Its engineers clock hundreds of thousands of miles every year - subjecting cars to a battery of tests. Then, once a year, Consumer Reports names its Top Picks - the best of the best in 10 car categories.
Being named a Consumer Reports Top Pick vehicle doesn't come easy.
How well does a car handle an emergency situation?
Accelerating? And braking.
These are just some of the dozens of tests in which vehicles have to excel. But that's not all.
A car has to be reliable. Owners help here, telling Consumer Reports about their experiences with 1-point-2 million vehicles.
"The European vehicles traditionally don't have very good reliability, and that actually held them off the Top Pick list," said Jake Fisher.
But this year two make the list, including the Audi A6 as the Top Pick Luxury Car.
"It's a very comfortable car. It's got an amazing interior, nice ride, and agile handling," adds Fisher.
And the BMW 328i is the Top Pick Sports Sedan.
"It's always been a really sporty, fun-to-drive car. But now with a new two-liter, turbo-charged engine, it's actually very efficient, too," adds Fisher.
Honda makes a comeback as well. The newly redesigned Honda Accord is Top Pick Midsized Sedan.
The CR-V is tops in the Small SUV class.
And the Honda Odyssey has regained the Top Pick Minivan distinction.
But if sports cars are more your speed, the Subaru BRZ and the Scion FR-S lead the pack. These nearly identical vehicles, co-developed by Toyota and Subaru, are exhilarating to drive, with sticker prices that are tough to beat.
Looking for a car for under $20,000? The Hyundai Elantra is Consumer Reports' Top Pick Budget Car.
The all-wheel-drive Subaru Impreza earned Top Pick for compacts.
The Toyota Highlander stayed on top in midsized SUVs.
And despite growing competition, the Toyota Prius remains the Top Pick Green Car - a distinction it's held for ten years running.
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