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The 10 car brands with the most Top Picks in history

Which brands make the list each year

Published: March 10, 2014 09:00 AM

We've been formally assembling Tops Picks for the last 18 years, featuring the best models of the year in 10 vehicle categories. In looking back, some manufacturers stand out from the competition, while others have never made the cut. Here, we highlight the brands that have had the most Top Picks.

For 2014, Tesla makes it's first appearance in the latest Top Picks list. Honda has two models, down from three last year. Subaru also picks up two spots.

Japanese brands have appeared 136 times since 1997, when we debuted our Top Picks. Toyota and Honda have dominated, with 48 and 36 models, respectively. Together, those two brands represent more than 50 percent of all Consumer Reports' Top Picks.

American automakers haven't fared as well. Ford has earned nine spots throughout the years, GM seven, and Chrysler four. Chrysler finally comes back to the Top Pick list this year with the Ram 1500 pickup, the last time it made the list was in 1998 with the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Most frequent Top Picks by brand:

Brand   # of Top Picks since 1997
Toyota   49
Honda    36
Subaru 15
Lexus   12
Mazda 10
Ford 9
Volkswagen   9
Hyundai   8
BMW 7
Infiniti 7

Other notable Top Pick facts include:

• The Toyota Prius has earned the Top Pick for Green car 11 years in a row.
• Since 1997, Toyota has also led a number of SUV categories, with 4RunnerHighlander, RAV4, and Lexus RX winning consistently.
• This is the 10th time the Honda Accord has been the top family/midsized sedan.
• The early years were good for domestics and European makers. Detroit earned four Top Picks in 1997 and European makers earned four in 1998. Both have not hit those numbers since.
• Volkswagen had a good run with its Passat sedan, which held or shared the top billing in the family sedan category from 1998 through 2004.
• Top pickup truck accolades show Ford winning four times, Toyota three, Chevrolet six times, and Ram once (this year).
• Korean makers joined the Top Picks rank in 2008 and have had at least one model every year since.

See our full 2014 Top Picks list and the rest of our Autos Spotlight.

Liza Barth

2014 Autos Spotlight

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