If you are looking to buy a new car, you may want to check out Consumer Reports' list of Top Picks for 2016. The vehicles represent the best of the best of 260 models tests among 10 categories.
"To be a Consumer Reports Top Pick, a vehicle needs to drive beautifully, has to have a strong record of reliability and it needs to be a car that makes its owners happy and it needs to be safe," said Mark Rechtin, Chief Cars Editor for Consumer Reports.
A vehicle from a Korean manufacturer tops this year's list.
Consumer Reports named the 2016 Kia Sorento its Top Pick among mid-sized SUVs. This is a category Toyota has won for years, but no longer.
"It's got a powerful engine. It does great in crash tests. It has very strong reliability," said Mark Rechtin. "And the great thing is you get inside and it feels luxurious. It feels like you've spent a whole lot more money than you actually did."
Toyota did not get completely shutout this year. The Camry is the Top Pick for mid-sized cars and the Sienna for minivans.
Another Japanese automaker also performed well. The Subaru Impreza earned Consumer Reports' Top Pick for small cars while the Forester took home top honors for small SUVs.
"We like Subarus because they're super-practical," said Rechtin. "They're really fuel-efficient. And for such small cars on the outside, they feel really large on the inside."
Only two American cars received a Consumer Reports Top Pick for 2016: the Chevrolet Impala for large cars and the Ford F-150 among pickup trucks.
"Ford took a big gamble by switching its F-150 from steel to aluminum construction, but it paid off in our tests," Rechtin announced. "With better fuel economy, better acceleration, and in independent crash tests, it scored really well."
If you have money to burn and want a great weekend car the Mazda MX-5 is one you should check out. It earned the Top Pick for sports cars under $40,000.
"The Miata is totally impractical," noted Rechtin. "It only seats two people. The trunk is tiny. But you take it out on a sunny day, it's more fun than cars twice it's price."
The final two 2016 Top Picks are the Honda Fit for best subcompact car and the $50,000 Lexus RX for luxury SUV.
Many drivers may find the $38,000 Kia Sorento a much better bargain than the Lexus.
To see the ratings of all cars tested, visit Consumer Reports website at www.consumerreports.org.