A new list of the 10 best vehicles for 2016 has been released by Consumer Reports (CR).
To be named the top pick in a chosen category, a vehicle must first earn top scores on a road test, its reliability based on problems reported by subscribers for 740,000 vehicles must be top notch, owner satisfaction with the car must be high, and it must perform well in crash tests.
For 2016, the publication put together a list of 10 top picks covering the most popular segments in the U.S.
Best Subcompact Car: Honda Fit
The 2016 Fit scored a 67 out of 100 on a Consumer Reports road test. It also has increased crash protection over its predecessor, a standard backup camera and high owner satisfaction scores.
Best Sports Car Under $40K: Mazda MX-5 Miata
Mazda’s redesigned roadster scored an 80 out of 100 in CR testing, and took the win thanks to its fun-to-drive ways and good fuel economy. CR calls it the “perfect car for the enthusiast driver and weekend racer.”
Best Compact Car: Subaru Impreza
In CR road tests, the 2016 Subaru Impreza managed a score of 76-79 out of 100, and was lauded for its smooth ride and overall comfort. The car’s intuitive controls, great crash test results and large interior dimensions also helped it get its top pick win.
Best Midsized Car: Toyota Camry
The perennial bestseller in the U.S., the Toyota Camry, won its class and was called a “near-perfect sedan” by Consumer Reports. It scored an 84-87 out of 100 and gets excellent reliability scores every single year. Great visibility and an easy to drive nature pushed this car to the top of the heap.
Best Small SUV: Subaru Forester
In CR testing, the Subaru scored 85 out of 100 and it outperformed the competition when it came to its all-wheel drive system in the snow. Good fuel economy, top safety scores and great sightlines helped the Forester beat out its competition.
Best Luxury SUV: Lexus RX
The new Lexus RX managed a score of 77-80, but its quiet, comfortable cabin and great reliability ratings are really what make it a top pick. A new aggressive design for 2016 doesn’t change the fact that the RX is still a great luxury crossover.
Best Large Car: Chevy Impala
The Chevy Impala is one of two American vehicles on the list of 10 and managed the best road test score of all the top pick vehicles with 91 out of 100. CR calls the Impala “dynamic and comfortable,” giving it points for a great ride and solid handling.
Best Midsize SUV: Kia Sorento
Well-above predicted reliability is one strong reason why the Sorento did so well, though it is also lauded for having great suspension that works well over uneven roads. A smooth engine and “gorgeous” interior design certainly didn’t hurt either.
Best Pickup Truck: Ford F-150
The best predicted reliability of any domestic pickup truck and top-notch crash test scores propelled the F-150 to the top pick spot for trucks. In a CR roadtest, the truck scored 78-80 out of 100 thanks to its spacious, quiet and comfortable cabin.
Best Minivan: Toyota Sienna
A super reliable family transporter, the Sienna took top honors thanks to its modern features for an “active, connected family.” A road test score was given of 78-80 out of 100 while the Sienna is said to have a “magic carpet ride.”