Consumer Reports Names the 10 Best Vehicles of 2016

Three foreign cars topped the list of 2016 models based on their overall scores. Find out which autos are rated best across 10 categories.

Consumer Reports Names the 10 Best Vehicles of 2016 Photo (cc) by jeff_golden

Consumer Reports has just named its top 10 vehicles for 2016, and three cars — the Kia Sorento, Toyota Camry and Subaru Forester — topped the list based on their overall scores.

To understand why these cars got top marks, it’s important to note that Consumer Reports’ notion of “best” is more intricate than most.

When it comes to cars, for example, the 80-year-old nonprofit organization requires several criteria to be met for it to consider a vehicle among what it calls “Top Picks.”

The 10 vehicles below — which Consumer Reports named “Top Picks” in their categories this year — had to meet the following criteria:

  • Performance: Vehicle ranks at or near the top of its class in Consumer Reports’ road-test score (which is out of 100).
  • Reliability: Vehicle has an average or better predicted reliability rating based on problems reported by subscribers for the 740,000 vehicles in Consumer Reports’ 2015 auto survey. (Consumer Reports has five possible ratings for reliability, from lowest to highest: poor, fair, good, very good and excellent.)
  • Owner satisfaction: Consumer Reports surveyed its subscribers about their happiness level regarding the 230,000 vehicles in their garages.
  • Safety: Vehicle performed effectively in crash or rollover tests conducted by the government and insurance industry (if tested).

Across 10 popular categories, Consumer Reports’ Top Picks for 2016 are:

Best subcompact car: Honda Fit

  • Overall score: 67
  • Road-test score: 67
  • Reliability: Good

Best compact car: Subaru Impreza

  • Overall score: 77-79
  • Road-test score: 76-79
  • Reliability: Excellent

Best midsized car: Toyota Camry

  • Overall score: 83-84
  • Road-test score: 84-87
  • Reliability: Excellent

Best small SUV: Subaru Forester

Best luxury SUV: Lexus RX

Best sports car under $40,000: Mazda MX-5 Miata

  • Overall score: 79
  • Road-test score: 80
  • Reliability: Very good

Best large car: Chevrolet Impala

Best midsized SUV: Kia Sorento

  • Overall score: 84
  • Road-test score: 84
  • Reliability: Excellent

Best pickup truck: Ford F-150

Best minivan: Toyota Sienna

  • Overall score: 78-80
  • Road-test score: 78-80
  • Reliability: Very good

Would you nominate any other vehicles among the best this year? Let us know which ones and why by leaving a comment below or on Facebook.

Karla Bowsher
Karla Bowsher
I’m a freelance journalist and former newspaper reporter who has covered both personal and public finance. I've worked for a top 50 major metro daily and a community newspaper as well as ... More

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