Each year Consumer Reports chooses the best car models in ten different categories and this year offers a great variety of vehicles to choose from. In order for a vehicle to be classified as a top pick for the Consumer Reports list it must meet a list of specific criteria. Here is a look at what it takes to make the list:
Test Performance. All vehicles on this list rank at or near the top of their class for an overall test score.
Reliability. The reliability rating for each of the top picks needs to be average or better. The reliability is based on problems reported by subscribers of Consumer Reports during their annual survey.
Safety. To be considered for the list of Top Picks a vehicle must perform adequately in crash and rollover tests, if not the vehicle cannot be considered.
The ten categories which winners won in were: Small SUV, Midsized Sedan, Compact Car, Midsized SUV, Green Car, Pickup Truck, Luxury Car, Sports Sedan, Minivan and Best Overall. With all these categories to choose from this is a very comprehensive list for any car shopper to find that next great vehicle for themselves or their family.
The 2014 Subaru Forester won the top award for the Small SUV category. After a redesign for 2014 the Forester comes in as a space efficient small SUV offering large windows and doors. With the overall best visibility in its class as well as the best driving position of any small SUV. The Forester also offers a class leading 26 mpg average with 35 mpg on the highway.
Winner in this category is the 2014 Honda Accord with the four-cylinder engine. With a roomy and well-equipped interior the Accord offers ad great price point as well as an impressive 30 mpg average with 40 mpg on the highway. As agile as a sub-compact car, the Honda Accord shows off with great handling in this midsized sedan.
The 2014 Subaru Impreza is the winner in the Compact Car category and why not? Properly equipped with all-wheel drive and offered in both a hatchback and sedan the Subaru Impreza offers excellent handling and a beautiful ride. The Impreza gives an owner the feel of a much larger vehicle with a roomy interior, spacious rear seat, and simple but well-appointed controls.
The overall champion in this category went to the 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe. After a redesign in 2013, the Santa Fe continues to be an excellent ride. Offering a very quiet and smooth ride as well as a spacious interior, the Santa Fe gives its inhabitants a huge cargo area as well as comfort in all the seats. With a great engine offering an average of 20 mpg the Santa Fe has a lot to offer the SUV owner.
The winner for the Green Car category goes to the 2014 Toyota Prius, which is not really a surprise. Even though Toyota offers a wide variety of hybrid cars, the Prius is still the best when it comes to affordability, practicality, and fuel efficiency. As the Green Car winner for eleven years in a row the Prius shows why it’s had a long winning streak with 44 mpg average for a non-plug in vehicle. Offering the owner a great deal of space and a hatchback option, the Prius is a great buy and will keep the tank full for a long time, a real benefit for every owner.
For 2014 the winner in the Pickup Truck category was the 2014 Dodge Ram 1500. After a refresh in 2013 the 2014 Dodge Ram comes in with a bevy of features to make the ride more comfortable than a typical truck such as the coil-spring rear suspension. Along with the comfort is the quiet with the quietest rated cabin the ride in the 2014 Dodge Ram more resembles a luxury car than a pickup truck. Even though a lot of attention was given to the comfort and quiet the 2014 Dodge Ram is still a fully capable pickup with a 5.7 liter V8 engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission the Dodge Ram brings a ton of power to the road and worksite.
Winner for the Luxury Car category goes to the 2014 Audi A6. A beautifully designed Audi the A6 offers a supercharged V6 engine coupled with an eight-speed automatic transmission offering great power, agility, and control throughout the drive. Of course it’s a luxury car, its and Audi, and the comfort and smooth ride inside cannot be matched, along with a huge amount of technological advances giving the Audi A6 the best cabin around. Offering an average of 22 mpg even with the all-wheel drive the TDI diesel engine can bring that average up to as much as 28 mpg.
The trophy for the Sports Sedan category goes to the 2014 BMW 328i. With great handling and a huge fun factor the 328i is a true winner for this category. Offering a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine this car is quick and great on fuel efficiency offering an average of 28 mpg. Being a BMW comfort is expected and absolutely included in the 328i along with an impressive array of finishes available to choose from. BMW does offer this vehicle in a diesel model call the 328d which is a brand new offering for 2014.
The top award for best Minivan for 2014 goes to the 2014 Honda Odyssey. As the most complete family vehicle on the market the Odyssey offers plenty of comfort and room for up to eight passengers with comfortable second and third row seating. With a quiet ride and a well-appointed interior cabin and control panel, the 2014 Honda Odyssey offers the driver comfort and control. With a ton of cabin storage and good fuel economy, the Odyssey is great for the family on vacation as well. Offering a little fun to the drive, the Odyssey brings in a nice V6 engine and great responsive handling. Adding to a great minivan is a bit of extra safety with a backup camera that comes standard on all models.
The top award for the Best Overall vehicle for 2014 goes to the 2014 Tesla Model S. With all the technological advancements of the Tesla brand with this electric luxury car offering blistering acceleration, pristine handling, and a very spacious cabin which only touch the surface of the advancements in this awesome car. The Tesla Model S offers a 17-inch touch screen to control most of the functions inside the car, a completely keyless operation, full Internet access, and an ultra-quiet zero-emission drive. The Tesla can be driven up to 225 miles on a five hour charge with a special connector which makes it the easiest and most practical electric car on the market.
With this long and excellent list of great cars, trucks, and SUV’s to choose from the Consumer Reports list is a great way find the next great car or truck to drive for a family or individual. Overall, these are the best cars in their class making them great choices for any consumer.