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Consumer Reports shines its 2014 Autos Spotlight

Special section delivers new reports, lists, and analysis

Published: February 25, 2014 12:45 PM

Consumer Reports is shining its 2014 Autos Spotlight on the best cars, with its annual Top Picks and Car Brand Report Cards. But, we’re not shying away from also exposing the worst cars—those that you would be wise to avoid. All this information and more are featured in our new Spotlight special section. (Visit the 2014 Autos Spotlight now.)

Top Picks: The Consumer Reports’ 2014 Top Picks list highlights our choices for the standout models in 10 popular car categories. These vehicles are the best of the best, and we consider all of them to be smart buys. Best overall this year is the all-electric Tesla Model S.

Car Brand Report Cards: Lexus again tops the Consumer Reports’ car brand report cards, with a 79-point overall score that combines road-test score and predicted reliability. Following close behind is Acura (75) and Audi (74), the Subaru (72), Toyota (72), and Mazda (71).

Most reliable new cars: Looking for a trouble-free car that can go the distance? Check out our feature on the most reliable new cars, sharing insights gleaned from owners of more than 1.1 million cars.

Best & worst new cars: More than a dozen best and worst car lists present our testing and survey findings by various slices, from best overall to best for fuel economy, by price, American made, and safety.

Used-car reliability: New analysis shows what goes wrong as car age, broken down by 17 potential trouble areas and charted over 12 years. Plus, we dig into our reliability findings for 20 top-selling models, revealing what may go wrong and when.

Car-Brand Perception Survey: Consumer Reports’ annual Car-Brand Perception Survey shows which brands stand out as the leaders in consumers’ minds, ranked against key car-buying factors such as quality, safety, performance, styling, innovation, and fuel economy.

And much, much more.

In the days ahead, this special section will expand with:

Extended warranties: Our latest survey shows the reality of car extended warranties, from typical costs to if they ever pay off and whether consumers would buy the warranty again, if they had to do it all over. This special report goes live on Feb. 26, 2014.

The road to self-driving cars: An investigative report reveals how today’s crash-avoidance systems are mile markers to tomorrow’s autonomous vehicles. Look for this on Feb. 28.

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