Five Toyota Models Named Consumer Reports’ Top Picks; First Time In Nearly A Decade One Brand Has Dominated

As the competition grows stronger with each passing year, it has been
increasingly difficult for a single automaker to dominate Consumer Reports’ annual Top Picks list.

This year, Toyota is the first brand to earn half of the top 10 spots in nearly a decade.

Toyota has in fact placed five models as the best in their individual categories to secure the brand a starring role in this year’s list.

Consumer Reports’ 2012 Top Picks report, Automakers Report Cards and other key findings from the Annual Auto Issue were announced at a press conference before the Washington Automotive Press Association (WAPA) in Washington, D.C.

“Every year the competition grows tighter; in recent years as many as nine different brands have taken the top spots. Toyota’s ability to maintain a competitive lead among hybrids and SUVs is a big factor in its strong presence on this year’s list,” said Rik Paul, Consumer Reports’ automotive editor.

The last time a single brand held such a grip on Consumer Reports’ Top Picks was in 2003.

Consumer Reports’ Top Picks are the best all-around models in their categories, chosen from more than 275 vehicles the organization has recently tested. Top Pick models must meet CR’s stringent criteria in three areas: road test, reliability, and safety. They must rank at or near the top of their category on overall road test scores; they must have earned an average or better predicted-reliability Rating based on problems Consumer Reports subscribers reported on 1.3 million vehicles in the latest survey; and they must perform well if included in crash or rollover tests by the government or the insurance industry.

The Toyota Prius was named CR’s Top Pick Green Car for the 11th time and the ninth consecutive year—both records claimed by no other model in the history of Consumer Reports’ Top Picks. The Prius, including the recently tested Prius V wagon version, continues to set the standard for its blend of fuel efficiency, practicality, and affordability. The 44 overall mpg CR measured for the hatchback is still the highest of any five-passenger, non-plug-in vehicle CR has tested and the 41 mpg for the new Prius V wagon easily tops its class.