The best car 2017

Table of Contents

Since 2009, sales of “trucks”—an increasingly diverse group consisting of SUVs/crossovers, pickups, and vans—have fully doubled. This rapid growth means they now make up a massive chunk of U.S. new-vehicle sales, 57 percent in 2015 and 60 percent through November 2016. In other words, it’s time we expand our 10Best franchise to recognize excellence in the majority of the marketplace.

We’ve been down this road before, with the 5Best Trucks awards we handed out from 2001 to 2008. As we did then, and unlike 10Best Cars, we’ve organized our new truck and SUV awards around segments, with one vehicle from each subset taking home the prize. The incredible model proliferation also sees us expand to 10 categories: full-size pickup, mid-size pickup, van, and seven SUV categories broken down by size and separated into luxury and nonluxury branches. The one exception is large SUVs and large luxury SUVs—nonluxury and luxury models compete for the same award because, once you’re shopping for a Chevrolet Suburban, Ford Expedition, and the like, they all wear luxury price tags. Explicitly proving our point, the GMC Yukon XL that was sent for our competition had a sticker price higher than that of the Mercedes-Benz GLS450.

The rules are simple. Every new or significantly updated vehicle with a base price less than $80,000 gets invited for a week of evaluation against past winners, after which every editor votes based on three tenets: value, the level of engagement from behind the wheel, and fulfillment of mission. (That last one necessitated a lot of clambering in and out of second and third rows, folding down seats to inspect cargo holds, and evaluating connectivity and convenience features.) Of course, we had no past winners for this inaugural year, so every nameplate—more than 140!—technically was eligible. For logistical purposes, we narrowed the fields to the new and updated 2017 models plus the top current models in each segment based on previous experience, comparison-test results, and, in some cases, the vociferousness and validity of the argument put forth by a championing staffer.

The results are in, and we’re pleased to introduce the 2017 10Best Trucks and SUVs.

THE WINNERS:

Michael SimariCar and Driver

Subcompact SUV: Kia Soul

Michael SimariCar and Driver

Subcompact Luxury SUV: BMW X1

Michael SimariCar and Driver

Compact SUV: Honda CR-V

Michael SimariCar and Driver

Compact Luxury SUV: Porsche Macan

Michael SimariCar and Driver

Mid-Size SUV: Mazda CX-9

Michael SimariCar and Driver

Mid-Size Luxury SUV: Audi Q7

Michael SimariCar and Driver

Large SUV: Mercedes-Benz GLS450

Michael SimariCar and Driver

Mid-Size Pickup: Honda Ridgeline

Michael SimariCar and Driver

Full-Size Pickup: Ford F-150 / F-150 Raptor

Michael SimariCar and Driver

Van: Chrysler Pacifica

10BEST TRUCKS AND SUVS EXTRAS:

Michael SimariCar and Driver

10 Reasons You Should Buy an SUV or a Truck

Various Photographers

10 of the Best 2017 Truck and SUV Technologies

Car and Driver Staff and The Manufacturers

Source: Jeep

Let’s be honest: You’re not exactly going to find the world’s most exciting cars in the compact crossover segment. They’re not sexy, they don’t handle great, and even in the best ones, performance is usually a suggestion. But they offer the interior space of a minivan, a tall ride height, and the option of four-wheel drive like an SUV – making them irresistible to millions of young families around the country. In short order, crossovers have become the modern day people mover of choice, joining that all-important pantheon of suburban cruisers right alongside the station wagons of ’60s and ’70s, the minivans of the ’80s and ’90s, and the SUVs of the aughts.

Over the past decade, they’ve become some of the hottest-selling vehicles in America, falling in that sweet spot that makes automakers smell profits. As a result, the compact segment is one of the most crowded and competitive in the industry, with no less than 16 different models offered. To help cut through the chaos, the writers at Car and Driver got together and ranked these trucklets in order from worst to best. Compared side by side, the segment is transformed from a bland monolith to a surprisingly diverse group of vehicles, and one that truly does offer something for just about everyone.

So here are all 16 models that make up today’s compact crossover segment, presented all in one place.

Source: Mitsubishi

16. Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

Mitsubishi is clinging to life in the American market, and it’s pinning its hopes for survival on an all-new Outlander due for 2016. We drove the current Outlander Sport, and while it’s by no means bad, a cheap-feeling interior, rough ride quality, and sluggish base 2.0 liter four make it a pretty tough sell in this highly competitive segment.

Source:GMC

15. GMC Terrain

The Terrain has been available with minimal updates since 2009, but its platform and mechanicals date even further back to the 2005 Pontiac Torrent. Its boxy, upright looks and sluggish performance don’t do it many favors, but its comfortable interior and impressive amount of cargo space have helped make it GMC’s second best-selling model. For 2016, a facelifted Terrain will debut that should keep the GMC faithful happy.

Source: Chevrolet

14. Chevrolet Equinox

Nearly identical to the Terrain mechanically, the Equinox offers most of the same amenities at a slightly lower price. It’s Chevy’s best-selling crossover, but after six years on the market the current generation is beginning to feel dated. Look for a refreshed 2016 model to hit the showrooms later this fall.

Source: Nissan

13. Nissan Rogue

Like the Terrain is to GMC, the Rogue is the second best-selling model in Nissan’s lineup. But after a ground-up redesign in 2014, the Rogue is a throughly modern, attractive, and competitive crossover. We tested the Rogue, and found it to be responsive, comfortable, and accommodating in every way. If it weren’t for the sheer number of quality competitors, the Rogue would’ve probably been ranked higher.

Source: Hyundai

12. Hyundai Tucson

The Tucson is down toward the bottom of this list because it has two big strikes against it: terrible visibility, and a disappointingly small cargo area. Aside from these two flaws, Hyundai has an attractive, competitively-priced crossover on their hands. Like GMC and Chevy’s offerings, an updated 2016 model is right around the corner, so if Hyundai can get the new Tucson right, it may have a real contender on its hands.

Source: Kia

11. Kia Sportage

Hyundai’s corporate cousin ranks slightly higher due to its attractive styling, and better powertrain options. But poor ride quality and an interior that leaves something to be desired keep it from the top ten. Kia hasn’t announced a next-generation Sportage yet, but we’d be surprised if it came any later than 2017.

Source: Subaru

10. Subaru Outback

Subaru has been on a tear as of late, and much of its success can be attributed to its strong showing in the crossover segment. The Outback nameplate dates back to 1994, and its distinctive station wagon-meets-SUV profile helped give the crossover segment its name. While its standard all-wheel drive, and high resale value have made the Outback a winner of late, its wagon-like shape and styling that recalls Subaru’s days as Japan’s quirkiest automaker aren’t for everybody.

Source: Subaru

9. Subaru Forester

Unlike the Outback, the Forester is a high-riding modern crossover through-and-through. With an available 250 horsepower 2.0 liter turbocharged model, the Forester can optioned as the WRX’s buttoned-down suburban cousin, and is one of the liveliest offerings in the segment. But its overall lack of refinement stand out in a class that seems to be upping its game every year. Still, the Forester’s combination of power and real-world practicality make it a compelling choice against some of its duller competitors.

Source: Toyota

8. Toyota Rav4

Like Subaru’s offerings, the Rav4 has been around since the beginning of the crossover segment. But unlike the Subaru twins, the Rav4’s lack of personality make it difficult to love. Like any Toyota, the Rav4 does just about everything well, but nothing great. Little surprise then, that it sits right in the middle of the pack.

Source: Volkswagen

7. Volkswagen Tiguan

It’s no secret that Volkswagen has a sales problem in America, and part of that is due to its lack of a competitive SUV lineup. With the Tiguan, it’s gotten just about everything right. It’s compact, good looking, well-appointed, and even offers a six-speed manual transmission for drivers who want to have a little more fun. Unfortunately, its relatively high buy-in (starting at $26,255) makes it a little too pricey of a proposition for many buyers. With VW committed to turning around sales, look for the next-generation Tiguan (due for 2017) to be even more competitive.

Source: Hyundai

6. Hyundai Santa Fe Sport

Like Volkswagen, Hyundai has admittedly never been comfortable building trucks or SUVs, but it’s done a fine job with the Santa Fe Sport. Redesigned for 2015, it’s a more focused effort than the Tucson, and it’s position above better-selling models is testament to how good of an automaker Hyundai has become. With good looks, a well-appointed interior, and an impressive ride, the Santa Fe Sport stands out in the pack.

5. Jeep Wrangler

The Wrangler stands out in the crossover segment – but then, the Wrangler stands out just about anywhere. Its architecture may be downright archaic compared to its rivals, but it handles great, has legitimate off-roading chops, is plenty powerful, and holds its resale value better than almost anything else on the road. It may not be the most comfortable crossover, but it’s certainly the most capable.

Source: Jeep

4. Jeep Cherokee

For those that want the ruggedness of a Jeep, but don’t want to pay extra for a hardtop, the Cherokee is the way to go. When it was reintroduced in 2014, many were taken aback by its, ahem, polarizing looks, but the Cherokee has proven itself with its strong performance on almost any terrain. With a host of trim levels, the midsize Jeep can be outfitted as anything from a posh grocery-getter to a highly-capable soft roader, making it one of the most versatile crossovers in the segment.

Source: Ford

3. Ford Escape

As the highest-ranking American on the list, the Escape has transformed itself from an also-ran to a leader in the span of about three years. With a solid feel, good driving manners, strong fuel economy, and good looks that share a familial resemblance to the Focus and Fiesta cars, the Escape is a true contender, and proves that Detroit really can run with the world’s best.

Source: Honda

2. Honda CR-V

Like Toyota and Subaru’s offerings, the CR-V has been a stalwart in the crossover segment since the ’90s, but unlike its rivals, it hasn’t lost a step. The CR-V was America’s best-selling crossover in 2014, and benefitting from a facelift for 2015, it’s become even more focused. Honda’s crossover offers the combination of handling, comfort, and strong performance that put most others in the segment to shame. Toyota may still outsell Honda overall, but it really could learn a thing or two from its biggest rival.

Source: Mazda

1. Mazda CX-5

Mazda’s CX-5 is head and shoulders above its competitors, despite being outnumbered on the roads by the mighty CR-V by more than three to one. Declared “the sports car of crossovers, with an athleticism you have to experience to believe” by Car and Driver, the CX-5 is good looking, has an interior that punches well above its weight, and handles like a sporty car – and it’s still a five-passenger people mover. The CX-5 wrecks the bell curve; it proves that crossovers don’t have to be boring. A facelifted model is on the way for 2016, so don’t expect anyone to overtake Mazda anytime soon.

Despite the number of fast, beautiful, technologically advanced cars on the market today, for millions of non-gearheads, this is the era of the crossover. They’re found clogging the highways during rush hour, packing supermarket parking lots on weekends, and sitting in driveways in every suburban street in the country. They’ll be the first cars millions of kids remember, and later, their embarrassing first cars. But despite their bland reputation, there really are a few gems here. It’s nice to know that if you’re in the market for a family car, you don’t have to be stuck driving something you hate.

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The best small SUVs and crossovers for the money

Honda

Boy howdy, do American consumers love their crossovers and SUVs. And because many are looking to utility vehicles in place of compact sedans and hatchbacks, we’ve seen a big rise in the number of pint-size SUVs on offer.

To that end, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite small-ish crossovers and SUVs. From cheap-and-cheerful compacts to luxury and performance offerings, these are the best small utility vehicles on sale in America today.. And these days, compact offerings seem to be all the rage. To that end, we’ve gathered up some of our favorite small utility vehicles that hit all the sweet spots, from utility, efficiency, luxury and yes, even sportiness.

Subaru Crosstrek

The 2019 Subaru Crosstrek starts at $21,895, offers standard all-wheel drive, and hey — you can even get it with a six-speed manual transmission. Equipped with the continuously variable transmission, the Crosstrek is pretty darn efficient, returning 27 miles per gallon city and 33 mpg highway.

The 2019 Crosstrek now comes with automatic emergency braking on all models, as well as adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard across all trims.

Land Rover Range Rover Velar

Starting at $49,950, the 2019 Velar is clearly not cheap. But this compact SUV feels far more expensive than it really is. Its minimalist design inside and out makes it one of the most aesthetically pleasing vehicles on the road.

The Velar delivers a comfortable, quiet ride with reasonable athleticism and more off-road ability than any owner will ever ask of it.

Porsche Macan

The Porsche Macan does the small-sporty-SUV thing better than pretty much any of its rivals. It’s handsome, spacious and super fun to drive. Plus, that Porsche badge ain’t for nothin’ — the Macan will outdrive any other sporty crossover on the road today.

For 2019, the Macan S got a brand-new turbocharged V6 engine, and some slightly refreshed style. It’s an SUV we’d love to drive every day — and on some of our favorite roads, too.

Honda CR-V

The latest-generation Honda CR-V features a lot more style, has a roomier backseat, boats class-leading cargo space, and starts at a reasonable $25,000.

A strong engine lineup includes a 2.4-liter naturally aspirated base engine with 180 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque, or a punchy 1.5-liter turbo with 190 horses and 179 pound-feet. The good thing about the turbocharged engine is that peak torque is available from just 2,000 rpm.

The CR-V provides a well-damped ride quality, while also being competent through corners.

Volkswagen Tiguan

The Volkswagen Tiguan is softer than it used to be, but it’s also much more spacious, comfortable and quiet than the previous generation. The new look is bold, but also very classic VW.

VW’s Car-Net and Digital Cockpit are basically scaled-down versions of the amazing Audi tech we’ve been raving about for years.

A rare thing among compact SUVs, the Tiggy can actually be optioned with a third row of seats.

Mazda CX-5

Starting at under $25,000, the Mazda CX-5 offers tons of style, inside and out.

A 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine offers 187 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. Whether in all-wheel or front-wheel-drive guise, the Mazda serves up genuine driving fun and excitement behind the wheel.

The post-refresh model is now considerably quieter and better riding than earlier models, with blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert standard across all trim lines.

Mazda CX-3

The smaller Mazda CX-3 can be had starting at $20,390. While it’s been updated for 2019, Mazda didn’t mess with the good stuff. The same 2.0-liter engine is under the hood as last year, though power and torque have increased just slightly.

The rear glass is thicker, which should result in a quieter cabin. The LED taillights out back get a new design as well.

Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are standard on all trims. The base Sport model can be had with an i-ActivSense Package, including such active driving aids as full-range adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and rain-sensing wipers.

Volvo XC40

A brand-new Volvo for $32,000? Sign us up.

The XC40 doesn’t scrimp on kit, even though it’s the cheapest Volvo, coming standard with the Sensus Connect infotainment system and the always-great “Thor’s Hammer” LED headlights.

Not only does it look good, the XC40 drives really well, too. Fuel economy isn’t the best, but life is full of tradeoffs.

Nissan Kicks

Starting at just under $18,000, the Nissan Kicks is a lot of car for the money, and can be had with a truly outstanding Bose Personal Plus audio system.

The Kicks is a great, honest little crossover — and it’s not too shabby to drive, either.

Aside from moderate noise over bumps, this budget crossover is a lot quieter than many of its competitors.

Subaru Forester

The Forester still has enough of its tall-wagon DNA to make it enjoyable to drive, yet it offers all the practicality of an SUV, starting at $24,295.

Subaru’s EyeSight driver-assistance package is among the best available in this category, and while the rest of the Forester’s in-cabin tech is a little tame, support for both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay mostly mitigates that.

A number of 2019 model-year upgrades make the Forester an even better offering in the compact SUV space.

Originally published March 21.

16 of the Best Used Cars to Buy in 2019

It’s that time again: the automotive wise men and women over at CarGurus have announced their annual list of the Best Used Cars. To even be considered, CarGurus evaluates each car based on user reviews, professional reviews, popularity, availability, and projected depreciation over 12 years. And as the number of segments in the car market grows, so does the number of categories in the CarGurus list; this year, there’s a total of 16 winners.

It’s a handy helper for anyone looking for advice on which used vehicle is most likely to treat them well. After all, buying any car is daunting under any circumstances—doubly so for used cars, where vehicle history and maintenance become factors and reliability becomes a bigger concern.

CarGurus’s list restricts itself to fairly recent used vehicles, so there’s no worry of finding vehicles saddled with highly outdated safety features or technology. So if you’re looking for a quality, pre-owned ride to park in your garage…any of the following cars would be a good place to start.

Subcompact Sedan/Hatchback

2015-2018 Honda Fit

Compact Sedan/Hatchback

2014-2018 Mazda3

Midsize Sedan

2013-2017 Honda Accord

Full-Size Sedan

2011-2018 Dodge Charger

Station Wagon

2015-2018 Subaru Outback

Small Crossover/SUV

2007-2017 Jeep Wrangler

Midsize Crossover/SUV

2007-2017 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

Full-Size Crossover/SUV

2011-2018 Ford Explorer

Minivan

2011-2017 Honda Odyssey

Midsize Pickup Truck

2005-2015 Toyota Tacoma

Full-size Pickup Truck

2015-2018 Ford F-150

Luxury Compact Sedan

2013-2017 Lexus IS

Luxury Midsize Sedan

2013-2018 Lexus ES

Luxury Small Crossover/SUV

2015-2018 Lexus NX

Luxury Midsize Crossover/SUV

2014-2018 Volvo XC90

Sports Car

2008-2018 Dodge Challenger

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20 Most Reliable Cars of the Decade According to Consumer Reports

Everyone has their idea of what makes a reliable vehicle.

For some, a car that starts every morning and just needs basic repairs every year will do. Drivers expect more out of expensive vehicles known for rapid-fire acceleration or high-performance towing. Then there are those who say a vehicle’s not reliable unless it tops 200,000 miles.

For the nonprofit organization Consumer Reports, the most reliable vehicles must pass (or ace) 17 different tests. Even if an automobile runs like a dream, testers will knock it down a few pegs if the electronics system is hard to use or the interior scratches easily.

In other words, getting a top reliability rating from Consumer Reports takes some doing.

To show how well some models have done, we rounded up the top performers since 2010. Here are the 20 most reliable vehicles of the decade, including one that is practically flawless since 2010 (No. 7).

20. Nissan Leaf

The new 2018 Nissan LEAF should continue to be as reliable as its predecessor.| Nissan

  • Among electric cars, Leaf’s 4 perfect reliability scores in 5 years stand above the pack.

While Tesla has mixed reviews for reliability, Nissan Leaf proved long ago that electric vehicles could stay on the road with the best of them. The first-generation Leaf landed the top Consumer Reports rating for four of its first five years on the market from 2011 to 2016. As the new-for-2018 model makes its way to the market, it also comes with above-average predicted reliability.

19. Toyota Venza

The Toyota Venza is still a popular used car. | Toyota

  • Remarkably, Venza never posted anything below an excellent reliability rating in 7 years.

Though discontinued in 2015, Toyota Venza put up a perfect reliability score in each of its seven years on the U.S. market. Caught stylistically between a wagon and SUV, this vehicle never sold particularly well, but drivers who bought one were blessed with a model that suffered few mechanical issues. Low-mileage models continue to command high prices on the used market.

18. Toyota Sequoia

The Toyota Sequoia doesn’t change much, and buyers like it that way. | Toyota

  • Since 2012, Sequoia never scored below the top reliability rating.

If you’re looking for a used SUV, Toyota Sequoia has been among the best for dependability since the 2008 model appeared. Every year, Consumer Reports either gave it the top reliability score or close to it, and Sequoia never rated below excellent after 2012. Among vehicles on the road after 2010, few can beat that performance.

17. Honda CR-V

The Honda CR-V is a popular model that people hold onto for years. | Honda

  • Since 2011, CR-V landed the top score 6 out of 8 times.

If you want a keeper, look into a Honda CR-V. A 2016 study by iSeeCars.com revealed one in four owners (25%) kept theirs longer than 10 years. Glancing at this model’s reliability ratings, you understand how that’s possible. CR-V scored the highest possible rating in six of eight years and recorded an above average rank the other two years.

16. Toyota Corolla

The Toyota Corolla is boring, but it’s good at just about everything. | Toyota

  • In the current decade, Corolla was close to perfect in reliability.

If you wonder why Toyota scores close to the top in auto brand reliability every year, just check some of its top models. Corolla, which has been the definition of a vanilla compact car for decades, came close to perfect in its ratings every year since 2010. The 2014 redesign brought better fuel economy than ever, making it a great buy on the used market.

15. Acura TSX

The Acura TSX is a great used car buy. | Acura

  • In its final edition (2009-14), TSX landed the best ratings every single year.

Outside of Lexus, it’s rare to see any luxury-level cars posting top reliability scores. The late Acura TSX is one exception. Between 2009 and 2014, this model landed the highest possible rating every year. The TSX is long gone, but used models are a smart buy for consumers who prize practicality.

14. Honda Accord

Late-model cars, like this 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid are great used buys. | James Derek Sapienza/Autos Cheat Sheet

  • Between 2011 and 2017, Accord landed the top reliability score every year.

After landing the highest possible reliability rating for seven straight years, any doubts about Honda Accord disappeared. Since 2014, testers and consumers have been unable to find one recurring complaint about the midsize sedan. With a new model hitting the market for 2018, Honda once again needs to impress testers and owners, but every previous edition from this decade has a bulletproof reputation.

13. Lexus RX

The Lexus RX350 F Sport is both luxurious and reliable. | Lexus

  • Utility models like Lexus RX proved Toyota could deliver reliability in any format.

While luxury brands like Land Rover and Alfa Romeo suffer from bad reliability ratings, Lexus has been one of the top marques of the decade. RX is a perfect example. Between 2010 and 2015, this crossover landed the top score from Consumer Reports every single year. The 2016 redesign barely changed that reputation, though the infotainment system in that debut (’16) model may bug consumers.

12. Toyota Tundra

It doesn’t sell like a Ford F-150, but the Toyota Tundra is incredibly reliable. | Toyota

  • On the pickup market, no truck came close to Tundra’s reliability record.

With eight perfect reliability ratings in nine tries since 2010, no pickup comes close to Toyota Tundra’s record among owners and critics. This truck comes from Toyota’s Texas plant and has not had a full makeover since the current model debuted in 2007. While that may leave Tundra behind some of the U.S.-branded competition, practical buyers will be happy nothing much has changed.

11. Toyota Highlander

The Toyota Highlander is one of the most reliable SUVs on the market. | Toyota

  • Owners refuse to sell Highlander because of its durability.

If you’re keeping score at home, Toyota Highlander landed the top reliability rating from Consumer Reports for nine out of 10 models that appeared since 2009. (In the 10th year, the SUV settled for an above-average mark.) Buyers on the hunt for a 2018 model with three rows will want to test drive a new Highlander, but think of it in terms of the long haul. In the iSeeCars study, Highlander was the model owners held onto the longest.

10. Lexus CT 200h

The CT 200h was Lexus’ standalone hybrid model. | Lexus

  • The Toyota Prius platform served Lexus CT 200h well.

Though 2017 marked the final model-year for the CT 200h, this Prius-based wagon stands to endure for years to come. In the six years (2011-16) testers provided feedback and owners rated this hybrid, CT 200h landed the top reliability rating every year. Even though it’s been discontinued, this Lexus has to be counted among the most durable vehicles of the decade.

9. Mazda3

The Mazda3 is one of the best compact cars on the market. | Mazda

  • Outside of in-car electronics, Mazda3 has been near perfect in reliability the entire decade.

With another top reliability score in 2018, Mazda3 has been perfect for eight of nine years across two generations since 2010. Its engine, transmission, brake system, power equipment and finish all passed extensive tests the entire decade. As owners look to bigger cars and compact sedans become less desirable, Mazda3 will continue to be a great buy on the secondhand market.

8. Toyota Avalon

Toyota’s full-size Avalon holds its value better than most of its competitors. | Toyota

  • Even for a Toyota, Avalon’s durability has been extraordinary.

You can find evidence of Toyota Avalon’s exceptional reliability on many fronts. When iSeeCars.com checked on used vehicles with the highest mileage, only a few nameplates had more examples with 200,000 on them. Meanwhile, Avalon landed the top reliability rating every year but one since 2010. It’s one of the most durable cars of the decade and a good bet for anyone who wants a car for the coming decade.

7. Lexus GS

This 2016 Lexus GS350 is an attractive and reliable used car buy. | James Derek Sapienza/Autos Cheat Sheet

  • Consumer Reports rated the GS sedan excellent every year this decade.

If you read through enough Consumer Reports ratings, you’ll notice even great cars can have bad years — usually, a redesign taking a few years for an automaker to work out the kinks. Then there are cars like Lexus GS, which never have any issue acing reliability tests year after year. Since 2010, GS never scored below excellent and rarely showed a flaw. The generation beginning with the 2013 redesign has been close to perfect.

6. Lexus IS

The Lexus IS isn’t the sportiest car in its segment, but it is the most reliable. | Lexus

  • Doubts about sportiness aside, Lexus IS has been practically unbreakable for owners.

Outside of a few blips in body integrity at the start of the decade and some infotainment issues around 2014, Lexus IS has delivered close to perfection on the reliability front for owners since 2010. Some might think this model’s performance is more Toyota than Lexus, but if your top priority is a car looking good and starting every morning, IS can’t be beaten.

5. Toyota RAV4

The Toyota Rav4 is one of the most popular vehicles in America. | Toyota

  • Consumer Reports testers and RAV4 owners haven’t reported a major complaint since 2012.

How does a manufacturer nail down the highest reliability scores for 10 years straight? It takes a near-perfect design and consistent execution at the assembly plant. Toyota, which builds RAV4 at a Canadian plant with about half Japanese parts, found the sweet spot with its hit crossover. Neither testers nor RAV4 owners have lodged a significant complaint about this vehicle since 2012. Both the ’13 and ’16 redesigns came off flawlessly.

4. Lexus ES

The Camry-based Lexus ES is the most reliable luxury car. | Lexus

  • After 11 straight years of top reliability scores, Lexus ES stands alone among luxury cars.

Since 2008, Lexus ES never scored below the highest reliability rating. Breaking down the statistics, neither testers nor owners found flaws in the engine, transmission, electricals or fuel system in 11 years. For a car based on the Toyota Camry, drivers might want more pizzazz behind the wheel, but if durability is your goal then ES has no equal among luxury cars.

3. Toyota Camry

The all-new 2018 Toyota Camry will likely be as reliable as its predecessors. | Toyota

  • It reigned as America’s favorite car all these years for a reason.

Midsize sedans dominated the American market for a generation, and Toyota Camry has been the industry’s top seller (excluding trucks) since 1993. Even if the all-new Honda Accord manages to bump Camry off in 2018, it’s clear why Toyota’s midsize rock led the pack for so many years. Between 2002 and 2017, Camry nailed down the top reliability rating from Consumer Reports every single model-year.

2. Toyota Prius

The Toyota Prius has done more to normalize hybrid technology than any other car. | Toyota

  • Worries about Prius’s hybrid battery were put to bed in the last decade.

Once upon a time, hybrid car buyers dealt with worries of the electric car battery failing and their investment going to waste. Toyota Prius put those fears to bed long ago, and its 12 straight years of top reliability scores settled any other doubt consumers had. Every variant — from V wagons to the tiny C and plug-in hybrids — share this bulletproof record. No one has found even a minor flaw in Prius since 2011, making it the most reliable passenger car of the decade.

1. Toyota 4Runner

The Toyota 4Runner is nearly impossible to kill. | Toyota

  • An amazing 13 straight years of top reliability scores make 4Runner the undisputed champion.

It may lack refinement and seem a little dated, but as far as reliability is concerned nothing compares to Toyota 4Runner. The truck-based SUV posted 13 consecutive years of the highest ratings Consumer Reports gives for durability. Since 4Runner has not undergone a redesign since 2010, buyers of any model-year can be confident they’re getting the most bulletproof vehicle in America.

Rankings provided by Consumer Reports.

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Consumer Reports lists the top 10 best cars of 2017

Consumer Reports (CR) has released its list of the top 10 best cars of 2017, which takes into account several criteria – overall score per category, road test performance, predicted reliability, owner satisfaction data, and safety.

The list is one of the most highly regarded sources of advice when it comes to buying a new car in the United States due to the well-known independence of the organisation. Consumer Reports buys, anonymously, all the cars it tests, and drives each for thousands of kilometres as part of their road tests.

Getting into the list of winners, the first category is for the best subcompact car of 2017, and that honour goes to the Toyota Yaris iA. The car, which was developed by Mazda (it’s essentially the 2 Sedan), launched by Scion, and marketed as a Toyota following Scion’s demise, is described as a “desirable no-excuses budget sedan” by the organisation.

Next up, the new Chevrolet Cruze is the best compact car of 2017, which impressed CR due to its comfortable ride and roomy interior. The second-generation American C-segment sedan is also available as a hatchback, which made its debut at last year’s Detroit Auto Show.

In the compact hybrid segment, the fourth-generation Toyota Prius took home the top prize thanks to its impressive fuel economy – 4.52 l/100 km – as tested by CR. The Prius also boasted excellent levels of reliability as well as a comprehensive suite of safety systems.

The Mazda MX-5 is the best sports car of 2017 as it is “the embodiment of driving pleasure,” according to CR. Other words used to describe the roadster include “spellbinding” and “frugal,” pointing towards the MX-5’s unchanged formula of a front-engine, rear-wheel drive setup, lightweight and sharp handling.

In the midsized sedan segment, the Kia Optima managed to beat out the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry with a value-laden package that includes features normally found on pricier cars. The Optima’s outstanding reliability and extensive warranty coverage also makes it a highly recommended choice for car buyers in the US as well.

The Chevrolet Impala continues to occupy the top spot in the large sedan segment with its roominess and practicality. Despite its large size, CR describes the Impala’s handling as “responsive and secure,” and buyers should consider the car as a competitively priced alternative.

Moving on to the SUVs, the Subaru Forester, which is also available in Malaysia, is the best small SUV of 2017. CR commended the Forester’s roomy packaging, fuel efficiency, solid reliability, easy access and practicality despite the large windows and boxy shape.

For the highly competitive midsized SUV segment, the updated Toyota Highlander – now with more power from its V6 engine, a new gearbox and more standard safety equipment – managed to triumph over the competition. The Highlander also delivered in terms of family-friendly functionality, fuel economy and long-term reliability.

Audi’s latest Q7 was awarded the best luxury SUV of 2017, with CR saying it “feels more like a luxury sedan than an SUV.” The Q7, which is available in Malaysia, also impressed with its infotainment system and impressive handling.

Finally, the Honda Ridgeline is the best compact pick-up for 2017, primarily due to its smart design that makes it highly practical. CR also states it “handles far better than any compact or full-sized pickup, and it shames all non-diesel trucks for fuel economy.”

We’ve compiled the full list of winners for 2017 below:

  • Subcompact car: Toyota Yaris iA
  • Compact car: Chevrolet Cruze
  • Compact hybrid: Toyota Prius
  • Sports car: Mazda MX-5 Miata
  • Midsized sedan: Kia Optima
  • Large sedan: Chevrolet Impala
  • Small SUV: Subaru Forester
  • Midsized SUV: Toyota Highlander
  • Luxury SUV: Audi Q7
  • Compact pick-up: Honda Ridgeline

For those curious which cars won in 2016, here you go:

  • Subcompact car: Honda Fit/Jazz
  • Compact car: Subaru Impreza
  • Midsized car: Toyota Camry
  • Sports car: Mazda MX-5 Miata
  • Large car: Chevrolet Impala
  • Minivan: Toyota Sienna
  • Small SUV: Subaru Forester
  • Midsized SUV: Kia Sorento
  • Luxury SUV: Lexus RX
  • Pick-up truck: Ford F-150



These Are the 20 Best SUVs For Your Money in 2018

It’s not much of a stretch to say car buying is a scary, frustrating, and nerve-wracking experience. Between the car dealer scams and the expensive mistakes you can make, buying a car is anything but a day at the park. But it doesn’t have to be. We’re here to help you. Your SUV shopping list starts here. These 20 cars are the best SUVs for your money.

We looked at the Car and Driver list of best new cars, and we’re going to tell you which SUVs are worth your hard-earned dollars. Brush up on your negotiating tactics, learn the salesman tricks you need to know about, and get ready to find your next favorite SUV.

1. Honda CR-V

Honda CR-V | Honda

  • Starting MSRP: $24,150
  • MPG: 27 city/33 highway

Everyone knows Honda for its reliable, long-lasting vehicles. The CR-V is its signature SUV. The low entry price and good gas mileage make the CR-V sensible. Its handling and redesigned looks make it one of the most loved SUVs on the road, and one of the best SUVs for your money.

Next: The car taking aim at the CR-V.

2. Mazda CX-5

Mazda CX-5 | Mazda

  • Starting MSRP: $24,150
  • MPG: 24 city/30 highway

Fully equipped with Mazda’s fuel-efficient SkyActiv technology, the CX-5 ups the ante with its top-flight trim packages. One of the high-tech features is a holographic windshield display. It tells you your speed, upcoming road hazards, and the next turn you need to make. Considering the prices, the MPG numbers, and the features, this SUV is taking aim at the Honda CR-V.

Next: Entry-level luxury

3. Porsche Macan

Porsche Macan | Porsche

  • Starting MSRP: $47,800
  • MPG: 17 city/23 highway

JD Power lauds the Macan for its quality and design. Those are hallmarks of any Porsche car. The improved gas mileage on the Macan and its affordable luxury make it one the best SUVs for your money.

Next: A low price and a perfect car for teenage drivers.

4. Kia Soul

Kia Soul | Kia

  • Starting MSRP: $16,100
  • MPG: 25 city/30 highway

You won’t find a better price anywhere on this list, and that’s just one reason it’s a Car and Driver winner. A horsepower boost on some trim levels makes it fun to drive. Its price point is perfect for first-time car buyers, and it just happens to be one of the best cars for teenage drivers.

Next: Love or hate relationship

5. BMW X1

BMW X1 | BMW

  • Starting MSRP: $33,900
  • MPG: 22 city/32 highway

With 228 horsepower, the X1 gives you a little bit of muscle for a car most people use as a family driver. The base model price isn’t outlandish, and for that price, you get a well-appointed car. Car and Driver loves the X1, but some owners can’t wait to trade it in.

Next: An American car makes the best SUVs list.

6. Jeep Grand Cherokee

Jeep Grand Cherokee | Jeep

  • Starting MSRP: $30,695
  • MPG: 13 city/23 highway

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is the quintessential American SUV, and it’s one of the best SUVs for your money. It comes standard with 10 airbags, and it has a number of trim levels for owners who demand the finest luxury. Speaking of luxury, the Grand Cherokee is one of the most popular cars in New York’s posh Upper East Side neighborhood.

Next: A car helping an automaker clean up its image.

7. Volkswagen Atlas

Volkswagen Atlas | Volkswagen

  • Starting MSRP: $30,750
  • MPG: 18 city/24 highway

If you only remember Volkswagen for its lies about its giant diesel engine deceit, then you need to take a look at the Atlas. It’s the largest car Volkswagen sells in North America, and it has room for seven adults. Despite the size, it’s relatively fuel-efficient for an SUV while still producing the kind of power German cars are known for.

Next: This might be the safest car on the road.

8. Audi Q7

Audi Q7 | Audi

  • Starting MSRP: $49,900
  • MPG: 19 city/25 highway

The Q7 has all the performance elements you want. It has German power — 252 horsepower from the base model engine. It has the size — up to 71 cubic feet of cargo space. But the reason the Q7 is one of the best SUVs for your money is its spotless safety record. It’s no stretch saying this Audi is the safest car on the road.

Next: A cousin of a car we’ve seen already.

9. Mazda CX-9

2018 Mazda CX-9 | Mazda

  • Starting MSRP: $32,130
  • MPG: 20 city/26 highway

If you’re hunting for a quality SUV, then Mazda’s CX series is probably the best group of SUVs for your money. We’ve already seen the CX-5 on this list. The CX-9 is the bigger version, but it doesn’t sacrifice anything its smaller cousin brings to the table. The price, the safety record, the size, and the MPG numbers make the CX-9 one of the best family cars out there.

Next: Let’s stick with the theme.

10. Mazda CX-3

2018 Mazda CX-3 | Mazda

  • Starting MSRP: $20,110
  • MPG: 28 city/33 highway

Based on price alone, the CX-3 is one of the best entry-level SUVs around. Factor in the gas mileage, the fun handling, and the fact it’s one of the safest SUVs on the road, and you get one of the best SUVs for your money.

Next: Car buyers were waiting for this 2018 model.

11. BMW X3

BMW X3 | BMW

  • Starting MSRP: $42,650
  • MPG: 21 city/28 highway

The 2017 X3s sat on dealer lots, and it was one of the worst-selling cars of 2017. That’s because BMW buyers were waiting for the 2018 version. Like the other German SUVs we’ve encountered so far, this one produces plenty of power (248 horsepower) from an 8-speed transmission. The well-appointed interior makes this a luxury SUV that is worth the price.

Next: Better than a bland minivan any day of the week.

12. Dodge Durango

2017 Dodge Durango | Dodge

  • Starting MSRP: $29,995
  • MPG: 13 city/19 highway

Car and Driver rates this as one of the best SUVs for your money, extolling its brawny power while still being distinct from a truck. If you’re in the market for a car this size, then the Durango is a big improvement from your standard bland minivan.

Next: You don’t want to buy this car used.

13. Subaru Crosstrek

Subaru Crosstrek | Subaru

  • Starting MSRP: $21,795
  • MPG: 25 city/31 highway

Safety is the calling card of Subaru, and the carmaker has a loyal customer base because of it. Safety, loyalty, and longevity make Subarus coveted cars, and the Crosstrek is one you don’t want to buy used. Why? Because it holds its value so well, there’s hardly a difference between the new and used prices.

Next: Now you can drive like a rich person.

14. Audi Q5

Audi Q5 | Audi

  • Starting MSRP: $41,500
  • MPG: 23 city/27 highway

Car and Driver likes that the Audi Q5 is comfortable, quiet, and well-styled. All things considered, it’s moderately priced and one of the best SUVs for your money. You know who really loves the Q5? Rich people. Its mix of luxury and performance makes it a favorite of big earners.

Next: One of the best SUVs for pure driving enjoyment.

15. Mercedes-Benz GLC class

Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupé | Mercedes-Benz

  • Starting MSRP: $40,050
  • MPG: 20 city/26 highway

Mercedes-Benz’s GLC class of SUVs takes the GLC sedan and elevates it off the ground, more or less. The GLC SUVs drive just like their lower-to-the-ground cousin, according to Car and Driver, and they have all the safety features you’d expect from an SUV.

Next: This model is perfect for any type of family.

16. Volvo XC60

2018 Volvo XC60 | Volvo

  • Starting MSRP: $41,500
  • MPG: 21 city/27 highway

Volvos are Swedish born, so you know they’re good in the snow. The XC60 doesn’t skimp on the safety features, but it also doesn’t sacrifice any of its luxury in the process. It’s one of the best SUVs for your money, and it’s great for families with human or dog babies.

Next: Going off-road is no problem for this car.

17. Jeep Wrangler

Jeep Wrangler Rubicon | Jeep

  • Starting MSRP: $23,995
  • MPG: 17 city/24 highway

The Jeep Wrangler stretches the definition of what an SUV is. Considering you can buy Wranglers bigger than the 2-door model, we’ll allow it on this list. What this one lacks in terms of creature comforts, it more than makes up for with drivability. Everything about the 2018 Wrangler is better than previous models, and it remains one of the best off-road vehicles around.

Next: A sexy SUV? You’d better believe it.

18. Volvo XC90

Volvo XC90 | Volvo

  • Starting MSRP: $46,900
  • MPG: 21 city/28 highway

Remember what we said about the Volvo XC60 a minute ago? Well, it all applies to the XC90. The creature comforts and unparalleled safety make this one of the best SUVs for your money. The bold styling gives it a sexy look most SUVs can’t match.

Next: The looks of a tank with the power to match.

19. Chevrolet Suburban

Chevrolet Suburban | General Motors

  • Starting MSRP: $50,200
  • MPG: 15 city/22 highway

We’ll forgive you if you think the Suburban looks like more like a tank than a car. After all, if you’re driving one of these SUVs with room for nine people, you’re probably the general of your own small army. It definitely has the power of a tank — it’s one of the most powerful Chevy models ever. The Suburban is definitely one the best SUVs for your money. It’s actually worth good money years after you drive it off the lot.

Next: Good looking and fun to drive? No wonder it’s one of the best SUVs for your money.

20. Chevrolet Traverse

2018 Chevrolet Traverse | Chevrolet

  • Starting MSRP: $29,930
  • MPG: 17 city/26 highway

Looking for a little bit more ‘sport’ in your sports utility vehicle? Look no further. With the size of a minivan but without the bland looks, the Traverse is fun to drive. Plus, you can feel good about supporting the United States if you buy this car. It’s more than 85% American made.

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Read more: The Massive Wealth Gap Is Just 1 Reason Why This Is the Most Hated State in America

2017 BMW X3 review: With X3, BMW avoids obsolete electronics

BMW unveiled the second generation of its X3 small SUV in 2010, and given its product cycles, the 2017 X3 is the last of this generation, as the 2018 X3, the third generation, is already becoming available.

So I was surprised when I got in the 2017 BMW X3 to find, instead of seven-year-old cabin technology, an up-to-date interface for navigation, stereo and connected car features.

BMW managed to solve the problem bedeviling automakers since consumer electronics entered the dashboard, updating software features outside of traditional vehicle product cycles. Rather than a dated, clunky interface in this X3, circa 2010, I could use quick online destination search and third-party apps, and a full color head-up display.

The X3’s sheet metal, especially below the contour lines, shows a liquid smoothness.

Wayne Cunningham/Roadshow

BMW’s smallish SUV, the 2017 X3 slots in between the X1 and X5, naturally, offering reasonably comfortable seating for five and 27.6 cubic feet of cargo space. Drop the rear seats and that space expands to 63.3 cubic feet. The passenger compartment feels roomy, especially with the optional panoramic sunroof, which comes with BMW’s $3,200 Premium package.

It’s a good-looking little SUV, with BMW’s signature kidney grille up front and liquid-smooth sheet metal down the sides. The Mineral Silver Metallic paint on my example really enhanced its curves.

BMW sells the 2017 X3 with four drivelines, denoted sDrive28i, xDrive28i, xDrive35i and the diesel xDrive28d. The “s” model means rear-wheel-drive, while the “x” models come with all-wheel-drive. “28” indicates a 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, and “35” is a 3-liter turbocharged inline six cylinder.

I drove the X3 xDrive28i loaded up with the Premium package, and the $2,750 Technology package, adding navigation, head-up display and an integrated data connection, among other things.

In BMWs from a few years back, the dashboard LCD showed a line-item menu screen for the company’s iDrive infotainment system. Here, the 2017 X3 treated me to a row of six icons covering navigation, media, vehicle settings and communications, all accessible using a dial and button pod on the console.

BMW updates its software for the X3, here showing an icon-based main interface instead of the previous line-item menu.

Wayne Cunningham/Roadshow

The X3’s navigation system used nicely detailed maps with 3D rendered buildings. Making destination entry easy, the system offers a Quick Search option, which let me enter business names or addresses in one box, rather than a tortured search through categories in a points-of-interest database.

For route guidance, I could look to the center LCD or the X3’s head-up display, showing which lanes I needed to be in for complex road junctions.

The X3 supports Apple CarPlay over a Bluetooth connection.

Wayne Cunningham/Roadshow

More impressively, the X3’s system includes BMW’s latest innovation, wireless Apple CarPlay. As with normal CarPlay, the car mirrored some of my iPhone’s ( $599 at Amazon ) functions, such as podcasts and navigation, on its LCD. But unlike other CarPlay implementations, it worked over the phone’s Bluetooth connection, so I didn’t need to plug into the single USB port every time I wanted to use it. Sorry, Android phone users, BMW still doesn’t support Android Auto.

BMW’s implementation of Yelp and apps for weather, news and local sights in the X3 are just icing on the cake.

The only issue with the X3’s dashboard electronics I found was that the processor power doesn’t quite keep up with the new software. Most operations worked just fine, but I saw delays when zooming the navigation system’s map. I expect the new-generation X3 will fix that issue with a faster processor.

The X3’s navigation system and CarPlay integration served me well on a jaunt from San Francisco to the Los Angeles Auto Show and back, helping me find a convenient In-n-Out Burger for lunch, get out on the sand at Pismo Beach, and negotiate Los Angeles’ notorious traffic.

For my evaluation of the X3, I set it to Sport mode with the rocker switch on the console and felt this small SUV’s throttle become too sensitive for daily use. Setting it to Eco Pro, the instrument cluster rewarded me with a readout of how many extra miles its efficient driving managed, but the weak throttle response felt disappointing.

To end this Goldilocks story, the car’s Comfort mode hit the right balance for 99 percent of my time behind the wheel. Beyond that, the X3 defaults to Comfort at ignition, meaning that 99 percent of drivers will just leave it in that mode for all their trips.

Although you can select from three drive modes, the X3 is basically a get-in-and-go kind of car.

Wayne Cunningham/Roadshow

In my more than 800 miles with the X3, I was content to drive like a normal person, in Comfort mode.

The X3’s 2-liter turbocharged engine, turning all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission, manages 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. Its idle-stop feature shut down the engine at stop lights, saving some gas in the city, and restarted quickly enough for all but the most impatient drivers.

That engine gave the X3 enough boost for me to get a jump on traffic when the lights turned green. Over hundreds of miles on the freeway, it comfortably maintained ample speed, while offering enough power overhead for me to zip around slower drivers and try to keep ahead of the tractor-trailer rigs before one attempted to pass another.

I was disappointed to only clock an average fuel economy of 23.5 mpg, especially after all the freeway driving. However, the X3 rates 21 mpg city and 28 mpg highway in EPA testing, so I came in about average for its range.

On the freeway, the X3 rode comfortably, its well-tuned steering feeling responsive without being twitchy. However, at low speeds I could feel the electric motor boost on the steering, giving it a slightly rough edge, which could have been better masked.

Taking a cloverleaf at speed, I could feel the X3’s excellent balance, a hallmark of BMW cars for many years.

And while the suspension proved pliant over the long haul, letting me spend hours in the seat without a lot of muscle ache, the Goodyear Eagle rubber on the 19-inch rims delivered a jarring crunch going over a pothole. A wider sidewall would help here, but BMW leans towards a more sport-oriented tire.

I can’t say I felt the all-wheel-drive system at work when I rolled out onto the beach for a surf-side photo session, but the X3 handled the soft stuff well enough, its wide tires making for good traction. BMW doesn’t include any manual differential locking or other control over its all-wheel-drive system, so I just had to trust it was doing its thing.

As the 2017 X3 marks the end of the model’s second generation, expect deals as showroooms make way for the 2018 X3.

Wayne Cunningham/Roadshow

At this point, you won’t find the 2017 X3 mentioned on BMW’s website as the company begins promoting the 2018 model. At dealer lots and in the used marketplace, however, the model changeover might mean good deals on the 2017 X3. Given the updated cabin electronics, this X3 conceals its age well.

As a small SUV, it serves quite well. I would like to see better fuel economy, but I don’t expect that to change much for the new generation.

The base price of $41,250 for the 2017 X3 is on par with other small, premium SUVs, like the Audi Q5 and Mercedes-Benz GLC, with the Lexus NX undercutting the Germans by a couple grand. The BMW X3 and Audi Q5 in particular run neck-and-neck when it comes to content, technologies and driving character, making it a tough choice between the two.