Top 10 Best Cars of 2018: Consumer Reports

Jason Siu
by Jason Siu

Get the Flash Player to see this player.

If you’re shopping for a new car and aren’t sure where to start, this list is a great place.

Consumer Reports has released its annual list of the 10 Top Picks, and this year there are seven new vehicles taking top honors in their segments. Leading the way this year is Toyota, with four models in the Top Picks list, while Chevrolet has two.

SEE ALSO: Most Dependable Vehicles of 2018: J.D. Power

Large Car: Chevrolet Impala

One of the three vehicles that were also on the Top Picks list in 2017 is the Chevrolet Impala. Consumer Reports says it “continues to be a gem among large cars, providing a driving experience that’s akin to a luxury car.” The publication also commended the Impala’s spacious and quiet cabin, while handling is commendable, naming it the top Large Car of 2018.

Compact Car: Toyota Corolla

There’s a reason why the Toyota Corolla is so popular among shoppers. This year, the fuel-efficient compact sedan takes top honors in the Compact Car category, thanks to its relatively roomy interior and spacious backseat. Consumer Reports also said its handling is secure and its ride quality is better than other vehicles in its class. While the engine isn’t terribly exciting, it did return 32 mpg overall in testing.

Compact Green Car: Chevrolet Bolt

The Compact Green Car category is new and the Chevrolet Bolt beats out its competitors to land on the Top Picks list. The pure-electric Bolt features a 60-kWh battery pack, offering owners generous range. Also noted was the Bolt’s high driver seating arrangement, which gives a view that’s on par with what’s found in a compact crossover.

Compact SUV: Subaru Forester

The second repeat from last year’s list is the Subaru Forester in the Compact SUV category. The Forester gets recognized as a practical, smartly packaged small SUV that emphasizes fuel economy, room, visibility, and reliability. Getting in and out of the vehicle is convenient and it drives well, says Consumer Reports. And unlike other vehicles in the segment, the Forester’s standard 2.5-liter engine offers decent performance and exceptional fuel economy.

Midsized Car: Toyota Camry

The Toyota Camry is a perennial best seller in the U.S. and for good reason. Over the years, it has developed a reputation for being a competent, well-rounded sedan and with its most recent design, the Japanese automaker is trying to make it more exciting with a more aggressive design. The new model also boasts better handling than its predecessors and fuel economy improved to 32 mpg in Consumer Reports‘ tests with the standard four-cylinder engine. Shoppers looking for even better fuel economy should set their eyes on the hybrid variant, which returned 47 mpg overall.

Midsized SUV: Toyota Highlander

The third and final repeat from last year’s Top Picks is the Toyota Highlander in the Midsized SUV category. As more and more families look at three-row SUVs over minivans, the Highlander stands out for its good performance, fuel economy, and reliability. As Consumer Reports says, it’s large enough to accommodate eight passengers, but small enough for relatively easy parking.

Minivan: Toyota Sienna

But for those families that prefer a minivan, the Toyota Sienna is the way to go. Offering the best all-around package with a comfortable ride, the Sienna stands tall in a segment with few competitors. Inside the spacious cabin, there’s convenient folding seats and available seating for eight.

Full-Sized Pickup Truck: Ford F-150

The Ford F-150 has been America’s best-selling vehicle for decades, so it’s little surprise it’s also Consumer Reports‘ Top Pick in the Full-Sized Pickup Truck category. The latest-generation model sheds quite a bit of weight thanks to the use of aluminum, while the 2.7-liter turbocharged V6 engine remains impressive by delivering 19 mpg overall, while offering quick acceleration and effortless towing ability.

Luxury Compact Car: Audi A4

You may be surprised not to see the BMW 3 Series taking top honors in the Luxury Compact Car category, but that’s how much the segment has changed. Instead, the Audi A4 takes home top honors for being sporty, luxurious, and polished. Consumer Reports says the sedan is very satisfying to drive, offering nimble and secure handling with minimal body roll and responsive steering. The turbocharged four-cylinder engine also left good impressions, offering great performance and fuel economy.

Luxury Compact SUV: BMW X3

But at least BMW can take claim to the Luxury Compact SUV category with the X3, leaving Mercedes-Benz without a vehicle in this year’s Top Picks list. The BMW X3 was recently redesigned for the 2018 model year, combining driving enjoyment, comfort, slick technology, and utility in one appealing package.

Jason Siu
Jason Siu

Jason Siu began his career in automotive journalism in 2003 with Modified Magazine, a property previously held by VerticalScope. As the West Coast Editor, he played a pivotal role while also extending his expertise to Modified Luxury & Exotics and Modified Mustangs. Beyond his editorial work, Jason authored two notable Cartech books. His tenure at saw him immersed in the daily news cycle, yet his passion for hands-on evaluation led him to focus on testing and product reviews, offering well-rounded recommendations to AutoGuide readers. Currently, as the Content Director for VerticalScope, Jason spearheads the content strategy for an array of online publications, a role that has him at the helm of ensuring quality and consistency across the board.

More by Jason Siu

Join the conversation