Consumer Reports has stiffened up its Top 10 Picks selection process for 2020. It only considers vehicles that come standard with Forward Collision Warning and Automatic Emergency Braking. Standard Pedestrian Detection is also required. With NHTSA reporting more deaths from accidents since 1990 CR feels anything that saves lives needs to be standard equipment. CR lists its Top Picks based on ascending price categories. We’ll start at under $25,000.
With lots of room, standard advanced safety tech, and fuel economy CR liked the corolla best in this category. It also likes that the Corolla comes in many versions-even a hybrid that gets 48 mpg. Driving dynamics have also improved for the small car.
The SUV category is hot and the Forester tops it. It has high owner satisfaction and great fuel economy. Driving dynamics are surprisingly good according to CR. It also liked how it rode, saying it was one of the best-riding SUVs in this segment.
At 52 miles per gallon on average, it is the most fuel-efficient of the hybrids. The plug-in version did even better. Being so complex the Toyota hybrids have a great reliability record. Plus, the Prius has been on this list 17 times.
Redesigned for 2020 it sets the standard for sedans in this price range. It liked the standard all-wheel-drive as well as the safety features available as standard equipment. CR also feels the Subaru Outback mimics a lot of what it likes in the Legacy. Subaru is really sweeping up in these less-expensive categories.
CR says the Avalon tops the field for roominess, sophistication, and efficiency, even against cars costing $20,000 more. Impressive. Reliability, interior room and comfort, and great power from the V6 makes it tops. The hybrid version got 42 mpg overall and 52 mpg on the highway.
$35,000-$45,000-Midsize Three-Row SUV
At the Biscuit, we can tell you we get lots of interest in the Telluride. It scored some of the highest CR scores ever, blowing some repeat winners away. It scored the best in the road-test category of any vehicle it ever tested. Seat comfort, space, simple controls, and performance were impressive.
$35,000-$45,000-Compact Pickup Truck
CR calls the Ridgeline innovative. It likes the car-like driving experience and useful features. The ride and handling outshined other trucks in the category, with a quiet cabin. Smooth power and good fuel economy were other strengths.
It’s a midsize luxury crossover that combines its reliability with performance and comfort. It also lists at the low end of this category for price. The range of models and offering hybrid and three-row options were other pluses.
An entertaining thrill ride is what CR called the Supra. A balanced yet exhilarating experience is what impressed the testers the most. Sharp steering, responsive handling, and a tuned suspension were some of the highlights.
Tesla Model 3
CR says that this EV was able to beat out conventional sedans with its performance and high-tech interior. Acceleration and passing power are what we’ve come to expect from EVs. Steering and handling were superb according to the testers. With a 250-330 mile range, it overcomes the slightly harsh ride and wind noise.