Best and Worst New Cars

Highlights from our tests and surveys

Not all cars are created equal, and we have the data to prove it. Of course, numbers can tell a variety of tales and we understand every consumer has different priorities. To that end, we have compiled a series of best and worst car lists to highlight performance in a wide variety of categories. The lists linked below can be an excellent tool for filtering down your purchase considerations or for stocking up on vehicular trivia.

Overall test scores are based on more than 50 individual Consumer Reports tests and evaluations, and are presented on a 100-point scale.

Learn more about how Consumer Reports tests cars.

Best Overall

Kia Telluride
Kia Telluride

Consumer Reports Consumer Reports

10 Top Picks of 2021: Best Cars of the Year
The best new cars of 2021 are outstanding all-around performers—shown to be reliable, safe, and satisfying. That means they have scored high in our stringent track tests and extensive owner surveys. They have won our admiration, and we recommend them with confidence.

Best Cars in Our Tests
Each vehicle is put through a battery of tests at our track to determine its performance, and some models stand out while others do not. Our best and worst cars list highlights the overall top scorers in our ratings and those at the bottom of the list.

Best American Cars, SUVs, and Trucks
These are the highest-scoring models from domestic brands in Consumer Reports' ratings, in each of more than a dozen categories.

Best & Worst Third-Row Seats
Not all third rows are easy to access, nor fit for adult passengers, as our testing has shown. To help in choosing the right three-row model for your needs, we highlight below those models that shined in our tests.

Fuel Economy

Toyota Prius
Toyota Prius

Toyota Toyota

The Most Fuel-Efficient Cars
Fuel economy is an important factor to consider when buying a new car, even when gas prices are down—they won't stay that way forever.

The Most Fuel-Efficient SUVs
SUVs are very versatile vehicles for transporting passengers and cargo, and now you don't have to sacrifice fuel economy to get the space you want. Many SUVs now have fuel economy on par with large sedans.

Best & Worst Fuel Economy
With high gas prices and a tight economy, drivers need to find relief at the pump. If you’re buying a new car, a fuel-efficient model can save you hundreds of dollars per year over a gas guzzler.


model S
Quickest: Tesla Model S

tesla tesla

Best & Worst Acceleration
How fast a vehicle will accelerate is not something that should be of concern only to driving enthusiasts. Being able to merge safely with fast-moving traffic is important regardless of how or what you drive.

Best Safety Performance
A vehicle with good braking and emergency handling can help you avoid an accident. Typically smaller, sportier vehicles perform well in these tests, and larger trucks tend to be slower to maneuver.

Owner Satisfaction & Reliability

2021 Lexus NX
Lexus NX

David Dewhurst Photography David Dewhurst Photography

Who Makes the Most Reliable Cars?
CR ranks the brands and reveals survey results by region.

10 Most Reliable Cars
Purchasing a car is a long-term investment, with the expectation that the car will provide dependable transportation for the long haul. But as our surveys show, not all cars can fulfill that promise.

10 Least Reliable Cars
Our comprehensive annual auto reliability survey shows that some buyers will be taking their brand-new car back to the dealer’s service department sooner and more often than other car buyers will.

Car Owner Satisfaction: The Most-Loved Models
Our exclusive survey-based ratings point to the cars, SUVs, and trucks that satisfy owners the most.

10 Most Satisfying Cars
The models that bring their owners joy.

10 Least Satisfying Cars
These models stand out for their disappointment.

Car Maintenance

All-SeasonMichelinCross Climate +CU Number: 05294-0013 Photographer: John “JP” Powers
Michelin Cross Climate +

Consumer Reports Consumer Reports

Best Car Tires
CR testing shows the ones that shine for all seasons.

Best SUV and Truck Tires
CR testing reveals the tires that stand out for performance, safety, and treadwear.

Best Winter/Snow Tires
CR testing identifies standout tires with the best cold-weather grip.

Which Brands Make the Best Tires?
Consumer Reports ranks the top tire makers based on test performance.

Most and Least Satisfying Tire Brands
CR's exclusive survey covers 39 brands, from Arizonian to Yokohama.

Tire Retailer Ratings
Satisfaction scores based on a large-scale CR survey.

Best Car Batteries
We tested 150 of them this year to separate the positives from negatives.


Tall / Short Subaru Forester Photographer: John “JP” Powers

Consumer Reports Consumer Reports

Best Cars and SUVs for Short People
Sizing up tested vehicles to find those scaled for petite drivers.

Best Cars and SUVs for Tall People
These CR-recommended models are tailored to large drivers.

Cars With the Most Comfortable Front Seats
We have identified the best cars, SUVs, and pickup trucks for front seat comfort, based on evaluations by our small, medium, and tall testers.

Tips for Buying a New Car

There are a lot of things to consider when buying a new car. On the "Consumer 101" TV show, Consumer Reports expert Kelly Funkhouser explains to host Jack Rico what to look for before taking a test drive.

Consumer Reports

Since 1936, Consumer Reports has been testing products and working to create a fairer, safer, and healthier marketplace. Click  here to learn more about Consumer Reports' mission as a nonprofit organization. To help support our work, please consider making a  tax-deductible donation. You can also show support by liking us on  Facebook and following us on  Twitter.