To be a Top Pick, the vehicle also has to be reliable because you don't want to spend time taking your vehicle to the shop, which can cost you. The vehicles have to perform well if they have gone through industry or government crash tests.
Toyota is back this year. Out of the 10 Top Picks, Toyota took five of them. Among them is the Toyota Camry Hybrid, this year's Top Pick for family sedan. It's engaging to drive, gets an impressive 38 miles per gallon, and has a nice plush interior.
In the family SUV category, the Toyota Highlander is the Top Pick. The Toyota Prius is the Top Pick green car. The two other Toyotas that Consumer Reports named Top Picks are the Toyota RAV4 for small SUV and the Toyota Sienna for family hauler.
In the past few years Toyota had a lot of recalls, but Consumer Reports' reliability data has found they are back on track with excellent reliability.
Ford and Chevy each got a top spot. The Chevrolet Avalanche is the 2012 Top Pick for pickup truck. The Ford Mustang muscled its way to the Top Pick sporty car. Unlike others in its class, it's comfortable and gets pretty good fuel economy.
(Copyright © 2006-2012 Consumers Union of U.S., Inc.)