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Old 29th February 2008, 12:33   #1
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Default Consumer Reports USA 2008 Top Picks: Honda Accord, Hyundai Sante Fe & Elantra!

Even though these vehicles will reach us with different and/or detuned engines, it's still great to see them on the Top 10!

ConsumerReports.org - Top Picks 2008

Top Picks 2008
The best models for 2008

This year’s Top Picks in 10 categories include four new models. For the first time since 2005, a U.S. model, the redesigned Chevrolet Silverado, made the list as our choice in pickup trucks. And for the first time ever, a South Korean automaker is represented: The Hyundai Elantra SE and Santa Fe are our top small sedan and midsized SUV, respectively. The fourth new entry is the Lexus LS 460L, the highest-scoring vehicle we’ve tested and best among luxury sedans.


Choosing the Top Picks

Our Top Picks are the most well-rounded models in their categories. Each must meet these stringent requirements:
  • Road tests: Each Top Pick scores at or near the top of its category among more than 260 vehicles we’ve recently tested at our Auto Test Center.
  • Reliability: Each has an average or better predicted-reliability Rating, based on the problems subscribers reported on almost 1.3 million vehicles in our Annual Car Reliability Survey.
  • Safety: Top Picks have performed adequately in overall safety if tested by the government or the insurance industry. Starting this year, they also must provide a critical safety feature, electronic stability control (ESC), either as standard equipment or as a readily available option.
Small sedan Hyundai Elantra SE
Redesigned for 2007, the Elantra is a well-rounded small car. It provides good fuel economy, a comfortable ride, and an interior that’s quiet, roomy, and well equipped. It also has standard electronic stability control, a proven safety feature that’s absent on many other small cars. The Honda Civic EX and Mazda3 are more fun to drive, but lack ESC on more affordable versions. Price: $18,000.

Family sedan Honda Accord
Redesigned for 2008, the Accord is a well-rounded, roomy sedan with a comfortable ride, agile handling, and smooth, refined powertrains. Electronic stability control is standard on all models, and crash-test results are impressive. Although the Nissan Altima edged out the Accord in our Ratings, most versions of the Altima lack ESC, a requirement to be a Top Pick. The Accord is priced at about $22,000 to $31,000.

Midsized SUV Hyundai Santa Fe
Redesigned for 2007, the much-improved Santa Fe edged out the Honda Pilot in our tests. It provides a quiet and roomy interior, excellent fit and finish, a refined powertrain, a relatively good ride, and an optional third-row seat. Standard ESC helps provide secure handling. Price: $22,000 to $31,000.


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Old 29th February 2008, 22:26   #2
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Not surprising at all. The winners in each segment have proved their mettle,and every single car/truck has come a long way in getting to the top spot.

Green car - Toyota Prius
Small sedan - Hyundai Elantra SE
Family sedan - Honda Accord
Upscale sedan - Infiniti G35
Luxury sedan - Lexus LS 460L
Fun to drive - Mazda MX-5 Miata
Small SUV - Toyota RAV4
Midsized SUV - Hyundai Santa Fe
Minivan - Toyota Sienna
Pickup truck - Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew Cab


Kinda surprised to see the Elantra on the list,though.There's quite a bit of competition in the small sedan segment,with the Kia Spectra becoming quite popular these days.

Last edited by Nitin : 29th February 2008 at 22:28.
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Old 1st March 2008, 13:08   #3
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All Asians here except the Pickup Truck Not even Europeans.
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Old 1st March 2008, 13:47   #4
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Originally Posted by thalavoy View Post
All Asians here except the Pickup Truck Not even Europeans.

Very interesting right?
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Old 1st March 2008, 16:51   #5
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I respect Consumer Reports, and think its huge on Hyundai to top out in two categories. Well done!
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Old 1st March 2008, 18:04   #6
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Other data from CR is that overall, the best cars sold in the U.S. are made by Honda. That considers data on reliability, performance, fuel economy, comfort, interior fit and finish, and ergonomics of 262 vehicles we've recently tested.

Honda, with an overall score of 78, is followed closely by Toyota (75), Subaru (72). BMW, Mazda, Nissan, and Volkswagen are tied at 71, after rounding.


Other findings include the following:
  • Only two automakers, Honda and Subaru, earned the distinction of having all of the models CR tested make its Recommended list.
  • Some vehicles that do well in testing tend to have a relatively high number of problems reported by owners in reliability survey. For example, vehicles built by Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen (including Audi) achieved the best average scores in our tests. But the reliability of Volkswagen vehicles overall is below average, while Mercedes' reliability is well below average.
  • On the other hand, some vehicles that are very reliable don't post the best scores in testing. Some Subaru and Toyota models, for example, score midpack or lower in CR testing but are very reliable overall.


Toyota continues to build some very impressive vehicles. But the automaker's reputation for reliability has shown some cracks. For the first time in years, three Toyota-built models had below-average reliability in CR survey. They included Toyota's redesigned V6 Camry sedan and four-wheel-drive V8 Tundra pickup, and the Lexus GS with all-wheel drive. Still, the company builds very reliable vehicles overall and ranks third in reliability among auto manufacturers.



If the only things that mattered to a car buyer were performance, comfort, and safety, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen (including Audi) would make the dean's list. Their cars ride and handle especially well, have comfortable seats, and have relatively good fuel economy and acceleration. But most VW-branded models and nearly all of the Mercedes models are below average in predicted reliability.
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Old 1st March 2008, 20:19   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vasudeva View Post
If the only things that mattered to a car buyer were performance, comfort, and safety, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen (including Audi) would make the dean's list. Their cars ride and handle especially well, have comfortable seats, and have relatively good fuel economy and acceleration. But most VW-branded models and nearly all of the Mercedes models are below average in predicted reliability.
Without getting into the brand image/legacy and stuff we all know that Honda and Toyota have come off age as far as engineering excellence is concerned. They match or beat others in terms of build quality, FE, electronics, luxury, safety and reliability.

So why do they rate low in the ride and handling department? Or is it just a perception?
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Old 5th March 2008, 17:22   #8
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Default Best cars for 2008

See the ConsumerReports list for the top picks for 2008. Asian cos are dominating... Hyundai has reached a long way with two of its model appearing in the list.


Green car: Toyota Prius
Small sedan: Hyundai Elantra SE
Family sedan: Honda Accord
Upscale sedan: Infiniti G35
Luxury sedan: Lexus LS 460L
Fun to drive: Mazda MX-5 Miata
Small SUV: Toyota RAV4
Mid-sized SUV: Hyundai Santa Fe
Minivan: Toyota Sienna
Pickup truck: Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew Cab

List created based on road tests, reliability and safety index

Last edited by appuchan : 5th March 2008 at 17:24.
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Old 5th March 2008, 17:26   #9
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I would add our own Nano to the list. A car for 1 lakh is something that no other maker has been able to achieve.
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Old 5th March 2008, 17:27   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rotorhead View Post
I would add our own Nano to the list. A car for 1 lakh is something that no other maker has been able to achieve.
True. There must be new category called "low cost car"!
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Old 5th March 2008, 20:12   #11
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This is the rank list of the best "affordable sedans" as per CR
  1. Nissan Altima 2.5 S (4-cyl.)
  2. Honda Accord LX-P (4-cyl.)
  3. Kia Optima EX (4-cyl.)
  4. Toyota Camry LE (4-cyl.)
  5. Hyundai Sonata SE (V6)
  6. Kia Optima EX (V6)
  7. Hyundai Sonata GLS (4-cyl.)
  8. Mazda6 i (4-cyl.)
  9. Ford Fusion SE (4-cyl.)
  10. Mercury Milan (base, 4-cyl.)
  11. Subaru Legacy 2.5i Special Edition
  12. Saturn Aura XE (3.5)
  13. Mitsubishi Galant ES (4-cyl.)
  14. Pontiac G6 (base, 4-cyl.)
  15. Chrysler Sebring (Touring, 4-cyl.)
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Old 6th March 2008, 07:19   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by androdev View Post
Without getting into the brand image/legacy and stuff we all know that Honda and Toyota have come off age as far as engineering excellence is concerned. They match or beat others in terms of build quality, FE, electronics, luxury, safety and reliability.

So why do they rate low in the ride and handling department? Or is it just a perception?
It is just perception. The quality, engineering, design etc is all solid(Japanese cars), but the cars are aimed at a larger part of the market. The Euru's aim at a specific market and generally are a firmer more crisp(enthusiast) ride. They are great to drive, horrible to own.

Consumer Reports is dead on, and has been a great buyers tool(for all things) for the last 25 - 30 years.
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Old 6th March 2008, 13:17   #13
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i drive a 02 santa fe and i tell u it aint that great

the engine screams like anything makes driving long distances a pain
i ususally listen to loud music to douse that sound.
maybe the newer ones are good but this one i will change very soon
i dont have good reviews about it
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Old 6th March 2008, 13:28   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gt_mustang View Post
i drive a 02 santa fe and i tell u it aint that great

the engine screams like anything makes driving long distances a pain
i ususally listen to loud music to douse that sound.
maybe the newer ones are good but this one i will change very soon
i dont have good reviews about it
Yeah, the older cars aren't the greatest. They have really stepped it up in the last year or so. Before that was just the journey to becoming respectable.
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Old 17th March 2008, 13:46   #15
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This link shows how cars from various makers age:

ConsumerReports.org - Reliability trends, how vehicles age

From this year, for a car model to be a Top Pick by CR, it has to have electronic stability control (ESC) as a readily available option. That's why the Honda Accord, for example, is its pick in family sedans over the Nissan Altima. The Altima scored slightly higher in testing but offers ESC only on the V6 with expensive options.

Top picks and recommendations also do include models currently in testing (by CR).
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