Consumer Reports reveals Top Picks for 2008

Consumer Reports reveals Top Picks for 2008

Consumer Reports has named its Top Picks list for 2008 and for the first time a Korean automaker (Hyundai) has made it onto the list. Also for the first time since 2005, since a U.S. model made the list.

Hyundai made it on the list for two categories including the small sedan and midsized SUV with the Hyundai Elantra SE and the Hyundai Santa Fe. Chevrolet took the top choice for the pickup truck category with its new redesigned Silverado. The Toyota Prius remains the Top Pick in the green car category for the fifth year in a row while the Lexus LS 460L took the best luxury sedan.

Honda Accord took the Top Pick in family sedans over the Nissan Altima since starting this year, automakers must provide critical safety features, electronic stability control, either as standard or as a readily available option. So while the Altima scored higher in CR’s testing over the Accord, it lost the Top Pick since it offers ESC as a pricey option on the V6.

Click through for the list.

Small sedan: Hyundai Elantra SE
Family sedan: Honda Accord
Upscale sedan: Infiniti G35
Luxury sedan: Lexus LS 460 L
Green car: Toyota Prius
Fun to drive: Mazda MX-5 Miata
Small SUV: Toyota RAV4
Mid-sized SUV: Hyundai Santa Fe
Minivan: Toyota Sienna
Pickup truck: Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew Cab


Press Release:

First time a South Korean automaker represented in Top Picks
First time since 2005 a U.S. model makes list for pickup truck

YONKERS, NY – Consumer Reports has named four new models to its Top Picks list for 2008-the Hyundai
Elantra SE and Hyundai Santa Fe as top choices for small sedans and midsized SUVs, respectively; the redesigned Chevrolet Silverado as the top choice for pickup truck; and the Lexus LS 460L as the best luxury sedan.

The announcement was made today during a Washington Automotive Press Association (WAPA) press conference. Details can be found in CR’s Annual April Auto Issue, on sale Tuesday, March 4.

This marks the first time that a South Korean automaker ““ Hyundai ““ is represented, and the first time since 2005 that a U.S. model ““ the Chevrolet Silverado ““ has made the list. Historically, Consumer Reports Top Picks have been a blend of Japanese, European, and domestic models, but for the last two years the Top Picks have all been from Japanese manufacturers.

The Toyota Prius remains the Top Pick in the “green” car category for the fifth year in a row. The Prius demonstrated an excellent 44 mpg overall in Consumer Reports’ real-world fuel economy tests, the best of any five-passenger vehicles tested by CR.

Consumer Reports’ Top Picks are the most well-rounded 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 more than 260 vehicles CR recently tested at its Auto Test Center; has average or better predicted reliability (based on the problems subscribers reported on in CR’s Annual Car Reliability Survey of almost 1.3 million vehicles), and performed adequately in overall safety if tested by the government or insurance industry.

Starting this year, they also must provide a critical safety feature, electronic stability control (ESC), either as standard equipment or as a readily available option. That’s why the Honda Accord, for example, is the Top Pick in family sedans over the Nissan Altima. The Altima scored slightly higher in CR’s testing, but offers ESC only as a pricey option on the V6 and standard on the hybrid model.

“All the vehicles in Consumer Reports’ Top Picks list are standouts for performance, versatility, reliability, and
safety,” said David Champion, senior director of automotive testing, Consumer Reports. “CR’s Top Picks list is a great place for consumers to start when they’re looking for a new car.”

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. Around 6,000 miles of general driving and evaluations are racked up on each test car during the testing process.


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