The Ford Mustang and Kia Sorento are among six new models named to the Consumer Reports annual Top Picks car list for 2011, earning spots in the Sporty Car and Family SUV categories, respectively. The 10 picks come from six manufacturers and eight brands, reflecting the increasing competitiveness within today's auto market. Top Picks is among the many stories featured in the Consumer Reports April issue, on sale now. (Visit the annual auto issue special section.)
The redesigned Hyundai Elantra, which now comes standard with electronic stability control (ESC), also tops the list in the Small Car category. The previous Hyundai Elantra SE was Top Pick for Small Sedan for the past three years.
Other new additions for this year include the Honda Fit, Toyota RAV4, Toyota Sienna, and Chevrolet Avalanche. They join reigning models from last year's list, the Infiniti G37, Toyota Prius, and Nissan Altima.
"This year's diverse list of Top Picks reflects the fact that the industry is changing," said Rik Paul, Consumer Reports' automotive editor. "No one particular manufacturer dominates, as a number of automakers are now producing high-quality, reliable cars that score well in our tests."
stringent road test, reliability, and safety requirements. Each Top Pick scores at or near the top of its category among the more than 270 vehicles Consumer Reports has recently evaluated at its Auto Test Center; has average or better predicted reliability (based on the problems subscribers reported on more than 1.3 million vehicles in Consumer Reports' latest Annual Auto Survey), and performed adequately in overall safety if tested by the government or insurance industry safety tests. In addition, each model must offer electronic stability control (ESC), a proven lifesaving safety feature, as standard equipment.
The Sorento, Top Pick in the Family SUV category, is the first Kia model to make the list in the
history of the Top Picks. The redesigned 2011 Sorento is a more well-rounded SUV with a roomy, nicely finished interior.
The Ford Mustang joins the list as the Top Pick for Sporty Car, a category which has been dominated by foreign models for the past five years, including the Subaru Impreza WRX, Mazda MX-5 Miata and Volkswagen GTI.
Even as more hybrids have entered the market in recent years, the Toyota Prius retains its position as
the Top Pick for Green Car for the eighth consecutive year. It still gets the best fuel economy--44 mpg overall—of any vehicle Consumer Reports has recently tested.
Consumer Reports' testing procedures are the most comprehensive of any U.S. publication or Web
site. More than 50 individual tests are performed on every vehicle, including evaluations of braking, handling, comfort, convenience, safety, and fuel economy. Roughly 6,000 miles of general driving and evaluations are racked up on each test car during the testing process.
Plus, CR buys all its test cars anonymously from dealers. Other reviewers base their evaluations on press cars that are hand-picked by the automakers.
The 2011 Top Picks:
- Budget car: Honda Fit
- Small car: Hyundai Elantra
- Family sedan: Nissan Altima
- Small SUV: Toyota RAV4
- Green car: Toyota Prius
- Family SUV: Kia Sorento
- Sporty car: Ford Mustang
- Family hauler: Toyota Sienna
- Sports sedan: Infiniti G37
- Pickup truck: Chevrolet Avalanche