As it does for the April issue of its magazine each year, Consumer Reports (CR) has chosen its "Top Picks" for 2013 in 10 different vehicle categories.
According to CR they are all impressive all-around vehicles that have excelled in the organization's own testing, have an average or better predicted-reliability rating, based on CR's subscriber survey, and have performed well in independent crash tests.
Of the 10 category winners, seven are new for 2013, which is an indication of just how quickly the industry is changing.
The winners chosen by Consumer Reports are:
Midsized sedan – Honda Accord
Redesigned for 2013, AJAC's Canadian Car of the Year also got top marks from CR, which described it as, "roomy, nice to drive, well equipped, and very fuel efficient."
The sporty, rear-wheel-drive FR-S/BRZ twins were also finalists in the World Car Awards' World Car of the Year and World Performance Car competition.
Budget car – Hyundai Elantra
With, "a fairly comfortable ride, a smooth, responsive powertrain, and a well-finished interior," the Elantra was also AJAC's 2012 Canadian Car of the Year.
In addition to its obvious green credentials, CR says the Prius offers a roomy interior, comfortable ride, and hatchback versatility that make it easy to live with.
Compact car – Subaru Impreza
CR says the 2012, all-wheel-drive Imprezas, in both sedan and hatchback versions, are good, sensible cars, with nimble handling and a compliant, absorbent ride.
Luxury car – Audi A6
Redesigned for 2012, CR says, the A6 is agile, quick, and a joy to drive, surrounding you with a sumptuous, impeccably finished cabin and the latest high-tech features.
Small SUV – Honda CR-V
The CR-V's virtues are said to be a smooth, responsive powertrain, good fuel economy, a compliant ride, excellent braking, roomy rear seat, and outstanding reliability.
Midsized SUV – Toyota Highlander
According to CR, the Highlander is for people who want the practicality of an SUV with the refinement of a good sedan, including a quiet, well-finished cabin and cushy ride.
Sports sedan – BMW 328i
With its recent redesign the 3 Series has become roomier, more luxurious, and more fuel efficient, while maintaining its legendary sporty character.
Minivan – Honda Odyssey
CR says the V-6 Odyssey's reliability has improved and it provides a comfortable ride and a roomy, quiet, and versatile cabin, while delivering competitive fuel economy.
Green car - Toyota Prius
No current plug-in car can match the Prius hatchback for its blend of fuel efficiency, practicality, and affordability, says CR. And its roomy interior, comfortable ride, and hatchback versatility make it easy to live with.
No pickup was chosen this year because GM’s and Chrysler’s full-sized models have been revamped and CR hasn’t yet tested them.
Green car - Toyota Prius