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Best Vehicle Models of 2018, According to Consumer Reports

Every year, Consumer Reports compiles a ranking of the best vehicles of the year in each of 10 segments. This format means you won’t for example find both the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic making the list, because they’re in the same segment. Still, the exercise gives us a chance to identify and explore 10 vehicles that merit serious attention on the part of consumers.

And which models stood out this year, according to Consumer Reports? You’ll find the full list below, but we’ll tell you straight off that out of the 10 models on the list, no fewer than four carry the Toyota name! Audi and BMW are represented as well, as are Ford, Chevrolet and Subaru.

2018 BMW X3
Photo: BMW
2018 BMW X3

To earn themselves top ranking in their category, vehicles must score well in Consumer Reports’ different tests, which are broken down into four groups: road tests, reliability, owner satisfaction and safety.

Regarding the road tests, the score ach model obtains is based on over 50 evaluations made by the team of reviewers at Consumer Reports.

2018 Subaru Forester
Photo: Subaru
2018 Subaru Forester

As for reliability, the magazine bases it determinations on the problems identified by owners over the years. In all, the data base complied by Consumer Reports includes information on over 500,000 vehicles.

To score owner satisfaction, a percentage is compiled based on surveys of vehicles owners, in which they were asked if they would still buy the same vehicle they own if given a second chance.

2018 Chevrolet Bolt
Photo: Chevrolet
2018 Chevrolet Bolt

Last though certainly not least for the magazine, the safety aspect. All vehicles tested had to perform well in collision-avoidance exercises and must have scored well on crash-tests carried out by governments and insurance companies (for example the IIHS and the Institute for Highway Safety). Models equipped with standard forward collision avoidance and automatic emergency braking earned bonus points.

Put all of these criteria together, and the results gave the following 10 best vehicles for 2018, by category.

Compact car: Toyota Corolla
Compact green car: Chevrolet Bolt
Compact luxury car: Audi A4
Mid-sized car: Toyota Camry
Full-sized car: Chevrolet Impala
Compact SUV: Subaru Forester
Compact luxury SUV: BMW X3
Mid-sized SUV: Toyota Highlander
Minivan: Toyota Sienna
Full-sized pickup: Ford F-150


The Consumer Reports listing does not include every single vehicle category, only those most popular with consumers, and by extention those for which it has the most detailed data available.

2018 Toyota Highlander
Photo: Toyota
2018 Toyota Highlander