While a lot of readers (and writers) on this site are perfectly happy driving 20-year-old German sedans that go through window regulators faster than they go through tires, we also understand that there are plenty of people who just want something that’s new, safe, reliable and well-rounded. If you’re part of the latter group, then you’re in luck. Consumer Reports recently released its list of the 10 best vehicles to buy in 2023 in a variety of segments and price points. Let’s take a look at what the staff chose this year.
Toyota Corolla Hybrid
Starting at under $25,000, the Toyota Corolla Hybrid is a great, fuel-efficient commuter car that gets an EPA-estimated 50 mpg combined. Even if you add all-wheel drive, it’s still rated at 48 mpg. It also comes standard with a number of desirable safety features such as adaptive cruise control and automatic headlights. It’s certainly not the sportiest car in the world, but it’s a fantastic option for a lot of people.
Toyota Corolla Cross
Surprise! There’s another Toyota on this list. And it won’t be the last. But if you want to sit a little higher up than you do in the Corolla, the Corolla Cross is a good way to go. It’s still small, but it’s roomier than some of its competitors, meaning that people in the back seat won’t hate you for putting them there. And like the Corolla, it also comes with a solid list of standard features.
If you’re in the market for a compact crossover, Consumer Reports says to skip the Toyota RAV4 and instead go for the Subaru Forester. It’s reliable, spacious, practical, relatively fuel-efficient and offers good visibility. Its suite of safety and driver-assist features has also been upgraded for 2023. Plus, all-wheel drive is standard, and it can actually handle off-road adventures if you’re into that kind of thing.
Ford Maverick Hybrid
We love the Ford Maverick, and so does Consumer Reports. Especially the hybrid version. After all, what other truck gets an EPA-estimated 37 mpg? It’s still big enough to be a good alternative to yet another small SUV, but it’s also not comically oversized like an F-150. You’re not going to be able to tow a house with it, but how often do you need to tow a house?
Toyota Camry Hybrid
Is it the most exciting car you’ll ever drive? Nope. But the current-generation Toyota Camry is at least sportier than its predecessor. It’ll also be super reliable, comfortable, and a good value for your money. If you spring for the hybrid version, it also gets an EPA-estimated 52 mpg combined, which should help you save a lot of money on gas.
A lot of people assume electric vehicles all cost luxury car money, but that’s not necessarily the case. The Nissan Leaf starts at less than $30,000 even before you apply any relevant tax credits. But if you can afford to, go for the big-battery version that comes gives you a 212-mile range instead of the base model’s range of 149 miles. As an added benefit, the bigger battery makes the Leaf quicker, too.
Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid
The Hyundai Santa Fe is a great, well-rounded midsize crossover regardless of which version you get, but Consumer Reports recommends that you go for the hybrid if you can. It’s not only more fuel-efficient than the gas-only Santa Fe, getting an EPA-estimated 34 mpg, but it’s also more powerful. If you have the money, there’s also a plug-in hybrid that comes with a 31-mile electric range.
If you want a three-row crossover, you’re going to have a hard time doing better than the Kia Telluride. It really is just that good. As Consumer Reports put it, “The secret is that it simply does everything well.” It’s big, it’s comfortable, it uses high-quality materials, and the engine has plenty of power. What’s not to like?
Consumer Reports rounds out this list with yet another Toyota product, although this time it’s a Lexus. Specifically, it’s the Lexus NX350h. As the last letter of its name suggests, this is the hybrid version of the NX, and even with all-wheel drive, it gets an EPA-estimated 39 mpg. It’s also quiet, comfortable, and has a more spacious rear seat than you might expect.
Tesla Model 3
Consumer Reports has given higher overall scores to other electric vehicles, but the main reason the Tesla Model 3 gets the recommendation here is because of Tesla’s charging network. Superchargers make road trips significantly easier than they would be in any other EV. Plus, the Model 3 offers more power and sportier handling than less expensive EVs such as the Nissan Leaf or Chevrolet Bolt.