has long ceased to amaze people and Consumer Reports says the hybrid version is the one to have. With a combined fuel economy rating of 47 mpg (5 l/100 km) in CR testing and a hybrid-electric powertrain that “doesn’t compromise the driving experience,” you can’t go wrong with a Camry Hybrid.

Plus, it’s quicker from 0 to 60 mph than the regular four-cylinder model, and the battery doesn’t take up trunk space. The Camry Hybrid also got good marks for its “comfortable ride and capable handling,” as well as the Apple CarPlay-capable infotainment system and generous standard safety kit.

 


Midsize SUV: Subaru Ascent ($43,867 as tested)

This should come as no surprise if you’ve been watching reviews of Subaru’s biggest SUV to date. Consumer Reports says the three-row SUV’s strong points include “smooth power delivery, comfy ride, and functional interior.” The Subaru Ascent also offers an “energetic” turbocharged four-cylinder engine, standard AWD, “excellent ride” that trumps some luxury cars, and a fine cabin that offers comfortable seats, an easy to use infotainment system, and a handy third-row seat.

 


Large Car: Toyota Avalon Hybrid ($38,643 as tested)

See a pattern here? This is the third hybrid Toyota that makes the cut. The redesigned Avalon brings great value compared to luxury sedans and the hybrid version offers better fuel efficiency (42 mpg/5.6 l/100 km combined in CR testing), as well as more roof and comfort. The interior feels upscale and offers plenty of space for all passengers and comfortable seats. Add to that the “nimble handling and plush ride” and it’s hard to fault the Avalon Hybrid.

 


Compact Luxury Car: Audi A4 ($48,890 as tested)

The A4 might not be the most glamorous model in its segment but it does everything right: it offers precise handling, the latest tech, and a high-quality and quiet interior. The suspension is described as balanced, offering “secure handling and a taut ride” at the same time.

While the front seats are comfortable and supportive, the rear seats are a bit tight — although that’s typical for the class. The Audi A4 also received praise for the “superb response” of the turbo-four engine, slick-shifting automatic transmission, and the optional Virtual Cockpit.

 


Luxury SUV: BMW X5 ($68,730 as tested)

The all-new X5 is “one of the best SUVs that CR has ever tested.” That’s high praise coming from Consumer Reports. The publication noted the big luxury SUV strikes the perfect balance between comfort and handling. The turbo straight-six engine linked to a quick-shifting eight-speed auto gives the X5 “swift acceleration” and impressive fuel economy. As you would expect, the interior is judged as having “impeccable fit and finish,” lots of high-quality materials, and the industry’s best infotainment system.

 


Full-Sized Truck: Ford F-150 ($52,535 as tested)

People expect the F-150 to top its segment and Ford’s best-selling model does just that — despite tough competition from redesigned rivals such as the Chevy Silverado 1500, GMC Sierra 1500, and Ram 1500. The depth of the F-150 lineup is impressive, covering everything from basic work trucks to luxury models and offering five engines (including two turbocharged V6s).

Consumer Reports says the 2.7-liter V6 turbo version offers “brisk acceleration, effortless towing ability, and impressive fuel economy.” There’s a Ford F-150 for everyone, including for digital-minded customers.

  • Sébastien

    “top cars”… Why include a truck/pickup?

    • charlotteharry57

      Nitpick.

      • Sébastien

        Well that’d exclude the only US made product from this list

    • KAG25

      did you see the SUVs listed also

  • Matteo Tommasi

    I saw a whale… wait it’s an Avalon
    I see the Ram at the top next year in trucks

    • brn

      You ain’t seen a whale until you’ve seen my Taurus (what the Avalon was trying to be).

  • The Corolla fell off the list, but a new model is coming for 2020.
    The Yaris is actually a Mazda2
    Toyota has more models then any other brand and notice no Honda’s are on the list

  • TheToadPrince..~~ToadSquad

    id rather have a 300S then a avalon.

  • DanSemering

    No surprises

  • KAG25

    I didn’t even know they were still selling the Mazda Yaris 2

    • brn

      Point taken. A car nobody gives a sh*t about gets a CR recommendation? Whatever.

  • Craig

    The Ford F150 over the RAM? Not in my world. I do like that Subaru Ascent though. Even with the CVT. [because it’s quirky enough to pull it off]

    • MarketAndChurch

      I think it’s because the F150 has more tech and features and has better reliability. I do prefer the Ram 1500 though, it’s an incredibly beautiful truck out on the road.

  • WITHOUT HUNTING DOWN WHICH IS ACTUALLY MADE HERE IN THE US I’M GUESSING MOST OF THESE ARE SO THE HEADLINE MAY BE MISLEADING.

  • MarketAndChurch

    There’s no reason to have a “subcompact” category, a dying category filled with cars that nobody buys, while also having no full-size SUV category, a category that consumers can’t get enough. Nobody buys large cars either, that should be replaced with a sub-compact or compact luxury SUV category instead.

  • Big Black Duck

    Avalon is such a great Value and good looking car.

    • Rocket

      Yes, and hell no!

  • Rocket

    Ahh, the “best”. That’s not subjective at all …

    To me, “best” should indicate a car you’d be proud to own and drive. How many of these cars would you buy with your own money if reliability and fuel efficiency weren’t your two top priorities? (I’ll admit, the X5 is a surprise. I would have wagered big that the RX hybrid would be in that spot.)

    Given the number of hybrids, one might conclude that CR has an agenda to promote. I’m sure it’s just a coincidence.

  • Harry_Wild

    Majority are Japanese with bland, stodgy styling like the Toyota Avalon! Ugh!👎

  • blunt-o

    Congratulations to the Japanese auto Industry for their durable, valuable and reasonably priced cars.

    The American car makers seem to be unable to learn from their own mistakes or emulate the expertise of the Japanese despite the American-Japanese auto industries having tutored them for years at home.

    Fact is Japanese autos reflect more honesty in their superior technology, durability, performance and pricing than
    American ones repeating the same bankrupt and dishonest recipes of shoddy and unreliable construction, overpriced gas guzzling climate destroying SUVs ,and relentless repetition of old and tired formulas like Mustang, Camaro etc….

    • Stephen G

      Yes, because tiny Japanese cars that can only sit 2 people comfortably priced at $25K plus is the hot new formula. I’ll take a Challenger any day.

  • tenrten

    Nine wait maybe eight of the ugliest vehicles I ever saw , I’d rather have unreliable good looking !!!!vehicle you cannot fix ugly !

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