10 Top Picks of 2021: Best Cars of the Year

These exceptional models meet our very highest standards for performance, safety, reliability, and more

10 Top Picks of 2021, The Best Cars of the Year includes Mazda CX-30
Photo: Mazda

Update, May 27, 2021: The Tesla Model 3 no longer qualifies to be a Consumer Reports Top Pick. Details below and in "Tesla Model 3 Loses CR Top Pick Status and IIHS Safety Award After Dropping Features."


Each year more than 250 models compete for the hearts, minds, and driveways of American car shoppers. At Consumer Reports, we rank the new models we buy and evaluate based on regimented performance tests and survey results from our members. Here, we highlight the best of the best in our annual Top Picks, standouts in popular price categories and types.

These 10 models have earned their way onto our list through outstanding performance in more than 50 tests at CR’s Auto Test Center, as well as having solid marks for reliability and owner satisfaction in our member surveys. All have also scored well in dynamic safety tests, such as our challenging accident avoidance maneuver, and, if tested, earned passing grades in crash assessments conducted by the federal government and the insurance industry.


See the vehicles that made Consumer Reports’ annual Top Picks list in 2020201920182017201620152014201320122011, and 2010.

2021 AUTOS SPOTLIGHT

“We put thousands of miles on each test car and evaluate them for how people actually use them,” says Jake Fisher, head of auto testing at Consumer Reports. “That means we care more about how your next car or SUV performs when it comes to safety, comfort, and fuel efficiency than how quickly it can circle a race track.”

Each Top Pick has an Overall Score that’s among the highest in its category. And it must come standard with forward collision warning (FCW) and automatic emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian detection—proven features that prevent injuries and save lives by reducing collisions.

Learn more about how Consumer Reports tests cars

Under $25,000