Consumer Reports names 2011 Top Picks - Best models in 10 categories

Consumer Reports News: February 28, 2011 01:36 PM

The Ford Mustang and Kia Sorento are among six new models named to the Consumer Reports annual Top Picks car list for 2011, earning spots in the Sporty Car and Family SUV categories, respectively. The 10 picks come from six manufacturers and eight brands, reflecting the increasing competitiveness within today's auto market. Top Picks is among the many stories featured in the Consumer Reports April issue, on sale now. (Visit the annual auto issue special section.)

The redesigned Hyundai Elantra, which now comes standard with electronic stability control (ESC), also tops the list in the Small Car category. The previous Hyundai Elantra SE was Top Pick for Small Sedan for the past three years.

Other new additions for this year include the Honda Fit, Toyota RAV4, Toyota Sienna, and Chevrolet Avalanche. They join reigning models from last year's list, the Infiniti G37, Toyota Prius, and Nissan Altima.

"This year's diverse list of Top Picks reflects the fact that the industry is changing," said Rik Paul, Consumer Reports' automotive editor. "No one particular manufacturer dominates, as a number of automakers are now producing high-quality, reliable cars that score well in our tests."

Consumer Reports' Top Picks are the best all-around models in their categories and must meet
stringent road test, reliability, and safety requirements. Each Top Pick scores at or near the top of its category among the more than 270 vehicles Consumer Reports has recently evaluated at its Auto Test Center; has average or better predicted reliability (based on the problems subscribers reported on more than 1.3 million vehicles in Consumer Reports' latest Annual Auto Survey), and performed adequately in overall safety if tested by the government or insurance industry safety tests. In addition, each model must offer electronic stability control (ESC), a proven lifesaving safety feature, as standard equipment.

The Sorento, Top Pick in the Family SUV category, is the first Kia model to make the list in the
history of the Top Picks. The redesigned 2011 Sorento is a more well-rounded SUV with a roomy, nicely finished interior.

The Ford Mustang joins the list as the Top Pick for Sporty Car, a category which has been dominated by foreign models for the past five years, including the Subaru Impreza WRX, Mazda MX-5 Miata and Volkswagen GTI.

Even as more hybrids have entered the market in recent years, the Toyota Prius retains its position as
the Top Pick for Green Car for the eighth consecutive year. It still gets the best fuel economy--44 mpg overall—of any vehicle Consumer Reports has recently tested.

Consumer Reports' testing procedures are the most comprehensive of any U.S. publication or Web
site. More than 50 individual tests are performed on every vehicle, including evaluations of braking, handling, comfort, convenience, safety, and fuel economy. Roughly 6,000 miles of general driving and evaluations are racked up on each test car during the testing process.

Plus, CR buys all its test cars anonymously from dealers. Other reviewers base their evaluations on press cars that are hand-picked by the automakers.

The 2011 Top Picks:

See the complete Top Picks 2011, including videos on each model.

Visit the annual auto issue special section for quick access to the latest Ratings, articles, and videos.

See the vehicles that made our Top Picks list in 2021202020192018201720162015201420132012, and 2011

E-mail Newsletters

FREE e-mail Newsletters! Choose from cars, safety, health, and more!
Already signed-up?
Manage your newsletters here too.

Cars News


Cars Build & Buy Car Buying Service
Save thousands off MSRP with upfront dealer pricing information and a transparent car buying experience.

See your savings


Mobile Get Ratings on the go and compare
while you shop

Learn more