Consumer Reports revealed its list of its Top Picks for cars in 2011. While six new cars made the list this year, some perennial favorites remain. The Toyota Prius takes the top Green Car spot, with the highest miles per gallon rating on the list.
Concurrently with this list of Top Picks, Consumer Reports also released its Best and Worst Car Values list today. Among the worst cars, Chevy's Aveo was noted as a worst value small car and Impala was noted worst value family car.
Best Small Car
MSRP: $14,830 - $19,980
Fuel Economy: 40 mpg Hwy/29 mpg City
The Hyundai Elantra is a compact car with handsome styling and nice lines. It has excellent interior space and standard safety equipment. The current generation Elantra can seat up to five and has very accommodating trunk space. Two trim levels are offered: GLS and Limited. Both use a 148-hp, 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on the GLS trim, while a six-speed automatic with Shifttronic is standard on the Limited trim and available on the GLS.
Best Budget Car
MSRP: $15,100 - $16,860
Fuel Economy: 33 mpg Hwy/27 mpg City
The Honda Fit distinguishes itself from all other subcompacts with its impressive practicality thanks to four-door hatchback versatility and ingenious interior packaging. The Fit offers five-passenger seating and a unique second-row "Magic Seat" that either folds flat with the cargo floor, or flips up to carry tall items behind the first row of seats. The Fit is available in two trim levels, base and Sport, both are powered by a 117-hp 1.5-liter i-VTEC four-cylinder engine with front-wheel drive and a choice of a five-speed manual or five-speed automatic.
Best Family Sedan
MSRP: $19,910 - $30,120
Fuel Economy: 32 mpg Hwy/23 mpg City
The front-wheel drive, five-passenger Nissan Altima combines performance and an attractive exterior as either a two-door coupe or a four-door sedan. The Nissan Altima is powered by either a 175-hp 2.5-liter V6 or a 270-hp 3.5-liter V6 and the transmission choices include a six-speed manual or continuously variable transmission (CVT). The Altima trims include: 2.5 (sedan only), 2.5 S and 3.5 SR.
Best Small SUV
MSRP: $22,025 - $28,335
Fuel Economy: 28 mpg Hwy/22 mpg City
The Toyota RAV4 is one of the compact SUVs that created the class. It has become bigger in recent years and includes more outstanding features that make it an even more useful family vehicle. The RAV4 seats five and has an available third-row seat (that folds flat into the cargo floor) that increases its capacity to seven. The RAV4 is a four-door, compact sport utility vehicle, available in three trim levels: Base, Sport and Limited.
Best Green Car
MSRP: $21,650 - $28,320
Fuel Economy: 48 mpg Hwy/51 mpg City
The Toyota Prius is a gas-electric hybrid that sets the standard for environmentally-friendly transportation. This front-wheel drive, five-door liftback delivers comfort, value and a smooth ride, as well as impressive fuel economy and low emissions. The Prius is available in five trim levels - Prius I, Prius II, Prius III, Prius IV and Prius V. All trim levels employ Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive, a hybrid powertrain technology that unites a 1.8-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder gasoline engine with a powerful electric drive motor to generate 134 combined horsepower.
Best Family SUV
MSRP: $20,995 - $33,895
Fuel Economy: 27 mpg Hwy/20 mpg City
The Sorento is Kia's entry into the cross-over utility vehicle (CUV) segment. Completely redesigned for 2011, the Sorento now features unibody construction and a more streamlined and modern appearance. The Sorento is available in front-wheel drive (FWD) or four-wheel drive (4x4) in five or seven-seat configurations. A 175-hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder or a 276-hp 3.5-liter V6 are the two available engine choices.
Best Sporty Vehicle
MSRP: $22,145 - $37,845
Fuel Economy: 29 mpg Hwy/19 mpg City
The Mustang remains one of the most widely recognized, respected, and desired nameplates in the automobile business. It may be retro inspired, but the Mustang is a thoroughly modern car. Today's Mustang still delivers the bold styling, rear-drive performance and affordability that have been Mustang hallmarks for decades. The Mustang is available either as a coupe or convertible. Each is available with a V6 or a V8 engine. New for 2011, a 305-hp 3.7-liter V6 and 412-hp 5.0-liter V8 replace the previous aging powerplants. A six-speed manual transmission is standard; a six-speed automatic is optional.
Best Sports Sedan
MSRP: $35,400 - $57,250
Fuel Economy: 27 mpg Hwy/19 mpg City
The Infiniti G37 is available as sedan, a coupe, or hardtop convertible. Responsive and agile, the G37 has a sporty flare while offering a comfortable ride and a luxurious interior. The rear-wheel drive G37 is named for its 3.7-liter V6 engine, available with between 325 and 330 horsepower depending on the model. This smooth, powerful engine comes with a seven-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission. The G37 comes in Base, Journey, and Sport 6MT trims.
Best Family Hauler
MSRP: $24,560 - $40,070
Fuel Economy: 24 mpg Hwy/19 mpg City
The third-generation of the Toyota Sienna minivan is all-new for 2011. The Sienna is available in a wide variety of configurations; front-wheel or all-wheel drive, 2.7-liter 187-hp four-cylinder or 3.5-liter 266-hp V6 engines, and seven or eight passenger seating configurations. Both engines use a six-speed automatic transmission with manual-shift capability.
Best Pickup Truck
MSRP: $36,110 - $49,310
Fuel Economy: 21 mpg Hwy/15 mpg City
The 2011 Chevrolet Avalanche 1500 offers the flexibility of either carrying up to six passengers or providing the hauling capacity of a long-bed pickup. Available in LS, LT, and LTZ trims the Chevy Avalanche comes in one configuration, a half-ton, full-size pickup with four doors, room for up to six passengers and outfitted with a unique, fold-down rear bulkhead accessing an enclosed bed. All Avalanche models come with a standard 320-hp 5.3-liter V8 FlexFuel engine with Active Fuel Management coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission.