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Top 10 vehicles, brands with highest satisfaction ratings

Consumer Reports’ latest annual owner satisfaction survey covers 350,000 vehicles from one to three years old. Respondents were asked whether they would get the same car all over again, and to consider attributes such as styling, comfort, features, cargo space, fuel economy, maintenance and repair costs, overall value, and driving dynamics.

The following list shows the top 10 vehicles with the highest satisfaction ratings. Note that the Nissan Sentra (47%), Jeep Compass (43%), and Nissan Versa Sedan (42%) were the least satisfying models according to owners.

  1. Tesla Model S (98 %)
  2. Chevrolet Corvette Stingray (95%)
  3. Porsche Cayman (91%)
  4. Porsche Boxster (91%)
  5. Porsche 911 (88%)
  6. Mercedes-Benz E 250 BlueTEC (88%)
  7. Porsche Cayenne (87%)
  8. BMW 328d (86%)
  9. Dodge Challenger (86%)
  10. Chevrolet Volt (85%)

Here are the highest rated vehicles in each market segment:

  • Subcompact: Fiat 500 (64%)
  • Compact: Mazda3 2.5L (79%)
  • Midsize: Mazda6 (81%)
  • Full-size: Dodge Charger (82%)
  • Coupe/Convertible: Audi S5 (79%)
  • Sport: Chevrolet Corvette Stingray (95%)
  • EV/Hybrid: Tesla Model S (98%)
  • Wagon: Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon (80%)
  • Premium compact: BMW 328d (86%)
  • Premium Midsize/Full-size: Mercedes-Benz E-Class BlueTEC (88%)
  • Compact SUV: Subaru Forester 2.5i (83%)
  • Midsize SUV: Toyota Highlander V6 (82%)
  • Full-size SUV: Chevrolet Suburban (84%)
  • Premium compact SUV: Audi Q5 TDI (84%)
  • Premium Midsize/Full-size SUV: Porsche Cayenne (87%)
  • Minivan: Honda Odyssey (76%)
  • Pickup: Ford F-250 and F-350 PowerStroke (80%)

Here are the highest rated vehicle makes:

  1. Tesla: 98%
  2. Porsche: 87%
  3. Audi: 79%
  4. Mercedes-Benz: 76%
  5. Lexus: 76%
  6. Jaguar: 75%
  7. Subaru: 74%
  8. Ram: 73%
  9. Dodge: 73%
  10. Volvo: 73%

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Sours: https://www.auto123.com/en/news/top-10-vehicles-brands-with-highest-satisfaction-ratings/59987/

We're half way through 2021 (somehow) and that means it's time for the second update to our living list of highest-rated vehicles. There are a host of changes at both ends of the scale, with over half the original field falling off. In their place, there's one very obvious vehicle at the top and a few surprises scattered throughout. As always, you can check the change log at the bottom of a page for a breakdown of what was added and removed.

For those who need a refresher, we launched a redesigned rating system at the beginning of the year that focuses on rating cars more directly against their main competition. The seven categories remain the same, but we've sorted out the industry based on vehicle classes and implemented a unique algorithm for each segment that weighs categories differently. So instead of the Performance and Safety ratings affecting minivans and track cars equally, the former's algorithm emphasizes safety while the latter's places greater emphasis on the performance score.

Our new rating system also had the welcome side effect of boosting scores overall, so that our scores more or less mirror an American grading scale. Instead of a bunch of 7s and a few 8s at the top of the chart, our top-rated vehicles earn at least a 9 overall, or the equivalent of an A-. We also began issuing ratings to vehicles we're testing for the first time, rather than waiting for a week-long loan on our home turf. That means not only are we comparing cars more directly, we're rating far more of them per year.

Refresher done, read on for the ten highest rated cars we've reviewed this year.

10. 2021 Hyundai Sonata N-Line: 9.4/10

Sporty mid-size family sedans are hardly a new thing, but the Hyundai Sonata N-Line shocked us with its excellent driving character. Impeccable handling – not just for a front-drive family sedan, but full stop – combined with a robust turbocharged powertrain and low-key design tweaks elevate the otherwise likable Sonata to a place we didn’t really think it’d ever reach. Before you go for a BMW 3 Series or Audi A4, maybe have a look at Hyundai’s sportiest mid-sizer.

Get pricing on the 2021 Hyundai Sonata N-Line.

9. 2021 Audi S5 Sportback: 9.4/10

While we’ve always had a soft spot for Audi’s mid-range S models, the S5 Sportback surprised us with its near-perfect balance of performance, comfort, and style. The five-door body is more versatile than a coupe while losing little of the look, but it’s also more versatile than a sedan. Combine that with a dynamite powertrain, typically excellent Audi technology, and a refined cabin, and the S5 Sportback is a tough car to beat.

Get pricing on the 2021 Audi S5 Sportback.

8. 2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600: 9.5/10

The second vehicle in Mercedes' ultra-luxurious Maybach line is the GLS-based 600. By ditching the third-row bench, the Maybach GLS does its thing to make life for second-row occupants even better. The ride is superb, with a Maybach-specific driving mode that can soak up just about any punishment. That said, it disappointed us with some carryover tech items from the standard GLS.

Get pricing on the 2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600.

7. 2021 Genesis GV80: 9.5/10

Like the G80 sedan, the Genesis GV80 combats its German competitors with an almost single-minded focus on a luxurious driving experience. Unlike the G80, it’s a more versatile family hauler, offering an available third row of seats that’s just large enough for smaller children. Even if you go with the standard five-seat model, though, you’ll find a crossover with an excellent tech suite, smart driver aids, and a quiet and comfortable cabin and ride.

Get pricing on the 2021 Genesis GV80.

6. 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo: 9.6/10

Arguably the best sports car to drive year round, the updated Porsche 911 Turbo now matches the previous 911 Turbo S, with additional power and more sporting suspension technology. All-wheel drive remains standard and, along with a set of winter tires, proves that if you want to go fast in the snow, a 911 is a stellar option.

Get pricing on the 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo.

5. 2022 Honda Civic Sedan: 9.6/10

The latest Honda Civic takes a step away from the wild and angular design of last year in favor of a cleaner and more refined look. While some might view it as boring or safe, we mostly like what Honda’s done to the exterior. We love what’s happened in the cabin, though, which Honda has thoroughly revised, introducing a retro element to the dash that stands out while hiding the climate vents. Class-leading tech and an enjoyable driving experience, both trademarks from the last-generation car, remain. The result is arguably the best compact car in the class.

Get pricing on the 2022 Honda Civic Sedan.

4. 2021 Audi RS6 Avant: 9.6/10

After literal decades of waiting, Audi dropped the bombshell that the RS6 was returning with an all-caps press release and a long, tear-jerking YouTube video about all the long-roofs that came before. The 2021 RS6 Avant is an absolute joy – a blisteringly quick, supremely comfortable wagon that's capable of fulfilling the needs of virtually any owner, including Americans. It's about damn time.

Get pricing on the 2021 Audi RS6 Avant.

3. 2021 Nissan Rogue: 9.7/10

The 2021 Nissan Rogue is an exceptional effort on the part of a troubled automaker. With impressive space, ample ride comfort, smart technology, and some of the best active safety gear in the class, only its plain exterior design lets down its near-perfect score. In terms of fuel economy, safety, comfort, and price – the things a family-focused crossover should be best at – it's a triumph.

Get pricing on the 2021 Nissan Rogue.

2. 2021 Genesis G80: 9.7/10

The Genesis G80 earns its place for an avant-garde design, both inside and out, and a firm focus on a luxurious driving experience. It’s comfortable, stylish, and smart above all else. And while that might make it somewhat easy to argue against, especially for fans of sportier German alternatives like the Audi A6 and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the G80 fulfils its brief as a modern luxury sedan perfectly with a freshness that further separates it from the pack.

Get pricing on the 2021 Genesis G80.

1. 2021 Mercedes-Benz S580: 9.7/10

We’re only halfway through 2021, but it’s entirely possible we’ve already driven this year’s top-rated car. The inimitable Mercedes-Benz S-Class, fully redesigned and loaded to the gills with technology, remains the standard by which other luxury vehicles are measured. While we took some issues with this new model’s rather bland styling, we had nothing but praise for the way it seamlessly integrates technology to make driving more comfortable for its very lucky driver and passengers.

Get pricing on the 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

  • April 1, 2021: List created with Volkswagen ID.4, Toyota RAV4 Prime, Acura MDX, Land Rover Defender, Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, Mercedes-AMG E63 S Wagon, Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600, Porsche 911 Turbo, Audi RS6 Avant, and Nissan Rogue.
  • July 1, 2021: Volkswagen ID.4 (9.0/10), Toyota RAV4 Prime (9.0/10), Acura MDX (9.1/10), Land Rover Defender (9.2/10), Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid (9.2/10), and Mercedes-AMG E63S Wagon (9.3/10) removed. Added Hyundai Sonata N-Line (9.4/10), Audi S5 Sportback (9.4/10), Genesis GV80 (9.5/10), Honda Civic Sedan (9.6/10), Genesis G80 (9.7/10), and Mercedes-Benz S580 (9.7/10).
  • October 1, 2021: TBD
  • January 1, 2022: TBD
Sours: https://www.motor1.com/reviews/498287/best-cars-trucks-2021-review/
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These are the 23 highest quality new cars, trucks and SUVs of 2021, according to J.D. Power

The Ram truck and van brand bested all other automotive brands as the highest quality vehicle lineup for the 2021 model year, according to an influential study.

The closely followed J.D. Power Initial Quality Study named Ram and its sibling brand, Dodge, as the first and second highest quality brands in the industry, respectively.

They topped top-of-the-list stalwart Lexus, the luxury brand made by Toyota. Lexus tied for third with Mitsubishi.

“This is not a data-point; this is a trend,” said Mark Champine, head of North America customer experience at Stellantis, which makes the Ram, Dodge, Jeep, Chrysler and Fiat brands, in a statement. “Anyone who knows the robustness of our product-improvement processes, as well as the engagement level of our workforce, is not surprised by these latest results.”

The 35th annual J.D. Power study assessed the first three months of 2021 model-year vehicle ownership among nearly 111,000 owners, who answered 223 questions about features like infotainment, powertrain, comfort and safety.

The assessment is separate from J.D. Power's annual Vehicle Dependability Study, which tracks the reliability of cars, trucks and SUVs after three years of use. 

The 2021 Ram 1500 TRX pickup. The Ram brand was named as the highest quality brand of the 2021 model year in the J.D. Power 2021 Initial Quality Study.

In the 2021 IQS study, the Nissan Maxima, a large car, ranked as the highest quality vehicle.

Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Group, which includes the Hyundai and Kia brands, had seven vehicles named as the highest quality models in their individual categories, the most of any company. (See the full list below.)

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Toyota had five, BMW four, Nissan three, General Motors two and Stellantis two.

The industry average was 162 problems per 100 vehicles, which was fourmore than in 2020. Twenty of the 32 measured brands improved their quality compared with 2020.

But infotainment shortcomings continue to undermine vehicle quality, according to J.D. Power.

It was "the most problematic category," representing 1 in 4 of all problems and 6 of the 10 most common issues, according to J.D. Power.

One of the most common problems: people are frustrated when their phones don't seamlessly connect with their vehicles.

“Owners are caught in the middle when vehicle and phone technologies don’t properly connect,” Dave Sargent, vice president of automotive quality at J.D. Power, said in a statement. “This year there are many examples of smartphone technology not working as intended in new vehicles. With more vehicles being fitted with the wireless technology owners want, the study reveals an increase in connectivity problems between smartphones and vehicles, leaving many owners unhappy.”

The five lowest officially ranked brands were Alfa Romeo, Volvo, Volkswagen, Audi and Chrysler. 

Tesla was not included in the official rankings since it does not provide permission for its owners to be surveyed in the 15 states where such permission is required. But based on the automaker's scores in the other 35 states, it ranks as the third-lowest quality brand, according to J.D. Power. 

Here are the 23 highest quality 2021 vehicles in their respective categories, according to J.D. Power:

  • Small car: Hyundai Accent
  • Small premium car: BMW 2 Series
  • Compact car: Kia Forte
  • Compact premium car: Lexus RC
  • Premium sporty car: Chevrolet Corvette
  • Midsize car: Nissan Altima
  • Midsize premium car: Cadillac CT5
  • Upper midsize premium car: Genesis G80
  • Large car: Nissan Maxima
  • Small SUV: Kia Soul
  • Small premium SUV: Lexus UX
  • Compact SUV: Kia Sportage
  • Compact premium SUV: BMW X4
  • Midsize SUV: Nissan Murano
  • Midsize premium SUV: Lexus RX
  • Upper midsize SUV: Kia Telluride
  • Upper midsize premium SUV: BMW X6
  • Large SUV: Toyota Sequoia
  • Large premium SUV: BMW X7
  • Minivan: Kia Sedona
  • Midsize pickup: Jeep Gladiator
  • Large light-duty pickup: Toyota Tundra
  • Large heavy-duty pickup: Ram 2500/3500

Here are the highest-quality auto brands for 2021 (ranked by number of problems per 100 vehicles):

  • Ram (128)
  • Dodge (139)
  • Lexus (144)
  • Mitsubishi (144)
  • Nissan (146)
  • Kia (147)
  • Genesis (148)
  • Hyundai (149)
  • Jeep (149)
  • Chevrolet (151)
  • Mini (151)
  • Buick (156)
  • Toyota (157)
  • Ford (162)
  • Lincoln (163)
  • Porsche (163)
  • GMC (164)
  • Honda (164)
  • Jaguar (165)
  • BMW (166)
  • Infiniti (170)
  • Cadillac (173)
  • Mazda (177)
  • Subaru (182)
  • Mercedes-Benz (193)
  • Acura (200)
  • Land Rover (200)
  • Alfa Romeo (204)
  • Volvo (210)
  • Volkswagen (213)
  • Tesla (231)*
  • Audi (240)
  • Chrysler (251)

*Tesla's score is based on vehicle owners from 35 states since the automaker did not provide J.D. Power permission to survey its owners in the 15 states where such permission is required.

You can follow USA TODAY reporter Nathan Bomey on Twitter @NathanBomey and subscribe to our free Daily Money newsletter here for personal finance tips and business news every Monday through Friday morning.

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Sours: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2021/08/31/jd-power-iqs-best-quality-cars-trucks-suvs-pickups-2021/5606471001/

Best car manufacturers 2021

What are the best car manufacturers in the UK? The 2021 Driver Power survey provided detailed responses from vehicle owners and we’ve analysed the data to find out how the UK’s biggest brands stack up.

Our Driver Power survey has been updated to mark its 20th anniversary, and our brands section includes similar changes to the new-car results. That means more questions about tech, a new assessment for value for money, and even greater rigour when it comes to data processing. We’ve also included a percentage score based on the number of owners who said they’d had a problem with a specific maker’s cars.

While the new-car survey pits individual models against each other and makes comparisons between different classes of car, we recognise that many buyers shop across segments. After all, showrooms are notoriously tempting places, and people often drive away from a manufacturer’s dealership in a car with the same emblem on its bonnet, but that might be larger, smaller, faster or taller compared with the one they originally set out intending to buy.

• Click here to take our Driver Power survey right now

Our brands survey is therefore a great tool, because it can tell you which manufacturers are best equipped to offer you certain characteristics if you opt for a particular marque.

Scroll down to read our about the top ten best car manufacturers in 2021 and to view the full table of the top 29...

The top 10 best manufacturers 2021

1. Porsche – 93.20%

  • Key points: Porsche doesn’t fall short in any area of our survey. It is a true all-round sports luxury brand that offers buyers exactly what they want.
  • Average share of owners who had faults with their cars: 14.10%

Topping the tables of our brand rundown is Porsche. It’s a premium maker for sure, but here is a company with cars that more than justify their prices, according to your feedback. The German sports and luxury car maker won six out of the 10 categories our brands are judged on and, in doing so, blew the competition away.

It should come as no surprise that one of the most well established performance firms in the world won every single field in the ride and handling category, including driving pleasure and road handling; that’s an astonishing result nonetheless, though, and a feat we can’t remember any other maker achieving.

Owners also love the design and build quality of their Porsches, and the brand even scored well for practicality related matters such as boot space and seating versatility. Those results were no doubt bolstered by the Cayenne and Macan SUVs, but they indicate Porsche is meeting and exceeding owner expectations in many areas.

You say the fuel economy you get from your Porsches is good given the performance on offer, while the infotainment systems are excellent in every way. Everywhere you look, in fact, Porsche impresses. It might seem likely, for example, that owners would report expensive servicing, but even here the brand does reasonably well, finishing 12th out of our 29 makers. Similarly, despite being cars that are designed to be driven hard, you tell us no other firm makes more dependable vehicles, something that’s backed up by a below-average fault rate.

There’s barely a bad word to be heard about Porsche, and the manufacturer is a more than worthy winner of our brands rundown.

2. Kia – 90.14%

  • Key points: Strong scores right across the board; reliability and build quality being highlights.
  • Average share of owners who had faults with their cars: 19.63%

A brilliant set of scores for Kia that never stray outside the top 10 in any single category. The Korean brand also beat its sister firm Hyundai, as well as every one of its rivals in terms of price and segment.

Kia’s investment in research and development has paid off, it seems, illustrated by superb scores for overall reliability and build quality. Owners are hugely impressed by the quality of the materials used in their cars for the price, while value for money is another major strong suit.

Kias are well styled inside and out, you say, and have effective brakes, responsive steering and smooth rides, while handling well and being fun to drive. You also tell us your Kias have extremely versatile seating, with large boots and lots of interior storage spaces. Scores for infotainment are also excellent, with you telling us the systems are easy to use, with well balanced controls and good smartphone connectivity, satellite navigation and audio.

3. Tesla – 89.39%

  • Key points: Tesla wins big for powertrains, running costs and tech, but quality could improve.
  • Average share of owners who had faults with their cars: 42.59%

We may not frequently find Tesla in our Driver Power survey, but the Model 3’s success has helped the all-electric US brand hit the ground running, and take the bronze medal.

You say no other brand’s cars have better powertrains, with Tesla top for acceleration. Owners also praise practicality, with big scores for boot capacity and interior storage spaces. You tell us your Teslas are very cheap to run, not just with ‘fuel’ savings, but also when it comes to servicing and insurance. Overall build quality could improve, though, while the reported fault rate is high.

Tesla is known for fitting its cars with lots of cutting-edge technology and driver aids, including its Autopilot adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping system.

These features prove popular with owners,  who feel their Teslas have an unparalleled number of safety features and that these can be activated and deactivated perfectly easily and quickly.

4. Mazda – 89.38%

  • Key points: Well made and smart-looking, Mazda’s models are also a joy to drive.
  • Average share of owners who had faults with their cars: 34.58%

Mazda gets a very tidy set of scores across the board. Owners are very positive about the way their cars drive, with road handling, driving pleasure and brakes standout areas, while ride quality and steering responsiveness are also praised.

Mazdas have brilliant overall build quality, your scores show too, with reliability a strong area. In addition you’re impressed by the materials used inside and out on your models, which also have excellent styling, you tell us.

Mazdas are considered great value for money by owners, and the brand also scores some wins in the infotainment area. No manufacturer was ranked better for the user-friendliness of its controls or for its smartphone connectivity, and you also tell us Mazda’s heating and air-con systems work effectively.

Finally, running costs are reasonable for Mazdas. You say insurance tends to be cheap and fuel economy is respectable.

5. Toyota – 88.00%

  • Key points: Toyotas are considered unrivalled for fuel economy, and are well built and reliable.
  • Average share of owners who had faults with their cars: 15.27%

We’re into the top five now and brands need to score extremely well and consistently to reach this point. Toyota has done just that, with owners having lots of positive things to say about the Japanese maker.

Toyota gets some high marks for the stereo systems, plus owners say there’s a great balance between physical and touchscreen controls for the infotainment, indicating things have improved a great deal in recent years for the brand.

The manufacturer earns a solid score in the engine and gearbox category, with equally good ratings for acceleration, engine note and gearbox smoothness. Owners tell us their Toyotas are well built and prove reliable as well.

Additionally, the maker beats every other brand in this survey when it comes to fuel economy, helped, no doubt, by its wide range of hybrid models. All other running costs, including servicing and insurance are also low.

6. Honda – 87.54%

  • Key points: Hondas are deemed practical and economical, with good boot capacities.
  • Average share of owners who had faults with their cars: 14.44%

Honda achieves a fairly consistent set of scores across the various categories. The best area for the firm is practicality. You tell us Honda’s cars usually have excellent boot capacity, with flexible seating and plenty of interior storage spaces.

Interiors also find favour with owners. No brand earned a better score for rear-seat legroom, and there was general positivity around the cabin styling and build quality of the Japanese manufacturer’s cars.

Hondas are also extremely good on fuel, we’re told, and don’t cost much to service either, even though insurance and some other costs can be a bit high. The brand did pick up good marks for its steering and brakes, however.

Furthermore, Honda’s vehicles come with great air-conditioning and heating set-ups, along with strong stereos and good smartphone connectivity, even if its systems could be more user-friendly overall, you tell us.

7. Jaguar – 87.52%

  • Key points: Jaguar makes cars that drive well and ride comfortably.
  • Average share of owners who had faults with their cars: 30.22%

Seventh place in this survey is a big achievement for Jaguar and one it will be proud of, because it positions the firm ahead of its key rivals in the premium car market, including BMW, Audi, Mercedes and Volvo.

Jaguar’s strongest area is the way its models drive. Owners ranked them highly for road handling and steering responsiveness, while driving pleasure was also praised.

You tell us your cars have lots of safety features that work well and are easy to turn on or off. You also have good things to say about the build quality, and while reliability isn’t quite so well thought of, Jag finishes in the top half of the survey in this area, indicating when faults manifest, they may not be serious.

Exterior design, plus the fit and finish of the materials used here are also positive, according to owners. Interior styling gets a good reception as well, and you find the front seats are comfy, while there’s lots of space in the back of most of the firm’s cars.

8. Mitsubishi – 87.38%

  • Key points: Mitsubishis are cheap to run, reliable and practical
  • Average share of owners who had faults with their cars: 12.86%

Not only is Mitsubishi a small brand in the UK, but by the end of 2021 it will have become a purely aftersales service, having announced an exit from our new car market. That’s a shame, because owners clearly approve of the brand’s products.

Low running costs are a big plus for the firm’s cars: insurance and other ancillary costs tend to be cheap, as does servicing, while good fuel economy is achievable. You also say that your Mitsubishis are extremely reliable, with good overall build quality, too.

Another area the firm does well in is practicality, with owners praising the large boot capacities the brand’s models tend to have, while there’s a good selection of interior storage spaces available as well.

In addition, you report that your Mitsubishis have very smooth gearboxes as well as user-friendly infotainment systems that benefit from sensitive touchscreens and good smartphone connectivity.

9. Volvo – 87.34%

  • Key points: Volvos are practical, luxurious and cheap to service.
  • Average share of owners who had faults with their cars: 20.49%

A strong result for Volvo here, partly led by the interior quality and practicality these premium Swedish cars offer. No brand has a better selection of cubbyholes in its cars according to respondents, and boot capacity is a strong area, too.

You can also expect very comfy front seats, with lots of space for rear passengers as well. The brand’s cabins are elegantly styled and well made, and that build quality also extends to the exteriors of the cars.

Volvos, you say, have an excellent number of safety features fitted as standard, and these are simple to activate or deactivate. Furthermore, it doesn’t cost a lot to get a Volvo serviced at a main dealer, but running costs are pushed up by reportedly high fuel consumption.

Moving to the infotainment side of things, Volvos have excellent stereo systems, according to owners, but the overall user-friendliness of the set-ups needs to be improved, you tell us.

10. Lexus – 87.11%

  • Key points: Lexus praised for the build quality and refinement of its cars, as well as their safety.
  • Average share of owners who had faults with their cars: 9.79%

It’s no small feat for a car maker to reach the top 10 of the Driver Power brands survey, but Lexus has a habit of winning, taking first prize in 2020 and several years before that.

A drop to 10th place will be a disappointment for the Japanese firm, but the survey has undergone changes this year, such as the inclusion of two rival brands not normally featured, plus additional questions posed to respondents relating to value for money and infotainment systems.

Lexus still earned some very good scores, though. You say the safety equipment functions well and is easy to activate and deactivate. Cars from the luxury arm of Toyota are well made, too; you raved about the quality of the materials used inside and out, with overall quality earning a respectable score. You also tell us Lexus cars have smooth gearboxes and are quiet, but the firm loses points when it comes to value, and where its infotainment is concerned.

Best car manufacturers: 1-29

1Porsche93.20%
2Kia90.14%
3Tesla89.39%
4Mazda89.38%
5Toyota88.00%
6Honda87.54%
7Jaguar87.52%
8Mitsubishi87.38%
9Volvo87.37%
10Lexus87.11%
11Peugeot86.90%
12Skoda86.68%
13Mercedes86.59%
14Suzuki86.31%
15SEAT86.24%
16Hyundai86.15%
17Volkswagen85.97%
18Nissan85.71%
19MINI85.54%
20Renault85.34%
21BMW85.29%
22Land Rover84.99%
23Audi84.91%
24Vauxhall84.61%
25Ford84.42%
26Fiat84.41%
27Dacia83.94%
28Citroen83.76%
29MG83.62%

You can get all of the Driver Power 2021 results here. Don't buy your new car without checking them...

Sours: https://www.autoexpress.co.uk/best-cars/driver-power/91289/best-car-manufacturers

Rated car highest

Best Used Cars Under $15,000 For 2021

It’s possible to stroll down to a dealer today and drive home in a brand new base-model Chevrolet Spark for less than $15,000. It’s cheap and cheerful, and comes in cool colors like “Passion Fruit,” but it’s also a tiny machine with crank windows and no active safety features. But the same amount of cash can also buy you a vast array of used cars that are bigger, faster, flashier and come with more features. 

The effects of Covid-19 on the automotive supply chain have caused used car prices to increase over the last year, but buying a used car is easier and less risky than ever before. Thanks to improvements in quality and technology, the average age of cars on U.S. roads is now 12.1 years, according to data from IHS Markit. What’s more, $15,000 is a budget large enough to include some Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) vehicles, which carry extended manufacturer or dealer-backed warranties.

Glancing at $15,000 used car listings yields everything from tail-finned DeSotos to Porsche parts cars, but the majority of buyers are interested in squeezing the most value out of their dollar for a daily driver. Using a combination of owner feedback, reliability ratings, average transaction prices and expertise from the Forbes Wheels staff, we compiled a list of 20 of the best used vehicles $15,000 will buy.    

To meet our criteria, cars had to be newer than the 2008 model year and commonly available nationwide for under $15,000. We prioritized newness, reliability scores, low costs of ownership and the likelihood of being able to find a vehicle with a meaningful warranty. Against these priorities we factored in available safety and convenience features, style and performance. There is some overlap with our list of the Best Used Cars for $10,000; and vehicles on that list can often be found in better condition at this higher price point. We always recommend a mechanical inspection before purchase as even the most historically reliable cars suffer over time without proper maintenance.

1. 2014 to 2018 Mazda3

Why we picked it: Introduced in late 2013, the third-generation Mazda3 transformed what was already a good compact car into a truly great one and helped start Mazda’s upmarket journey. Pretty to look at inside and out, its slick style is matched with lots of tech. A modern infotainment screen sits atop the dash, and Touring and Grand Touring trims offer blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alerts. The third-gen 3 is powered by a pair of peppy four-cylinder engines, a 2.0-liter with 155 horsepower or a 2.5-liter unit with 184, with an available manual transmission. Like earlier 3s, it’s fun to drive and available as a sedan or a more practical hatchback, but it also layers on better reliability ratings than the previous designs.

Pros:

  • Sporty handling, involving performance
  • Practical available hatchback body
  • Modern design and features

Cons:

  • Fewer features on base models
  • Hard to find CPO examples at this price
  • Sedan lacks trunk space; not the biggest back seat

2. 2011-2015 Lexus CT 200h

Why we picked it: As a compact commuter car, it’s hard to top the CT 200h. A relative of the Toyota Prius, the CT inherits superior fuel economy (up to 42 mpg combined) but layers on the Lexus experience. It has a plush, quiet and comfortable interior with up to 34.8 cubic-feet of cargo space and many available tech features, including navigation and a dated but functional infotainment system. It also enjoys Lexus’ reputation for quality, with high marks for long-term durability and low costs of ownership. The only thing it lacks is real performance. The CT handles well, but despite racy styling and “F-Sport” body kits, it has just 134 horsepower on tap, and is more sedate to drive than it looks.

Pros:

  • Good looking and luxurious
  • Excellent fuel mileage, low costs of ownership
  • Reputation for quality

3. 2016-2018 Honda Civic

Why we picked it: A fun car to drive even in its base trim, the tenth-generation 2016 Civic was a proper return to form after Honda took criticism for the unengaging design of the previous Civic (2011-2015). Though 2018 and newer models, and Type R and Si models, cost more than $15,000 in good condition, the earlier Civic sedan and coupe from this generation all make great used car buys. Dependable, fun and roomy for a compact, some models can also be found with 7-inch infotainment screens and safety systems like adaptive cruise control, lane departure warnings and forward automatic emergency braking. Most affordable Civics are powered by a 158-horsepower 1.5-liter engine mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission.

Pros:

  • Dependable and safe
  • Fun to drive and fuel-efficient
  • Many available features

Cons:

  • Well-equipped and high-performance versions are pricey
  • Clunky infotainment system; no touchscreen on base
  • Over-aggressive lane keep assist

4. 2014 to 2017 Mazda6

Why we picked it: The current generation of the Mazda6 launched in 2014 and was refreshed in 2018. All-new models are still on in its current form and it continues to be one of the best midsize sedans on the market. The 6 prioritizes curb appeal and driving dynamics but is as practical as a Camry. These earlier years don’t have some of the later models’ features, but they’re just as stylish and fun to drive. Power comes from the same 2.5-liter, 184 horsepower engine used in the Mazda3. Like that car, Touring and Grand Touring models came with blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alerts from the start, and all models got them by the end of 2017. 2014 and 2015 models have an older infotainment screen, and 2016 and 2017’s newer unit can be clunky, but the 6’s cabin and controls are user friendly. Reliability scores lag the Camry and Accord, but the 6 is still a quality choice.

Pros:

  • Stylish, fun and family-friendly
  • Many modern features, design still on sale in 2021
  • Comfy, premium-feeling cabin

Cons:

  • Not as powerful as V6 rivals
  • Firmer ride than most family sedans
  • Not the biggest back seat or trunk

5. 2012 to 2017 Toyota Prius

Why we picked it: The Prius dominates the Lyft lane at the airport because it blends roomy practicality with almost unbeatable low costs of operation. Solid durability and all-star fuel economy are baked into the package even if driving fun is not. Many have been pushed into gig driving service, but these years cover examples of both the third (2010-2015) and fourth (2016 to present) generation models. Plenty of clean models can be found priced at or under $15,000. With these newer cars, there’s no need to worry about replacing the battery pack, which is still under warranty and long-lived anyway. The downside of the Prius is that it’s built to be a workhorse, with a basic interior and a dull driving experience.

Pros:

  • Cheap to buy and own
  • Lots of room for people and gear
  • Very reliable

Cons:

  • People will think you’re their Uber
  • Boring to drive
  • Few amenities, lots of road noise

6. 2014 to 2017 Chevrolet Impala

Why we picked it: The final (so far) iteration of Chevrolet’s famous full-sizer, this generation of Impala only went out of production in 2020. It was redesigned in 2014 and was better looking and dynamically superior to the previous-generation Impala. It also repeatedly drew accolades from typically harsh critics like Consumer Reports. The sleek styling is matched with a contemporary and roomy cabin as well as a relatively modern infotainment system. Its large body incorporates an 18.8 cubic-foot trunk. Power comes from a pair of four-cylinder engines, a 182-horsepower 2.4-liter unit with hybrid assist (2014 only) or a 196-horsepower 2.5 liter, with a 305-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 optional, all driving the front wheels. The Impala’s reliability ratings lag the Toyota Avalon’s, but it’s also a more affordable car with more space and power.

Pros:

  • Roomy interior and trunk
  • Powerful engines
  • Comfortable and quiet, with a smooth ride

Cons:

  • Poor four-cylinder fuel economy
  • No active safety features
  • Limited rear visibility

7. 2012 to 2017 Toyota Camry

Why we picked it: The seventh-generation Camry, introduced in 2012, offered a design overhaul and overall improvements, including more interior room and superior fuel economy got better in almost all models. It also earned slightly higher marks for reliability than the sixth-generation version, though both are very high quality cars. Though the infotainment system is dated, the Camry’s cabin is practical as ever, and some models options including navigation, blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alerts. There are four-cylinder, V6 and Hybrid models returning up to 28, 25 and 40 mpg, respectively. The driving experience is bland, but for transportation the Camry is hard to beat.

Pros:

  • Famously reliable
  • Popular and easy to find in different trims
  • User friendly and easy to live with

Cons:

  • Not exciting
  • Early models and lower trims may lack features
  • Base engine, hybrid not very powerful

8. 2016 to 2019 Scion iA/Toyota Yaris iA/Yaris

Why we picked it: Very cheap subcompact cars don’t have to be unpleasant, and the iA is proof. It’s fun to drive, capable of delivering up to 35 mpg combined, fairly well equipped and earns good safety scores. The iA was introduced as a Scion in 2016, became the Yaris iA in 2017 and then finally just “Yaris” in 2019. It’s actually built by Mazda and is sold overseas as the Mazda2 (an earlier version made our best used cars for $5,000 list). The iA/Yaris is powered by a 106-horsepower 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine and comes in automatic or manual-transmission form. A 7-inch infotainment screen and low-speed automatic emergency braking come standard. Nearly-new examples, including CPO cars, can be found for $15,000.

Pros:

  • Good looking inside and out
  • Fun and reliable
  • Likely to come with a good warranty

Cons:

  • Small inside, particularly in back
  • Hatchback model only added in 2019, hard to find
  • Lacks active safety features beyond automatic emergency braking

9. 2013 to 2015 Lexus ES

Why we picked it: All generations of the ES rate very highly as used vehicles, with excellent reliability records and a slate of JD Power awards. The ES, Lexus’ upmarket sister to the Toyota Camry, is now in its sixth generation. Its current-form debut in 2013 mirrored some of the changes to the Camry, including larger and more bolder styling, with themes that continue on today’s Lexuses. In these years the ES came as the V6 ES 350, with plenty of oomph, or the frugal four-cylinder ES 300h Hybrid, which was slower but could return up to 40 mpg combined. As on the Camry, blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alerts were available, but some cars also have lane departure warnings or adaptive cruise control. As with earlier ES models, the driving experience is quiet and refined but not very exciting.

Pros:

  • Comfy, luxurious and stylish
  • V6 or Hybrid power
  • Lots of technology and features

Cons:

  • Sedate driving experience
  • Well-equipped cars hard to find for $15,000
  • Hybrid underpowered

10. 2010 to 2015 Chevrolet Camaro

Why we picked it: After an eight year absence, Chevrolet’s famous pony car returned in 2010 with an all-new design that directly referenced the original 1967 to 1969 Camaro. Unlike Camaros of old, the reborn design put as much of an emphasis on handling finesse as it did raw power, resulting in a car that was as fun to drive on twisty roads as drag strips, and still is. At $15,000, most used examples will be V6 models, but that’s no bad thing. Unlike the underpowered V6 Camaros of the 1980s and 1990s, the new twin-cam 3.6-liter version made 304 horsepower to start and later 323, mated to a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. The stylish Camaro is lots of fun and boasts a good reliability record too, but its interior is a well of cheap gray plastics.

Pros:

  • Stylish and fun
  • Available convertible
  • Even the V6 model is quick

Cons:

  • Dark, plasticky interior
  • V8 models very hard to find at this price
  • Potentially abused

11. 2015 to 2018 Volkswagen Golf

Why we picked it: The seventh-generation Golf, like its predecessors, is a no-nonsense practical compact hatchback served with a healthy helping of driving fun. Production of this generation of Golf only just ended and you can still buy new examples, but these earlier years featured more variety, as the Golf was offered as a three- and five-door hatchback as well as a four-door station wagon, and as the fully-electric e-Golf. Our 2021 review can shed some light on what the Golf is like to drive and live with, and most versions came with a 1.8-liter, 170-horsepower four-cylinder engine. The e-Golf is just as practical, offered only as a five-door hatch, and offers both good reliability and performance, but has a range of just 83 miles. A variety of active safety features were optional, though they may raise the price on used units.

Pros:

  • Practical and comfortable
  • Fuel-efficient
  • Fun to drive

Cons:

  • e-Golf range limited
  • Well-equipped examples may be expensive
  • Basic interior

12. 2015 to 2018 Kia Soul

Why we picked it: The more refined and better-equipped second generation of Kia’s upright, funky not-quite-a-crossover Soul arrived in 2014. Affordable and practical, this Soul is a small machine, just 163 inches long, but packs in SUV room: even tall folks can sit comfortably in back and there are 24.2 cubic-feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, 61.3 with them folded. Base models feel basic and make due with a 130-horsepower 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, underpowered for the car. Fancier versions get better infotainment systems, cool wheels and a 164-horsepower 2.0-liter unit. It’s not exciting to drive but it’s amazingly practical. We’ve left off model year 2014 as its reliability ratings are lower than later years. Kia also offered an EV Soul in these years, which is a practical choice and often better equipped than the gas-powered Soul, though range is limited to 93 miles.

Pros:

  • Cool and practical
  • Lots of room
  • Available EV and many nice optional features

Cons:

  • No active safety features
  • Underpowered, underequipped base model
  • So-so fuel economy

13. 2014 to 2018 Toyota Corolla

Why we picked it: After many years of minimal change, Toyota completely redesigned the compact Corolla for 2014 into a striking new design that preserved all of the model’s traditional virtues. Far more modern inside and out, this Corolla featured a modern infotainment system with a 6.1-inch screen, optional at first but later standard, and from 2017 a suite of advanced driver-assist gear. A long options list means equipment varies by model, but all Corollas are high-quality machines. Power derives from a pair of 1.8-liter four-cylinder engines at 132 or 140 horsepower, with either a manual, conventional automatic or continuously variable transmission, though the regular automatic was dropped in 2017. The Corolla is an ace commuter, but not fast or much fun to drive, and owners report that it’s noisy at speed.

Pros:

  • Practical and reliable
  • Lots of nice available features
  • Excellent marks for safety

Cons:

  • Underpowered and noisy on the highway
  • Boring to drive
  • Base models lack equipment

14. 2012 to 2017 Hyundai Azera

Why we picked it: Hyundai’s answer to the Toyota Avalon and Chevrolet Impala, the Azera is a big and roomy V6-powered sedan that was Hyundai’s fanciest mainstream model in the mid-2010s. Though it falls short of the reliability of the Avalon or the size and speed of the Impala, the Azera gets high marks for reliability and owner satisfaction. Earlier Azeras were both dull to drive and look at, but the second-generation model is much more visually appealing. This generation also came with a standard 7-inch touchscreen with navigation (later enlarged to 8 inches with more functions) and from 2015 standard blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alerts, with more safety features optional. 

Pros:

  • Lots of room
  • Many desirable features 
  • Quiet and comfortable

Cons:

  • Indifferent handling
  • Newer and better-equipped models push price cap
  • Slow, despite V6 power

15. 2013 to 2017 Honda Accord

Why we picked it: When the midsize Accord sedan and coupe were redesigned for 2013 into their ninth generation, they brought back some of the sportiness of earlier Accords while adding lots of new technology. From the start these Accords came standard with an 8-inch infotainment screen and had optional safety features that included forward automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring and, on the highest-spec models, adaptive cruise control. In 2016, the Accord got standard Apple CarPlay. The sporty handling makes for an engaging drive, backed by a 184 or 189-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine or a 278-horsepower 3.5-liter V6, the former also coming with a manual transmission option. A rare plug-in hybrid was offered for 2014 and 2015, but isn’t easy to find.

Pros:

  • Engaging driving experience
  • Packed with tech features
  • Coupe and manual transmission options

Cons:

  • Forgettable styling
  • Reliability ratings lag Camry
  • Top trims and best options may cost more than $15,000

16. 2010 to 2014 Ford Mustang

Why we picked it:Ford gave the circa-2005 Mustang design a major refresh in 2010, with updated interior and exterior styling, and then added a powerful new V6 engine in 2011. While $15,000 will probably not be enough to swing a clean, low-mileage 4.6 or 5.4-liter V8 Mustang from these years, the 2011-and-newer 3.7-liter V6 offers 305 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, numbers far in excess of the 1990s 5.0 Mustang. The Mustang’s interior is nicer than the Camaro’s and it has a little more cargo room, though both cars are plasticky and have tiny back seats and poor rear visibility. Fun to drive and practical, the Mustang is an excellent entry-level enthusiast car that can double as a commuter and has a solid reliability record.

Pros:

  • Fun to drive and be seen in
  • Powerful V6 engine, capable handling
  • Nicely designed interior, convertible option

Cons:

  • 2010 model V6 rougher and less powerful than later V6
  • Clea V8 models hard to find at this price
  • Base models lack equipment

17. 2013 to 2018 Volkswagen Passat

Why we picked it: Branching off from the global design, this generation of the Passat was designed specifically for North American buyers, who favor lots of interior room and a smooth ride. Though it’s been updated a couple of times, this Passat is still on sale in 2021. The Passat’s cabin is accordingly comfortable and premium-looking, and over time it gained modern infotainment and driver-assist gear, including adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alerts (from 2016). Most Passats are powered by the 170-horsepower 1.8-liter four shared with the Golf or a 280-horsepower 3.6-liter V6, though some pre-2015 models used a 2.0-liter diesel four that was part of Dieselgate. Ownership costs are a little higher than on the Camry or Accord, but Passat owners give it high marks for value.

Pros:

  • Comfortable and roomy
  • Potent optional V6
  • Optional driver-assist gear

Cons:

  • Base engine underpowered
  • Soft ride comes at the expense of handling and steering feel
  • Older models lack features

18. 2013 to 2016 Subaru Outback

Why we picked it: The Outdoorsy Outback has been providing owners with all-wheel drive fun since 1996, and offers genuine go-anywhere capability and SUV-like room for people and cargo. These years cover the tail end of the fourth-generation and early fifth-generation Outbacks, which have higher reliability ratings than some older models. Both get top marks for safety and are broadly similar in look and feel, but 2015 and newer models have more active-safety features that are part of the then-optional Subaru EyeSight safety suite. These newer models also have nicer infotainment controls and more connected features. Six-cylinder models are out of this price range and even later four-cylinder models can be pricey. The base 2.5-liter, 175-horsepower four-cylinder engine feels a little underpowered in the Outback, but it’ll go lots of places other cars can’t.

Pros:

  • Off-road capability and standard all-wheel drive
  • SUV-like passenger and cargo space
  • Top marks for safety

Cons:

  • Higher than average maintenance costs
  • So-so fuel economy
  • Underpowered base engine

19. 2013 to 2016 Acura ILX

Why we picked it: Based on the Honda Civic as the original Acura Integra was, the Acura ILX returned the luxury brand to the compact car space. This design is still on sale in 2021, though it’s been facelifted a couple of times since it debuted. The ILX originally came with three four-cylinder engine choices, a 2.0-liter with 150 horsepower, a 2.4 liter with 201 horsepower, and a 1.5-liter hybrid model with 111 horsepower and a hybrid assist, but in 2016 all but the 2.4 liter were dropped. The ILX is fun, reliable and pretty to look at, with a modern interior not so different from 2021’s Acuras, but rear seat and trunk space are tight and it doesn’t feel luxurious. Apart from 2016, when optional extras like adaptive cruise control were added, these years also lack active-safety features.

Pros:

  • Fun to drive
  • Reliable and safe
  • Many available tech features

Cons:

  • Non-2.4-liter engines underpowered
  • Small back seat
  • Pre-2016 models lack active safety features

20. 2013 to 2015 Lincoln MKZ

Why we picked it: Lincoln’s fancied up version of the midsize Ford Fusion, the MKZ enjoys higher reliability ratings than than it’s humbler sister while also offering lots of style and many additional features. From the beginning this second-generation MKZ was offered with optional features like adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist as well as luxury items like panoramic sunroofs and heated rear seats. A very stylish machine, its pretty and minimalist interior also houses a modern infotainment system, though its clunky by today’s standards. There are two 2.0-liter four-cylinder powertrains, a 240-horsepower turbo or a 188-system-horsepower hybrid offering up to 38 mpg combined. The MKZ isn’t very engaging to drive and the sloping roof constrains rear head room, but offers a real luxury experience at a bargain price.

Pros:

  • Sleek and stylish
  • Luxury interior and features
  • Big and comfy front seating area

Cons:

  • Cabin materials not as fancy as they look
  • Limousine-like handling
  • Dated, clunky infotainment

Methodology

To determine our list of the best vehicles under $15,000, we cross-referenced a broad range of reliability and quality scores, evaluations by vehicle testers, thousands of long-term reports and reviews from owners and factored in our own long-term experiences with these vehicles as new and used cars. In addition to these criteria, the vehicle had to have average transaction prices under or near $15,000, be manufactured after 2008, and be easy for shoppers to find irrespective of their region or city.

Many of the models fetured in our list of the best $10,000 used cars are available in even better condition for $15,000, and the Honda Fit, Toyota Avalon, and 2010 to 2014 Honda Insight nearly reappeared on this list. We recommend looking at those entries for shoppers on a budget. Some models with insufficient data, such as the 2008-2013 BMW Z4, which had very high reliability and quality scores, were left off the list due a lack of information or widespread availability.

We focused specifically on providing maximum value and reliability for the price, prioritizing models which are known for durability and low cost of operation, but also tried hard to provide a variety of models to suit different tastes. We also left off some models due to higher-than-average rmaintenance costs, such as the 2008-2014 Mercedes-Benz C-class.Although we can generally provide guidance on which models may be the best value or the most reliable, we cannot make any guarantees about how individual cars will perform. We did the research, but we still recommend you investigate your choices further before purchase and we advise pre-purchase inspections whenever possible. Theoretically, that’s easier than ever as there are now many mobile mechanic services that can come to the vehicle directly.

FAQ

What’s the best place to buy a used car under $15,000?

The most cost-effective route to buying a used car is usually buying from a private seller, as they don’t have the overhead costs of car dealerships and they tend to have service records that can provide valuable insight into your purchase. However, for $15,000 most cars under eight years old will come with some form of meaningful warranty, and some may qualify for extended warranties or CPO (certified pre-owned) programs, and here buyers are better served visiting a franchise dealer, including new-vehicle stores, which often stock a variety of late-model used cars. Dealers are in a better position to provide assistance with extended warranties and financing, though consumers still have the option to line up these parts of the transaction on their own.

What’s the best used car for $15,000? Are there ones that are more reliable than others?

That depends on your needs. We’ve tried to provide a wide array of choices to suit enthusiasts, commuters, families and shoppers who’d rather have a newer vehicle with a warranty and are okay skimping a little on size or features. We’ve ranked our choices by multiple factors, with an emphasis on reliability ratings and owner’s perceptions of the value they got out of their purchases. Each of these vehicles is a good choice, though we did find that the most reliable cars on the list were the Mazda3, Lexus ES, Toyota Corolla, Toyota Prius, and Acura ILX.

Is it better to buy a new car or a used car? Can I buy a new car for $15,000?

You can buy a new car for $15,000, but at this price point, a used car is a better bet for long-term satisfaction and for getting the features you want. Only one or two of the most basic vehicles of 2021 fall into that price range, and they often peak past it with destination fees. Opting for a used car instead opens up much more purchasing power and is in some respects a more sound investment. 

Sours: https://www.forbes.com/wheels/features/best-used-cars-under-15000/
The best new cars you can buy - carwow CAR OF THE YEAR!

These are the best new cars, trucks, SUVs of 2021, according to Consumer Reports Top Picks

New-vehicle prices passed $40,000 in late 2020, but that doesn’t mean you have to pay top dollar to get a new ride.

In fact, some of the best cars in the industry are affordable vehicles from mainstream automotive brands.

Look no further than Consumer Reports’ Top Picks for 2021, a closely followed annual list that provides recommendations on the best vehicles available for sale based on reliability data, customer satisfaction, testing and sustainability.

Case in point: Mazda was ranked as the top brand of the year, besting much more expensive brands like Tesla, BMW and Jaguar.

Mazda has kept its focus on mainstream buyers with vehicles like the Mazda CX-30, which starts at about $22,000 and was named as one of Consumer Reports’ Top Picks.

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“Mazda is the proof that you can make cars that are exciting, cars that are fun and still have cars that are reliable as well,” said Jake Fisher, director of auto testing for Consumer Reports.

Several other mainstream brands also made it into the top 10 of the magazine’s Brand Report Card, a separate list ranking the top 32 automotive brands: Subaru, Honda, Toyota, Chrysler and Buick. (See the full list below.)

Bottom line: Improvements in reliability, safety and interior technologies have enabled mainstream vehicles to close the gap with luxury cars.

“When it comes to the high-end vehicles, not only are you not getting anything more, sometimes you’re getting things you don’t want,” Fisher said. “You’re getting complexity, you’re getting more of these gizmos and gadgets and all these things that don’t actually make your driving experience better.”

Pickup the power:This man used his 2021 Ford F-150 to heat his house during Texas winter storm blackout

The 2021 Mazda CX-30

Of the 10 Top Picks for Consumer Reports in 2021, four were Toyota vehicles, reiterating the mainstream brand’s foothold on quality and satisfaction.

“They do a lot right,” Fisher said. “They’re the tops when it comes to reliability for the long term. And they’re very generous when it comes to standard safety.”

Consumer Reports also announced a new designation for 2021: Green Choice, a label given to vehicles that are among the top 20% of vehicles for lowest carbon emissions and environmental pollutants.

“We’re hearing more and more from consumers that this is something that’s really important to them,” Fisher said.

Four of the Top Picks also earned the Green Choice moniker: the Toyota Prius, Toyota Corolla Hybrid, Toyota Camry and Tesla Model 3. It’s the 18th year the Prius has made the list, a record.

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Here’s the full list of Top Picks for 2021.

Under $25,000 

Toyota Corolla: The compact car’s strong fuel economy, standard safety equipment and high marks for reliability made it stand out.

Mazda CX-30: This subcompact SUV is dependable, has strong safety equipment and boasts what Consumer Reports called “responsible handling and a firm ride.”

$25,000 to $35,000 

Subaru Forester: This small SUV has made the list for eight straight years. The Forester has been a Top Pick for eight straight years. The Forester gets credit for its spacious interior, good fuel economy and popular four-wheel-drive system.

Toyota Prius: While hybrid sales have been struggling for years amid low gas prices, the Prius remains a stalwart for buyers who care most about fuel economy and reliability.

Toyota Camry: The best-selling passenger car in America is “a rock-solid choice” with excellent safety features, fuel economy and reliability, Consumer Reports says.

$35,000 to $45,000

Subaru Outback: This vehicle, which is a hatchback or an SUV depending on your perspective, has “a comfortable interior, with generous passenger space and a roomy rear cargo section,” according to Consumer Reports.

Kia Telluride: This recently introduced midsized three-row SUV has been a hit from day one. It “dominates this popular segment” with a “stellar” road test and overall scores, according to Consumer Reports.

Honda Ridgeline: This midsize pickup truck has a “slick and powerful engine” and is the most fuel-efficient gas-powered pickup on the road, Consumer Reports says.

$45,000 to $55,000

Lexus RX: This vehicle “continues to set the standard for the midsized luxury SUV segment” with its compelling “combination of comfort, performance, safety and reliability.”

Tesla Model 3: The best-selling electric car in America “delivers an otherworldly driving Experience” with “sharp handling and precise steering” as well as “futuristic” design and a massive touchscreen.

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Here's Consumer Reports' 2021 Brand Report Card (higher score is better):

  • Mazda (80)
  • BMW (78)
  • Subaru (76)
  • Porsche (76)
  • Honda (75)
  • Lexus (75)
  • Toyota (74)
  • Chrysler (74)
  • Buick (72)
  • Hyundai (71)
  • Audi (71)
  • Infiniti (70)
  • Nissan (68)
  • Dodge (67)
  • Genesis (66)
  • Tesla (66)
  • Mini (66)
  • Volkswagen (65)
  • Kia (64)
  • Volvo (64)
  • Mercedes-Benz (62)
  • Cadillac (62)
  • Acura (59)
  • Chevrolet (58)
  • Ford (57)
  • GMC (57)
  • Jaguar (54)
  • Lincoln (53)
  • Jeep (48)
  • Mitsubishi (46)
  • Land Rover (46)
  • Alfa Romeo (44)

Follow USA TODAY reporter Nathan Bomey on Twitter @NathanBomey.

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Sours: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2021/02/18/consumer-reports-2021-top-picks-new-cars-trucks-suvs/6763979002/

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