What are the best cars of 2016 so far? When looking for a new car it can be hard to sort the wheat from the chaff, the good from the not-so-good, and we know how hard that can be.
Luckily, several industry heavyweights weigh in each year with their own views of which are that year’s best cars.
In our experience, one of the most reliable is Consumer Reports, simply because of the huge resources they have behind them which allows them to take into account their own rigorous testing plus things like owner satisfaction, reliability down the line, and safety.
Here are their 10 best cars of 2016.
Best subcompact car: Honda Fit
The 2016 Honda Fit has received massively good ratings across the board, 4.7/5 from Edmunds, 5/5 from Car and Driver, 4.3 out of 5 from The Car Connection, and 8.7/10 from Kelley Blue Book.
Why? Because this is a seriously practical vehicle — and it comes at an affordable price too. It has impressive fuel economy, a very spacious interior and is very easy to see out of — making it good for those who are a bit nervous behind the wheel.
You also get Japanese reliability, and a starting price of just $15,890 so it won’t break the bank.
Best compact car: Subaru Impreza
Starting at $18,295, the Impreza again gives you plenty of interior space and while it might feel a bit slow off the mark it still offers an excellent ride for what it is.
All-wheel drive comes as standard on the Impreza, meaning this is a good choice if you live somewhere with variable weather.
Meanwhile the inside is remarkably comfortable with good quality upholstery and a practical layout making it a good choice for families and an all-round appealing choice in the compact segment.
Best Midsized Car: Toyota Camry
The Camry, like the F-150 below, is one of those cars that just continues to nail it year after year. It has been the best selling passenger car in the US every year apart from one in nearly two decades.
What’s so good about it? Basically, if you’re looking for a sedan, this is as close to perfection as they come. Incredibly reliable, extremely safe, comfortable interior, and competitively priced.
It might not be the most fun car on the road in terms of ride quality, but it’s certainly not the worst either. The 2016 Toyota Camry starts from $23,070.
Best Small SUV: Subaru Forester
Seems to be a theme going on here, with the Subaru Forester being yet another Japanese car. Prices start at $22,395 and for that you get one of the most rugged and practical small vehicles on the road.
The Forester is the definition of ‘well-rounded’: Comfortable, spacious, good fuel economy, and standard all-wheel drive which impresses when off road and in dicey conditions.
It also received amazingly good safety ratings from the IIHS, earning it the institute’s most prestigious Top Safety Pick + rating.
Best Luxury SUV: Lexus RX
The RX doesn’t come cheap, with a starting price of $41,900 for the 350 FWD version.
But for that you get an excellent car with a practical and tasteful interior, and an all-new exterior that wouldn’t look out of place in a sci-fi film.
For travelling around the city in style, there really isn’t anything better with almost zero engine or outside noise, and an enjoyable drive.
The 2016 Lexus RX is not going to excel on the drag strip, with slightly tame acceleration, but that’s not what this car is about.
Best Sports Car Under $40,000: Mazda MX-5 Miata
There’s a time in everyone’s life when it seems like driving around in a sports car with the roof down and the wind blowing through your hair might be a good thing. And who can blame you.
But not everyone’s got the budget (or necessarily the yearning) for a Lamborghini. For those on a more practical budget there really is only one stand-out contender: the MX-5 Miata.
The Miata was fully redesigned for 2016 and is a car that is, well, fun. The handling and ride are as precise as they come, and because it’s so light — but still packs a punch — you can really throw it about.
Hairdresser’s car? Yeah, whatever. It’s pretty noisy inside the cabin, but that’s half the fun. Prices start at just $24,915.
Best Large Car: Chevrolet Impala
The 2016 Chevy Impala is a big beast and cruising down the highway has never felt so comfortable.
The interior is beautifully quiet and while the four-cylinder engine might be a bit lackluster, the available V6 gives it plenty of oomph.
Inside is packed with features including wireless phone charging and Apple CarPlay. The trunk is massive.
Despite all that, it has an MSRP of $27,095 which is excellent value for a car of this quality.
Best Midsized SUV: Kia Sorento
Kia have been doing very well recently and the Sorento is a large part of the South Korean firm’s success.
Competing with the Japanese in terms of reliability and engineering, the Sorento was given a complete overhaul for 2016 making it the definitive class leader and competitive even with SUVs in the class above.
It costs from $25,100 and boasts a high-quality interior, excellent safety, and a quiet ride.
Best Pickup Truck: Ford F-150
And the proof of the F-150’s standout all-round appeal is in the pudding — it’s been the best-selling vehicle in the US for an astonishing 35 years on the trot.
In 2015, Ford changed the frame of the F150 from steel to aluminum, lowering its overall weight by 750 pounds. It was a gamble that paid off, making the truck both more fuel efficient and a better accelerator.
There are a vast range of model combinations available, meaning there truly is something for everyone. Prices start at $26,430.
Best Minivan: Toyota Sienna
Minivans have been going out of fashion in recent years. But the Toyota Sienna is here to try and change all that. Branded as “the original Swagger Wagon”, if you’ve got a large family this is as practical as they come.
The Sienna has received excellent review ratings across from pretty much everyone, including two 5/5 reviews from Car and Driver and Edmunds.
It’s big, comfortable, reliable and well made, with available all-wheel drive. It also looks remarkably good too. For families with kids, there really isn’t a better choice.