Consumer Reports published their latest top picks for the best cars of 2008, and some of the selections may surprise faithful followers of the magazine. Here’s the list.
Green car: Toyota Prius. This was the same selection as last year, so there’s no surprise here. A co-worker who owns a Honda Fit, who’s happy with the mileage he gets but is unsatisfied with just about everything else, eyes the Prius when we see one.
Small sedan: Hyundai Elantra SE. The Elantra may be the first surprise on the list. This car usually loses to the Honda Civic (which I own). Apparently, electronic stability control in the lower-priced models made the difference in the magazine’s selection.
Family sedan: Honda Accord. The Accord took this prize last year, as well.
Upscale sedan: Infiniti G35 Sedan. The G35 is another repeat winner.
Luxury sedan: Lexus LS 460L. Last year, the winner for luxury sedan was the Infiniti M35. For $77,000, the 460L was the best performing car tested by Consumer Reports.
Fun to drive: Mazda MX-5 Miata. The MX-5 Miata was last year’s winner for the “fun to drive” category. It’s about half the price of the Porsche Boxter but provides the same experience.
Small SUV: Toyota RAV4. My girlfriend is eying this car for her next purchase (when necessary). It was last year’s winner in the same category.
Midsized SUV: Hyundai Santa Fe. The Toyota Highlander Hybrid was last year’s pick, but it lost out to the improved Santa Fe.
Pickup Truck: Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew Cab. What’s this? An “American” car on a list from Consumer Reports? Well, they do qualify their choice: “The redesigned Toyota Tundra outscored the Silverado in our tests, but first-year reliability of the 4WD, V8 version was below average.”
Members of Consumer Reports can compare the new ratings they have compiled for 2008 cars.
Top Picks 2008 [Consumer Reports]