When it comes to vehicular recommendations, it never hurts to consult a wide variety of consumer-advice rags, including Consumer Reports (and, you know, us). Each year, Consumer Reports puts together a list of the best cars in a number of categories, and that time is once again upon us.
Vehicles must pass certain criteria to be eligible for placement on CR's Top Picks list. For example, the car (or truck) must be atop or near the top of its respective class in CR's road test. It must also score high with owners for both reliability and owner satisfaction, and it needs to "perform effectively" in crash tests.
This year, seven of the 10 available categories featured Japanese cars. The Toyota Camry received its fifth award in the midsize car segment, and Subaru's Impreza is also holding five awards as of this year. The Impreza's stablemate, the Forester, took home its second award in the small SUV category. Lexus' refreshed RX returned to claim the luxury SUV segment, and Mazda's new MX-5 Miata snagged up the award for inexpensive sports cars.
Of the three remaining categories, two went to the Americans -- the Ford F-150 for best pickup, and the Chevrolet Impala for best large car. The remaining award went to a Korean automaker -- Kia, for its midsize Sorento SUV.