Consumer Reports' 2017 Best Cars of the Year
"Outstanding all-around performers"
Using a criteria that includes its own road-test score, reliability data, customer satisfaction input from surveys, and safety data, Consumer Reports has compiled a list of the best cars and trucks for sale in America in 2017.
"A car that bests the competition by these measures is truly extraordinary," says CR. That makes these 10 vehicles standout performers in their respective classes. If you'd like to read more about why each of these vehicles won its award, click here.
Without further ado, here are CR's top picks for 2017.
Best Subcompact Car: Toyota Yaris iA
This car was designed by Mazda, originally sold as a Scion, and is now known as the Toyota Yaris iA in America. Despite that roundabout way of ending up on dealer lots, Consumer Reports says it's the best subcompact car of the year.
The Yaris iA has better than average reliability and average owner satisfaction scores, and that's good enough to be called "a desirable no-excuses budget sedan."
Toyota Yaris iA Information
Best Compact Car: Chevrolet Cruze
Consumer Reports describes the Chevy Cruze as a Malibu or Impala that was put "in a shrink ray, reducing scale but preserving the commendable driving manners and generous available features."
Surprisingly, the Cruze is good enough to beat out segment stalwarts like the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla to take top honors in the compact car category. It's above-average reliability score certainly helps.
Chevrolet Cruze Information
Best Compact Hybrid: Toyota Prius
Hybrid vehicles have become so ubiquitous that they have their own category from Consumer Reports. And the sales-leading Toyota Prius unsurprisingly took home the crown.
We've come to expect exemplary fuel mileage from the Prius, and that's truer than ever before in 2017, with a combined EPA rating of 52 miles per gallon. But the Prius also earns above-average reliability scores to go along with its above-average owner satisfaction score. If you don't care about speed, the Prius may be a perfect daily driver.
Toyota Prius Information
Best Sports Car: Mazda MX-5 Miata
The Mazda Miata is a quintessential sports car. It's two-seat interior, lightweight design, classic good looks, and peppy engine make it incredibly fun to drive. So it's no surprise to see it earn top honors from Consumer Reports.
"Fantastically fun and frugal," says CR. We couldn't agree more.
Best Midsized Sedan: Kia OptimaThe Kia Optima combines an attractive sheetmetal with above-average reliability and owner satisfaction, according to Consumer Reports. Calling it "a smart alternative to the me-too mainstream" Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, the Kia Optima earns top honors from CR in the midsize sedan category.
Kia Optima Information
Best Large Sedan: Chevrolet ImpalaAlthough it has only average reliability according to Consumer Reports, the Chevy Impala is still ranked as the best large sedan for sale in America. CR likes the Impala's roomy interior, comfortable ride, and attractive starting price.
Chevrolet Impala Information
Best Small SUV: Subaru Forester
Sport utility vehicles and crossovers come in all shapes and sizes, and while the Subaru Forester isn't really considered particularly small, it's still the top-ranked vehicle in the small SUV category from Consumer Reports.
Both reliability and owner satisfaction scores are good, and CR likes its rational design and practicality.
Subaru Forester Information
Best Midsized SUV: Toyota HighlanderThe Toyota Highlander is an extremely rational SUV, with good reliability and customer satisfaction scores from Consumer Reports to prove it. There's nothing missing from the Highlander's package, which includes three rows of seating for large families, optional all-wheel drive, and a fuel-sipping hybrid model.
Toyota Highlander Information
Best Luxury SUV: Audi Q7
Not only is the Audi Q7 ranked as the best luxury SUV from Consumer Reports, its 96-point Road-Test Score is the highest of any SUV tested by the magazine. Factor in above-average reliability and customer satisfaction scores, and it's easy to see why the Q7 won the best luxury SUV award.
With an as-tested price of nearly $70,000, CR says "it’s pricey, but it’s also rich in rewards."
Audi Q7 Information
Best Compact Pickup: Honda Ridgeline
The Honda Ridgeline straddles the line between car and truck. It's based on the Pilot crossover, but in place of that model's covered cargo area, the Ridgeline gets a good-size pickup truck bed with a built-in watertight trunk.
The Ridgeline isn't for heavy-duty hauling duties, but it's great for the types of everyday loads most truck owners attempt day to day. With rationality like that, Consumer Reports says "most noncommercial drivers with weekend warrior aspirations will appreciate" its capabilities.
Honda Ridgeline Information