Nobody assesses motor vehicles quite like Consumer Reports. The trusted and reputable organization goes to great lengths to carefully evaluate and grade each brand and model of car released every year – all in an effort to tell consumers their picks for the best vehicles in terms of safety, reliability, and cost. Recently, Consumer Reports issued its annual list of the 10 best vehicles of the year for 2017, and we feel it would be helpful to share this list with our readers in hopes that it will help you make more informed automotive purchase decisions. As Consumer Reports states: “The best new cars of 2017 are outstanding all-around performers—shown to be reliable, safe, and satisfying.” Here is the list with some analysis of our own added.
10. Subcompact Car: Toyota Yaris iA
While marketed and sold under the Toyota brand, the Yaris iA was actually developed by Mazda. And owners of this car will likely notice that the Yaris iA packs a punch. Consumer Reports describes this car as “frisky” and says that “The Yaris iA proves that subcompact cars can delight.” Note that the Yaris iA is not to be confused with the Toyota Yaris hatchback. While sharing a name, the iA is a sedan meant to appeal to urban sophisticates. It has an impressive four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission, and has earned praise for being an extremely smooth ride. Observant drivers will feel the work of Mazda engineers in the steering and handling of this car, both of which are superior to competing subcompact sedans. Other reasons to buy this car include a full infotainment system that comes standard in the base model.
Starting Price: $17,500
Fuel Economy: 35 miles per gallon
9. Compact Car: Chevrolet Cruze
Getting the nod from Consumer Reports in the compact car category is the Chevy Cruze, which is a bit of an upset, since typically the Honda Civic or the Toyota Corolla wins this honor. However, Chevrolet pulled off the victory by putting out a Cruze sedan and hatchback that are clearly at the top of their class. Key to the Cruze earning top scores from Consumer Reports was the fact that Chevrolet produced this car using the same approach it takes to larger vehicles such as the Malibu and Impala. The Cruze might be smaller in size, however the engineers at Chevy have taken care to preserve the driving experience and features found in larger models. The result is a quiet and smooth driving sedan that’s roomy enough to be a viewed as a budget-friendly alternative to a pricier midsized car. Of course the 153 horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine has also helped to sell critics and evaluators on this model.
Starting Price: $23,000
Fuel Economy: 30 miles per gallon/47 miles per gallon highway