Looking for a new vehicle? Consumer Reports releases 2018 top car picks

Ford F-150 named top full-sized pickup

SAN ANTONIO – Toyota made a strong showing in Consumer Reports' annual top car picks, getting four top picks out of the 10 categories for 2018. Chevrolet, however, got top honors for large cars and best compact green car.

Consumer Reports tested about 50 2018 models at its sprawling test track, evaluating everything from performance to fuel economy to child safety seat installation.

While the Toyota Camry got top pick for midsized car and the Toyota Highlander was named top pick for midsized SUVs, Chevrolet's Impala was the top large car and the Chevy Bolt was named top pick among compact green cars. 

In Texas, trucks rule the road. The Ford F-150 was named 2018 top pick for fullsized pickups.

The average price for a new car is more than $35,000. If that causes you sticker shock, buying a reliable used car can be the way to go.

"Your best bet is to look for a car around three to five years old that fits your budget," said Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports' auto expert. "That's because the typical lease is three years long. So you could pick up a great vehicle coming off lease at a pretty steep discount, as low as $20,000 or less."

If you don't have the money for a new car and are looking for a small SUV, Consumer Reports recommends a used Mazda CX-5 from 2013 to 2015 or a Toyota RAV4 from 2008 to 2013.

If you're thinking sportier, Consumer Reports suggests a 2014 Subaru BRZ or its sister car, the Scion FR-S.

And if practical is more your lane, Consumer Reports says to check out the Toyota Camry models from 2008 to 2015. It has consistently scored well in tests and can be had for less than $20,000.

2018 New Car Picks

Compact Car - Toyota Corolla

Compact Green Car - Chevrolet Bolt

Luxury Compact Car - Audi A4

Midsized Car - Toyota Camry

Large Car - Chevrolet Impala

Minivan - Toyota Sienna

Compact SUV - Subaru Forester

Luxury Compact SUV - BMW X3

Midsized SUV - Toyota Highlander

Fullsized Pickup - Ford F-150


About the Author:

As a consumer reporter, Marilyn is all about helping people stay safe and save a buck. Since coming to KSAT in 1985, she’s covered everything from crime to politics, winning awards for her coverage of the Mexican Mafia, Oklahoma tornadoes, children’s transplants, an investigation into voting irregularities and even a hit-and-run Santa Claus.