The gas/electric Toyota Prius hybrid retains its lock on this category for the fifth straight year.
Consumer Reports' Top Picks must meet these stringent requirements:
Road tests: Each Top Pick scores at or near the top of its category among more than 260 vehicles they have recently tested at their 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 their 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.
Despite a wave of new hybrid models, the Prius’ 44 mpg overall is still the best CR has measured in any five-passenger car. The interior is roomy and versatile, and the Prius has been very reliable.
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