Best cars of 2019 named

WASHINGTON — Put the pedal to the … medal. Metaphorically, anyway.

Consumer Reports named its top 2019 picks for cars, SUVs and trucks Thursday in D.C.

Among the six new winning car brands are Hyundai, Subaru, BMW and Toyota.

In fact, four Toyotas were Consumer Reports’ “Top Picks”: the Avalon, Camry, Prius (for a record 16th time) and Yaris.


Consumer Reports also released a vehicle brand report card. See it below.

Click to enlarge. (Courtesy Consumer Reports)

The Camry is making a repeat appearance from 2018, as is the Ford F-150, the Audi A4 and the newly redesigned Subaru Forester.

Jake Fisher, the senior director of auto testing at Consumer Reports, said there are a couple of surprises as far as automotive brands go.

“Lincoln, actually, is in the Top 10, in terms of brands, for the first time ever,” he told WTOP. “And they’re getting better in terms of reliability.”

Fisher singled out the Lincoln Continental in particular.

“Plus Lincoln is getting serious about safety. They’re putting standard safety equipment on a lot of their new vehicles. That’s really helping them in the brand ranking,” he said.

But there are disappointments too.

The Tesla Model 3 is no longer being recommended due to issues with its reliability.

“… Actually all the Tesla models right now are below average when it comes to reliability,” Fisher told WTOP.

So what does it take to be a Consumer Reports Top Pick?

Vehicles are rated on four key criteria: road-test performance, predicted reliability, owner satisfaction and safety.

“Safety should always be standard, not a luxury reserved only for those who can afford it,” Consumer Reports President and CEO Marta Tellado said in a release.

“Automatic emergency braking has proven to reduce crashes and save lives. We believe it should be standard in all new cars, just as backup cameras are today.”

See Consumer Reports’ Top Picks below.

The 2019 Toyota Avalon is presented at the North American International Auto Show, Monday, Jan. 15, 2018, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Tony Ding)
Large car: Toyota Avalon Hybrid ($38,643 as tested). “The redesigned Avalon is a smart, value-driven alternative to luxury sedans such as the Acura TLX and Lexus ES. The spacious, richly furnished cabin has an upscale feel with soft materials and tasteful details. The front seats are wide and supportive, and the rear has generous legroom and available heated seats. The Avalon Hybrid returned 42 mpg overall in CR’s tests and 52 mpg on the highway — astounding numbers for such a large car.” (Photo: AP/Tony Ding) (AP/Tony Ding)
Newly launched Toyota Yaris is displayed at the Auto Expo in Greater Noida, near New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018. The biennial automobile exhibition opens to public Friday and runs till Feb.14. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)
Subcompact car: Toyota Yaris ($17,570 as tested). “The Yaris sedan delivers an impressive degree of quality and a joyful driving experience at an affordable price. The 2019 model gets improvements that include a new XLE trim level that adds upscale touches including automatic climate control. The ride is good for the class, and the handling is responsive, as demonstrated in emergency handling tests and other evaluations at CR’s 327-acre Auto Test Center in Connecticut. All told, the Yaris is an energetic and nimble little car.” (Photo: AP/Altaf Qadri) (AP/Altaf Qadri)
A Toyota Prius is seen at the Philadelphia Auto Show, Friday, Feb. 1, 2019, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Hybrid/electric car: Toyota Prius ($27,323 as tested). “The Prius returns to our Top Picks list for a record 16th time. This pioneering hybrid has long been a paragon of efficiency, with the current model achieving 52 mpg overall and a stunning 59 mpg on the highway in CR’s tests. But it’s more than just thrifty; the Prius is a standout car with a stellar track record for reliability and owner satisfaction. For 2019, a newly available all-wheel-drive option makes this supremely practical car even more appealing.” (Photo: AP/Matt Slocum) (AP/Matt Slocum)
This undated photo provided by Subaru shows the Subaru Forester, a crossover that has both city and off-road capabilities. (Subaru via AP)
Compact SUV: Subaru Forester ($29,341 as tested). “The Forester is a versatile, no-nonsense vehicle that has broad appeal. This compact SUV’s roomy interior focuses on practicality and functionality. The 2019 redesign doesn’t look much different from its predecessor, but the Forester is now a more solid vehicle — quieter, with a more premium feel inside. Its power is admittedly modest, but its fuel economy tops the class. The ride is comfortable, the steering is responsive, and its body doesn’t lean too much around corners. Three advanced safety systems — forward collision warning, lane departure warning, and lane keeping assist — all come standard.” (Photo: AP) (AP)
The 2017 model of the Toyota Camry saw 1,100 thefts in 2017. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)
Midsized car: Toyota Camry Hybrid ($28,949 as tested). “The Camry Hybrid is a hyper efficient car that gets 47 mpg overall in CR’s tests, and its hybrid-electric powertrain doesn’t compromise the driving experience. The hybrid battery pack doesn’t reduce trunk space, either. Plus, this car is a hair quicker from 0 to 60 mph than the regular four-cylinder Camry. A comfortable ride and capable handling add to the appeal. Standard safety gear includes pedestrian detection and lane departure warning.” (Photo: AP/Carlos Osorio) (AP/Carlos Osorio)
FILE- In this Nov. 29, 2017, file photo, the 2019 Subaru Ascent is displayed at the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles. The 2019 Subaru Ascent is a family-friendly three-row SUV with 5,000 pounds of towing capacity and up to eight USB ports to keep everyone's devices charged. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
Midsized SUV: Subaru Ascent ($43,867 as tested). “The three-row Ascent debuted at the top of CR’s midsized SUV ratings thanks to its smooth power delivery, enjoyable ride, and functional interior. It has a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that’s energetic in everyday traffic, with plenty of reserve power for passing. Like most Subarus, the Ascent comes standard with all-wheel drive. It especially shines because of its excellent ride: The suspension handles road bumps better than some luxury cars. Its cabin is one of the finest in the segment, with comfortable seats and many soft-touch surfaces, especially on upper-trim versions.” (Photo: AP/Jae C. Hong) (AP/Jae C. Hong)
This is a 2019 Hyundai Kona on display at the 2019 Pittsburgh International Auto Show in Pittsburgh Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Subcompact SUV: Hyundai Kona ($25,025 as tested). “The Kona is a fun, new entry in a growing class of subcompact SUVs. It has a snazzy-looking exterior and an inviting interior. Despite its compact proportions, the Kona’s smart design creates quite a bit of versatility thanks to its tall liftgate and split rear seats that fold down. Handling is a strong point — limited body lean and quick steering make it a joy to drive. Despite its entry-level pricing, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and lane keeping assist are all standard.” (Photo: AP/Gene J. Puskar) (AP/Gene J. Puskar)
A Ford F-150 Raptor is seen at the Philadelphia Auto Show, Friday, Feb. 1, 2019, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Full-sized pickup truck: Ford F-150 ($52,535 as tested). “The F-150 continues to be King of Pickup Mountain, despite tough competition from the recently redesigned Chevrolet Silverado 1500, GMC Sierra 1500, and Ram 1500. The 2.7-liter V6 turbo version we tested delivered brisk acceleration, effortless towing ability, and impressive fuel economy. The cabin has generous room for the driver and passengers in the popular crew cab.” (Photo: AP/Matt Slocum) (AP/Matt Slocum)
A line of Audi A4 cars are parked before a demonstration of Audi's vehicle-to-infrastructure technology Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016, in Las Vegas. The technology allows vehicles to "read" red lights ahead and tell the driver how long it'll be before the signal turns green. For the driver, the system puts a traffic signal icon on the dashboard telling how many seconds the light will remain red. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Compact luxury car: Audi A4 ($48,890 as tested). “The A4 is a thoroughly satisfying sports sedan with precise handling, the latest technology, and undeniable cachet. Its interior is quiet and decked out in high-quality materials. The balanced suspension provides secure handling and a taut ride that effectively smooths rough patches in the road. The turbocharged four-cylinder engine has superb response, with plenty of power when needed and a slick-shifting automatic transmission.” (Photo: AP/John Locher) (AP/John Locher)
Luxury SUV: BMW X5 ($68,730 as tested). “Redesigned for 2019, the midsized X5 is one of the best SUVs that CR has ever tested. It’s difficult to make an SUV both luxury-car comfortable and fun to drive, but here BMW strikes the perfect balance. The turbocharged in-line six-cylinder engine is powerful and responsive, helped by its quick-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission. The X5 delivers swift acceleration and fuel economy that’s impressive for its class, although it does require premium fuel.” (Photo: BMW)
(1/10)
The 2019 Toyota Avalon is presented at the North American International Auto Show, Monday, Jan. 15, 2018, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Tony Ding)
Newly launched Toyota Yaris is displayed at the Auto Expo in Greater Noida, near New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018. The biennial automobile exhibition opens to public Friday and runs till Feb.14. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)
A Toyota Prius is seen at the Philadelphia Auto Show, Friday, Feb. 1, 2019, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
This undated photo provided by Subaru shows the Subaru Forester, a crossover that has both city and off-road capabilities. (Subaru via AP)
The 2017 model of the Toyota Camry saw 1,100 thefts in 2017. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)
FILE- In this Nov. 29, 2017, file photo, the 2019 Subaru Ascent is displayed at the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles. The 2019 Subaru Ascent is a family-friendly three-row SUV with 5,000 pounds of towing capacity and up to eight USB ports to keep everyone's devices charged. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
This is a 2019 Hyundai Kona on display at the 2019 Pittsburgh International Auto Show in Pittsburgh Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
A Ford F-150 Raptor is seen at the Philadelphia Auto Show, Friday, Feb. 1, 2019, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
A line of Audi A4 cars are parked before a demonstration of Audi's vehicle-to-infrastructure technology Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016, in Las Vegas. The technology allows vehicles to "read" red lights ahead and tell the driver how long it'll be before the signal turns green. For the driver, the system puts a traffic signal icon on the dashboard telling how many seconds the light will remain red. (AP Photo/John Locher)
  • Large car: Toyota Avalon Hybrid ($38,643 as tested).
  • Subcompact car: Toyota Yaris ($17,570 as tested).
  • Hybrid/electric car: Toyota Prius ($27,323 as tested).
  • Compact SUV: Subaru Forester ($29,341 as tested).
  • Midsized car: Toyota Camry Hybrid ($28,949 as tested).
  • Midsized SUV: Subaru Ascent ($43,867 as tested).
  • Subcompact SUV: Hyundai Kona ($25,025 as tested).
  • Full-sized pickup truck: Ford F-150 ($52,535 as tested).
  • Compact luxury car: Audi A4 ($48,890 as tested).
  • Luxury SUV: BMW X5 ($68,730 as tested).

Consumer Reports is an independent, nonprofit organization.

WTOP’s Kristi King contributed to this report.

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