Check out Consumer Reports’ top picks for 2023 vehicles before you buy
March 11, 2023
Buying a new car is among one the most challenging purchases a consumer needs to make.
Every year, Consumer Reports, a research, testing, and advocacy organization, conducts a battery of tests on the vehicles it evaluates, including braking, handling, comfort, convenience, safety, and fuel economy.
Eight of the 10 top picks are new to the list this year – the Toyota Corolla Hybrid, Toyota Corolla Cross, Toyota Camry Hybrid, Ford Maverick Hybrid, Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid, Lexus NX350h, Nissan Leaf, and Tesla Model 3. The two remaining vehicles were top picks last year. They’re the Subaru Forester and Kia Telluride.
Six of the 10 top picks also earned Consumer Reports’ Green Choice designation, meaning they’re in the top 20 percent of vehicles that emit the lowest amount of greenhouse gasses and other pollutants, based on Environmental Protection Agency data. Those vehicles are the: Toyota Corolla Hybrid, Toyota Camry Hybrid, Ford Maverick Hybrid, Nissan Leaf, Lexus NX350h, and Tesla Model 3.
Consumer Reports’ top picks by price category
Here’s a comment from the testing organization on each vehicle on its best choices list. For more information, go to CR.org/spotlight.
Toyota Corolla Hybrid: The compact sedan has outstanding fuel economy at 48 m.p.g. overall in Consumer Reports’ tests.
Toyota Corolla Cross: The size and traditional boxy shape make the Corolla Cross relatively roomy for the class.
$25,000 to $35,000
Subaru Forester: Key to its appeal is the basic design, which provides solid crash protection, a spacious cabin, a generous cargo area, and terrific outward visibility.
Toyota Camry Hybrid: It offers comfort, convenience, reliability, and value.
Ford Maverick Hybrid: It combines a low base price with a standard hybrid powertrain and front-wheel drive that delivered 37 m.p.g. overall in Consumer Reports’ tests.
Nissan Leaf: The Leaf shows that not all electric cars are out-of-reach expensive.
$35,000 to $45,000
Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid: The hybrid engine is more powerful, polished, and efficient than the standard engine.
Kia Telluride: The Telluride is freshened for 2023, with a larger infotainment screen and expanded driving assistance features.
$45,000 – $55,000
Lexus NX350h: The hybrid delivers an impressive 38 mpg overall.
Tesla Model 3: Tesla’s Supercharger network makes taking a trip in a Tesla a far better experience than in any other electric vehicle.
Consumer Reports is one of the best sources of information when you’re buying a vehicle. It buys all of its test cars anonymously from dealers and doesn’t accept free samples from automakers for any of its ratings or evaluations. Consumer Reports’ testers drive a total of 500,000 miles annually in the vehicles it evaluates.
We're in the market for a new car this year, so thanks for this list. The problem we've found is that some of the cars are not available. The other problem is that when they say it's, say, between $25,000 and $35,000 like the Forester, the real cost is $35,000 to $45,000 by the time you get the options you want and pay the tax. And then there's the financing! So now we're thinking, first, we'll play the lottery.
Posted by: Tom from Sightnigs | March 11, 2023 at 07:46 AM
Good luck with your car shopping. It's so important to study up on which car will best meet your needs. Then, there's the financing. That's another topic. Be sure to check out what your local credit unions have to offer. Many have expanded memberships. They often have a lower interest rate and you don't have to worry about tricky terms. Here's an article about financing problems to watch out for when buying a new car: https://www.realcartips.com/carloans/020-how-dealers-make-money-on-car-loans.shtml.
Posted by: Rita | March 11, 2023 at 12:15 PM
I haven't found Consumer Reports to be reliable in the past 15 year or so. I bought a used 2013 Subaru Forester prior to the pandemic, imo it's not as good value as the 1999 Subaru Legacy Outback it replaced, even thought it was well rated by CR. My vehicle was still under its original warranty when I purchased it, first thing that happened was that I got a recall notice, but when I took it to the dealership where I'd bought it, I was eventually told it didn't qualify (qualifying would've meant a replacement of alot, can't remember if it would've been the entire engine or just part of it) because it hadn't lost enough engine oil during the miles I'd driven--the recall requirements were that X amount of oil was used or leaked during a set number of miles being driven. Too bad the dealer's employee who checked it stated that # of miles was less then the recall notice stated (and yes, it was my "fault" for not bringing the wrtten notice w/me so I could've successfully contested what the dealer's employee/mechanic said since I guess it's too much to expect a dealer to be honest).
As a result, I have to check the oil every other time I drive the vehicle & always before I drive 40 miles or more. I have to add oil fairly often. It takes so-called "synthetic oil" (although it's still a petroleum product) which is more expensive then regular engine oil. I wanted a standard transmission (manual transmission)-- one of the reasons I bought a 2013 model, but the manual transmission again isn't as good as that on the 1999 Outback. I liked the far better visibility of the '99 Outback and the older Forester models, the more recent SUV like models of both do not have as good actual/physical visibility (have larger blind spots) although it may be that current models also use cameras, which of course, can fail and will cost to repair or replace.
In retrospect, I should've looked for used stationwagons w/manual transmissions rather then SUV type vehicles that aren't actually built on SUV chassis (or that's what I read about this model of the Forester). I found the all wheel drive of the Outback to be great/very useful on occasion, plus the Outback was very reliable and didn't need many repairs, all reasons I decided to buy another Subaru.
I very much dislike Subaru's policy of running car ads on commerical (has ads) TV that pretty much always show Subarus being driven through creek beds, leaving a huge amount of dust in the air after skdding around on bare soil in dry (scenic) areas, and generally doing what they can to destroy natural environments.
I particularly noticed & was upset by the ads because I didn't watch TV at all for years, except occasionally when visiting someone who did (and I watched w/that person/people), and only until I got bored (frequent). So hadn't noticed how much "free" tv had deteriorated, how much more viewing time was taken up w/ads and what kinds of ads, since I got rid of cable. I'd been told that I couldn't get TV w/out cable (this is before streaming, Roku, Netflix, et al) but a year or so ago, I learned I can t I can get some channels w/an exterior antenna. Which I why I can now see all the horrible Subaru (and US & Toyota pick up ads) ads, although I've noticed I'm watching more DVDs and less TV.
Posted by: azure | March 12, 2023 at 07:00 PM
I'm sorry you're having problems with your Subaru Forester. It's a huge consumer problem that car dealers are so dishonest and you couldn't trust a dealership representative to give you the correct information. Have you tried filing a complaint with the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Posted by: Rita | March 12, 2023 at 11:01 PM
I use this all the time for big purchases.
Posted by: Carol Cassara | March 13, 2023 at 05:56 AM