Consumer Reports has conducted an annual survey of the best vehicles to drive off the lot and keep for a long time. It’s not the most scientific way to rate vehicles, but it’s the most comprehensive study done by the magazine, which is why it’s so important to know how the magazine approaches its task.
Consumer Reports is one of the most well-known independent agencies in the United States, and their rankings are frequently referenced by newspapers and magazines, as well as by auto manufacturers. Their rankings are based on testing of vehicles in various categories, including safety, performance, design, and handling, as well as on owner surveys. To make their rankings, Consumer Reports omits any vehicles that have been recalled within the past 12 months, omits any vehicles that have been involved in an accident, omits any vehicles that have received a below-average score for safety, and omits any vehicles that have received a below-average score for reliability.
If you’re shopping for a new car, truck, or SUV, you may find yourself asking yourself which new vehicles from well-known U.S. brands were given the highest ratings by Consumer Reports? The good news is that Consumer Reports recently highlighted the best American cars, SUVs, and trucks based on their overall scores. Let’s find out what some of them are.
The best American cars include everything from EVs to luxury models
2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV | Chevrolet The 2021 Chevy Bolt has a lot going for it. It’s not only one of the best American cars but, Consumer Reports also gave it some pretty high ratings. This year’s model earned a 78 overall score, along with a five out of five predicted reliability rating and a four out of five predicted owner satisfaction rating. Consumer Reports also gave it a 76 overall score in its road tests, adding, “With the equivalent of 200-electrified horses on tap, this small hatchback accelerates with gusto and at 6.8 seconds from zero to 60 mph, it’s as quick as some sports sedans.” Now, the Chevy Bolt isn’t the only American car that made Consumer Reports’ list. The 2021 Ford Mustang also found itself among the organization’s picks for the best American cars. Unlike the Bolt, however, the Mustang is a new sports car. Consumer Reports gave this year’s model a 78 overall score. It also gave it an 84 overall score in road tests and a five out of five predicted owner satisfaction rating. Unfortunately, the Mustang was given a slightly lower reliability rating, landing only a three out of five. Here’s the thing, neither the Bolt nor the Mustang are considered luxury cars. That being said, Consumer Reports did tap both the 2021 Tesla Model 3 and the 2021 Tesla Model S as some of the best American luxury cars. While the Model S earned a 70 overall score, the organization gave the new Tesla Model 3 a 75 overall score.
The best American SUVs earned high marks from Consumer Reports
While several new cars made Consumer Reports’ list, the organization highlighted plenty new American SUVs too. Among them are models like the 2021 Ford Edge and the 2021 Ford Expedition. While Consumer Reports gave the Ford Edge an 83 overall score, the Expedition earned itself a 69 overall score. Though the Expedition’s score is significantly lower than that of the Ford Edge’s, both new Ford SUVs did well in road tests. Say you want an American SUV but aren’t sold on a Ford. The good news is that Consumer Reports included several other SUVs in its list. Take, for example, the 2021 Buick Encore and the 2021 Buick Enclave. Consumer Reports gave both models similar overall scores. While the organization gave the Encore a 74 overall score, it gave the Enclave a 76 overall score. Now, the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid isn’t an SUV, but Consumer Reports did include it among its picks for the best American cars. For good reasons, too. The 2021 model earned a 68 overall score, which may not sound all that impressive. However, Consumer Reports did give it an 85 in road tests. It also gave the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid a four out of five predicted owner satisfaction rating.
Only two pickups made the cut for the best American pickup trucks
Perhaps you’d prefer a new American pickup instead. If that’s the case, both the 2021 Jeep Gladiator and the 2021 Ram 1500 were included in Consumer Reports’ list of the best American cars, trucks, and SUVs. But first, let’s talk about the 2021 Jeep Gladiator. Consumer Reports gave this year’s model a 65 overall score. It also gave the Gladiator a five out of five predicted reliability and owner satisfaction rating. However, the 2021 Jeep Gladiator did struggle in road tests and was only able to manage a 52 overall score. According to Consumer Reports, this year’s new Jeep Gladiator is “decidedly clumsy with mushy and slow steering that requires a lot of arm work to get the Jeep to turn.” The good news is that you can expect this year’s model to handle better than pickups like the Ford Ranger and the Toyota Tacoma. As for the 2021 Ram 1500? It earned a 63 overall score. This year’s model was also given a four out of five owner satisfaction rating. It did significantly better in road tests too. In fact, this year’s model earned an 83 overall score in Consumer Reports’ road tests.
Which of these vehicles is the right choice for your daily driving needs?
Whether you’re in the market for the best American car, truck, or SUV, we recommend taking these options out for a test drive. After all, getting behind the wheel is the best way to determine if a particular vehicle is the right fit for you. RELATED: The 6 Most Improved New Cars and SUVs of 2021 According to U.S. News
Frequently Asked Questions
Which SUV does Consumer Reports recommend?
One of the most popular vehicles on the market today is the SUV. Whether you want the capability of an off-road vehicle, or just luxury and comfort, you have options for a car that can handle all of your needs. But how do you know which SUV to buy? Consumer Reports does not offer average vehicle recommendations, but they do provide recommendations on individual models. Consumer Reports has released its latest list of recommended SUVs, which includes the All-Wheel Drive Subaru Forester, the All-Wheel Drive Mazda CX-5, the All-Wheel Drive Porsche Macan, the All-Wheel Drive Kia Sorento, the All-Wheel Drive Hyundai Santa Fe, the All-Wheel Drive Subaru WRX, the All-Wheel Drive Toyota RAV4, the All-Wheel Drive Nissan Rogue, the All-Wheel Drive GMC Terrain, and the All-Wheel Drive Subaru Outback.
What is the best car according to Consumer Reports?
It wasn’t that long ago, that Consumer Reports (CR) was considered the go-to source of car buying advice by serious car shoppers. But what’s changed over the years? The magazine has grown into a huge operation with a staff that’s larger than the city of San Francisco. More than 12,000 readers vote on new products, and CR editors decide which are worth their time, which are worthy of a day-long test drive, and which need to be retired to the junkyard. Consumer Reports has tested 300 cars since 2000, rating them on almost every conceivable aspect of their driving experience, from acceleration and braking to acceleration and braking. Each year, they rate on-road performance, performance on snow and ice, side-impact protection and rear crash protection, and crashworthiness, among other things.
What trucks does Consumer Reports recommend?
When I want to get the best bang for my buck — meaning the most value for my money — on my next vehicle, the first place I look at is Consumer Reports. They are an independent, nonprofit organization, and they’ve been on the scene for nearly 80 years, so they have a good amount of experience. They don’t just weigh the cars on the lot, they test them, too, and come up with a number of other data points. There are many different types of trucks, and Consumer Reports has reviewed all of them. They have recommended these trucks for various reasons: they are economical, they are reliable, they are easy to drive, they get excellent fuel economy, they are comfortable to ride in, or they have reasonable safety ratings.
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