Top 10 New 2020 Cars Named By 'Consumer Reports'

For the first time, the magazine is rating them by price rather than body style.
  • Image source: Toyota

    Under $25K category:
    Toyota Corolla (Small Car): The Corolla is roomy for a compact sedan, efficient (33 mpg overall in CR’s testing), and comes with extensive, and standard, advanced safety tech. The new Corolla has improved driving dynamics, tackling corners more skillfully than its predecessor thanks to well-weighted steering and limited body lean. The Corolla soaks up bumps with the best in the class.

  • Image source: Subaru

    $25K - $35K category: 
    Subaru Forester (Small SUV): The Subaru Forester features a combination of practical design, high owner satisfaction, and impressive fuel economy. It rides well, impressively absorbing road imperfections. The boxy design sticks out in a world of sleek SUVs, but the Forester’s shape delivers benefits, such as easy access through large doors, hip-height seats, and big windows that provide great visibility.

  • Image source: Subaru

    $25K - $35K category: 

    Subaru Legacy (Midsized Sedan): The redesigned Legacy sits at the top, or near the top, in most every CR ratings category, distinguishing itself with a strikingly smooth ride and standard all-wheel drive. The Legacy feels like a solid, substantial car. With front seats that offer a wide range of adjustments and an interior with plenty of headroom, the Legacy accommodates drivers and front- and rear-seat passengers of many body types. The wide trunk opening makes loading and unloading quite easy.

  • Image source: Toyota

    $25K - $35K category:

    Toyota Prius/Prius Prime (Hybrid/Plug-in Hybrid): The Prius has been one of CR’s Top Picks 17 times—more than any other model. The vehicle delivered 52 mpg overall in CR’s tests, making it a standard-bearer for hybrid efficiency. The Prius Prime plug-in version provides even better mileage for drivers who can charge often to make use of its 22.5-mile range on electric-only power. Despite their complex powertrains, these Prius models have an enviable track record for reliability.

  • Image source: Kia

    35K - $45K category:
    Kia Telluride (Midsized, Three-Row SUV): An undeniable standout, the Telluride scored among the highest of any vehicle CR has recently tested in its road test. And yet this is an aggressively-priced model that offers a compelling blend of comfort, features, space, and capability for the money. What makes the Telluride so impressive is how it manages to do the big and small things well, from its nicely matched V6 engine and automatic transmission to its elegantly simple controls.

  • Image source: Honda

    35K - $45K category:
    Honda Ridgeline (Compact Pickup Truck): The innovative Ridgeline reimagines what a modern pickup truck can be, combining a unique carlike driving experience with clever, useful features. The Ridgeline has a ride that rivals a great sedan's, handling that outshines other trucks and a quiet, coddling cabin. Its V6 engine delivers strong, smooth acceleration and it returns better fuel economy than most trucks. Its fold-or-swing tailgate makes bed access a cinch, and a large lockable underbed storage bin adds unique versatility.

  • Image source: Toyota

    35K - $45K category:

    Toyota Avalon (Large Sedan): The Avalon achieved a near-perfect score for ride comfort and has the best predicted reliability of any large sedan in CR’s ratings. Its V6 engine paired with a slick shifting eight-speed transmission provides lush power. Even more attractive is the hybrid version with fuel efficiency you’d typically see in a much smaller car. Like most Toyotas, the Avalon also comes standard with a host of advanced safety systems.

  • Image source: Lexus

    $45K - $55K category:
    Lexus RX (Midsized SUV): The Lexus RX pioneered the midsized luxury crossover in the late 1990s and continues to set the standard. The winning formula remains the same for Lexus: a Goldilocks size, smooth power delivery, plentiful amenities and proven reliability. A tremendous value for luxury seekers, the RX comes in different versions, including an extremely efficient 450h hybrid and a three-row RXL.

  • Image source: Tesla

    $45K - $55K category:

    Tesla Model 3 (Electric Car): The Model 3 offers a thrilling driving experience with a high-tech vibe. It boasts rapid acceleration delivered in near silence, instant passing power and enough thrust to push the driver into the seat. The car’s impressive handling and quick precise steering help it feel like a sports car. Its high-end road performance is diminished slightly by its stiff ride, but its long range and green credentials offset those drawbacks. CR’s concern with the Model 3, however, is that Autopilot, an optional system on the vehicle, does not require the driver to stay engaged, creating safety concerns.

  • Image source: Toyota

    $45K - $55K category:

    Toyota Supra (Sports Car): The Supra made a return to the US after a two-decade long absence, distinguishing itself as an entertaining thrill ride. The Supra boasts impressive acceleration from its 6-cylinder turbocharged engine. Great fuel-economy, sharp steering and responsive handling all contribute to the vehicle’s rich performance, making it a treat to drive.

Consumer Reports has tweaked its Top 10 Cars list for 2020, categorizing vehicles by price range rather than body style and adding a requirement for standard automatic emergency braking with pedestrian protection in addition to the existing requirement for forward collision warning.

"We’re not willing to compromise when it comes to the safety of cars, which is why we’re pushing automakers to make life-saving technologies like forward collision warning , automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection standard on all models in order to earn a coveted spot as a Top Pick,” said Marta Tellado, President and CEO of Consumer Reports . “After all, we believe basic safety is a right for all of us — not a luxury reserved for those who can afford it.” 

It is important to remember that Consumer Reports scores vehicles based on road tests, predicted reliability, owner satisfaction, and safety, which are different metrics than other organizations apply or that drivers might prioritize.

Dan Carney is a Design News senior editor, covering automotive technology, engineering and design, especially emerging electric vehicle and autonomous technologies.

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