Consumer Reports: Impala, Bolt, F-150 best-in-class

Keith Laing
Detroit News Washington Bureau

Washington – The Ford F-150 and two Chevrolets — the Impala and Bolt — are tops in their vehicle classes in Consumer Reports’ annual Top Picks list, an influential designation for new-car shoppers. Genesis, the new luxury brand from Korean automaker Hyundai, was the No. 1 brand overall, and only one U.S. brand — Tesla at No. 8 — ranked in the Top 10.

The Ford F-150 is Consumer Reports’ Top Pick for full-size pickups.

Every model from Genesis and No. 2-ranked Audi tested by Consumer Reports earned a “recommended” designation, meaning they performed well in testing, had average or better predicted reliability, and performed adequately in government or insurance-industry crash-tests.

Patrick Olsen, lead autos editor at Consumer Reports, said the Chevy Impala, named top large sedan for the fourth year in row, “offers a luxurious ride, but at an affordable price.

“Its got a spacious cabin that’s also quiet,” he said. “Its handling is commendable, especially for its size.”

Chevrolet Bolt EV

The Chevy Bolt was named top compact green car and the Ford F-150 took the crown for full-size pickup.

“The Bolt is proof that an electric car can really be a functional daily driver,” Olsen said. “It has strong driving performance. It got great ratings. We got 250 miles out of it when we tested its range.”

Of the F-150, he said, “Pickups are hot and the F-150 is leading the way in that category. ... It’s impressive and innovative. It’s really a workhorse with quick acceleration and standout fuel economy. Nineteen miles-per-gallon, which is pretty good for a pickup truck these days.”

The Chevrolet Impala is Consumer Reports’ Top Pick for large car.

Other vehicles ranked tops in their categories were the Toyota Corolla, Subaru Forester, Toyota Camry, Toyota Highlander, Toyota Sienna, Audi A4 and BMW X3.

In total, 34 makes were included in the brand report card. Chrysler was the top Detroit brand at No. 11, taking a step up in the ratings due largely to good road-test scores and average reliability of the Pacifica minivan.

But Fiat Chrysler’s other brands didn’t fare as well: Ram and Dodge came in at No. 26 and 27, Alfa Romeo was No. 31, and Jeep and Fiat finished last at No. 33 and 34. Consumer Reports does not recommend any of the Jeep or Fiat models it has tested, nor does it recommend any Dodge or Alfa Romeo models.

Seven other brands do not have any recommended models: GMC, Cadillac, Land Rover, Mitsubishi, Jaguar, Mini and Volvo.

Genesis, which makes the G90, is Consumer Reports’ top brand.

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Twitter: @Keith_Laing

Top picks

Large car: Chevrolet Impala

Compact car: Toyota Corolla

Compact green car:

Chevrolet Bolt

Compact SUV: Subaru Forester

Midsize car: Toyota Camry

Midsize SUV: Toyota


Minivan: Toyota Sienna

Full-size pickup: Ford F-150

Luxury compact car:

Audi A4

Luxury compact SUV: BMW X3

Source: Consumer Reports

Brand ratings

1. Genesis

18. Volvo

2. Audi

19. Buick

3. BMW

20. Ford

4. Lexus

21. Nissan

5. Porsche

22. Acura

6. Kia

23. Chevrolet

7. Subaru

24. Cadillac

8. Tesla

25. Mini

9. Honda

26. Ram

10. Toyota

27. Dodge

11. Chrysler

28. GMC

12. Hyundai

29. Jaguar

13. Mazda

30. Mitsubishi

14. Infiniti

31. Alfa Romeo

15. Mercedes-Benz

32. Land Rover

16. Volkswagen

33. Jeep

17. Lincoln

34. Fiat