Consumer Reports is well-known for its lists. And in the automotive world that includes standard best and worst lists and more niche areas like best used cars, best sport utility vehicles and best family cars.
But the Consumer Report list that impressed me recently is Consumer Reports list of Most Overlooked Cars. It’s a short list for 2008 — four vehicles. Tthe foursome includes a car and a manufacturer I’ve been touting for several years, Hyundai. Consumer Reports has a lot of nice things to says about Hyundai’s top-of-the-line sedan, the Azera. And it’s hard to disagree.
Here’s the list of Consumer Reports’ most overlooked cars for 2008 and a brief comment on each vehicle:
According the publication’s online site:
“These models prove that a car doesn’t have to be a top seller or a top scorer to be a sensible choice and a good value.
“All have performed well in our testing, and all but the Rondo are recommended models. The Rondo scored well in our road test, but it’s too new for us to have reliability data.”
Mazda5 — The mini minivan has virtually all the practicality of a minivan or a small SUV, but in a more compact package and a competitive price . . . Dual sliding side doors, fits three rows of seats into a compact, fuel-efficient package . . . Roomy for four, can seat six . . . Fun-to-drive, nimble handling.
Kia Rondo — Fits three rows of seats into a small, maneuverable vehicle . . High seating makes visibility excellent and access easy . . . Quiet and comfortable, feels like you’re in a bigger car. Stability control, side-curtain air bags standard . . . Practical value, $20,000 buys a smooth V6.
Kia Optima — Pleasant, unassuming, four-cylinder and V6 priced well with options loaded. Handling very secure and forgiving with stability control . . . Cabin well-crafted, roomy rear seat.
Hyundai Azera — Large, luxuryt sedan at better price than Buick Lucerne or Toyota Avalon . . . Airy and spacious, well-finished interior, excellent visibility, roomy seats, simple controls . . . Quiet, comfortable ride, and optional 3.8-liter V6 powerful.
Article Last Updated: April 3, 2008.
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A sports, travel and business journalist for more than 45 years, James has written the new car review column The Weekly Driver since 2004.
In addition to this site, James writes a Sunday automotive column for The San Jose Mercury and East Bay Times in Walnut Creek, Calif., and a monthly auto review column for Gulfshore Business, a magazine in Southwest Florida.
An author and contributor to many newspapers, magazines and online publications, James has co-hosted The Weekly Driver Podcast since 2017.