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Top Pick Cars 3/3/13

When it comes to testing cars, Consumer Reports goes the distance! Its engineers
clock hundreds of thousands of miles every year—subjecting cars to a battery of tests.
Then, once a year Consumer Reports names its Top Picks—the best of the best in 10
car categories.

Being named a Consumer Reports Top Pick vehicle doesn't come easy. In addition to
how well a car handles an emergency situation, accelerating and braking testing are
also performed. Those are just some of the dozens of tests in which vehicles have to
excel. But that's not all.

A car has to be reliable, and owners help by telling Consumer Reports about their
experiences with 1.2 million vehicles.

The European vehicles traditionally don't have very good reliability, and that often keeps
them off the top pick list. But this year two make the list, including the Audi A6 as the
Top Pick Luxury Car. It's a very comfortable car. It has an amazing interior, a nice ride,
and agile handling.

And the BMW 328i is the Top Pick Sports Sedan. It's always been a really sporty,
fun-to-drive car. But now with a new two-liter, turbo-charged engine, it's actually very
efficient, too.

Honda makes a comeback as well. The newly redesigned Honda Accord is the Top Pick
Midsized Sedan. The CR-V is tops in the Small SUV class. And the Honda Odyssey has
regained the Top Pick Minivan distinction.

But if sports cars are more your speed, the Subaru BRZ and the Scion FR-S lead
the pack. The almost-identical vehicles, co-developed by Toyota and Subaru, are
exhilarating to drive, with sticker prices that are tough to beat.

Looking for a car for under $20,000? The Hyundai Elantra is Consumer Reports Top
Pick Budget Car. The all-wheel-drive Subaru Impreza earned Top Pick for compacts.
The Toyota Highlander stayed on top in midsized SUVs. And despite growing
competition, the Toyota Prius remains the Top Pick Green Car. It's a distinction it has
held for 10 years running.

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