(Consumer Reports) - Is it time for a new car? A new Consumer Report is out with its annual auto issue that includes its exclusive top car picks and advice on how to find a safe, satisfying and reliable ride.
At its 327-acre test track, Consumer Reports buys and tests about 50 new cars each year, evaluating everything from performance, to fuel economy, to child seat installation.
Consumer Reports just released its annual Top Picks. This list is based on tested cars CR has given the highest Overall Scores, factoring in road tests, predicted reliability, owner satisfaction, and safety.
"To be a Consumer Reports Top Pick, each car is required to have forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection as standard equipment. We believe that these safety features are so important, that they should be standard on every new car on the road," Emily Thomas of Consumer Reports said.
The Subaru Forester is CR's top pick in the small SUV category for its rare combination of practical packaging, impressive fuel economy, and great driving experience. It also has excellent owner satisfaction.
The Kia Telluride is a stand-out in the midsize SUV market. Its road test score is among the highest that CR has ever given. That combined with the comfort and capability at an aggressive price, made it a CR Top Pick.
The Honda Ridgeline was CR's top Compact Pickup Truck. It combines a comfortable car-like ride, but the usefulness of a truck.
"We've always liked the Honda Ridgeline, but the addition of the advanced safety features are standard on all 2020 trim-lines, bumped it up to this year's top pick list," Thomas said.
And a new record was set this year - The Toyota Prius has been one of CR's Top Picks more than any other vehicle —a record 17 times. While some hybrid competitors challenge its 52 mpg, the Prius remains the standard bearer for automotive efficiency and scored extremely well for reliability.
Looking for something a little more high-end? C-R's top picks also included the Lexus RX SUV, Tesla Model 3 electric car, and the Toyota Supra sports car.