Best Cars by Brands
The best cars offer a combination of exceptional driving dynamics, eye-catching styling and a host of comfort and technology amenities. They also get great gas mileage, and many come in models with affordable base prices and low ownership costs that make them a good value for money. These vehicles often become the centerpiece of a driver’s collection because they are fun to drive, and a pleasure to own.
We identify the best cars by brands that consistently deliver the highest overall scores in road-test performance, reliability and owner satisfaction. Brands like BMW, Subaru, and Toyota earn top-five finishes every year thanks to their comprehensive model lineups, solid road-test results and outstanding owner survey scores. We also look at how well their cars, trucks and crossovers hold up to the competition when it comes to safety, interior quality and cargo capacity.
One of the most popular models we test is a traditional small hatchback, such as the Honda Civic, Volkswagen Golf or Ford Focus. The cars are typically very reliable and provide comfortable seating for four people in a compact package that’s easy to park and manoeuvre. Unlike some rivals, most small cars don’t skimp on key safety equipment and don’t suffer from a lacklustre engine or sloppy handling that can turn them into a Don’t Buy.
A dependable midsize SUV is another vehicle that’s a must-have for families, and the Nissan Murano (models 2015 or newer) and Toyota RAV4 are both highly recommended with great crash-test results. If you prefer a more premium SUV, we recommend the Acura MDX or Lexus RX. The former offers a smooth ride and loads of luxury features in a roomy, refined cabin, while the latter is known for its nimble handling.
For those who want a sexy sports car, the Nissan GT-R is an automotive marvel with its free-breathing V-8 and eye-catching design. Alternatively, there’s the muscular Ford Mustang Boss 302, which demonstrates that macho doesn’t necessarily have to be boring or uninspiring.
If a truck is more your speed, we’d recommend the Ram 1500 or Dodge Ram 2500. Both are a step up from the entry-level workhorses such as the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra, but they’re still built tough and have plenty of bed space for hauling gear. They’re also a joy to drive, with smooth power delivery and impressive acceleration in any of their cab configurations.
If you’re in the market for a family sedan, check out the Kia Optima or Honda Civic. Both have excellent crash-test results, great fuel economy and a range of available convenience and safety features. We’d go for the former, though, as its redesigned 2020 version is a big improvement over the previous model. Similarly, the Toyota Corolla is an old-school family sedan that’s not only reliable and fuel efficient but also has a comfortable and spacious interior.