Toyota shines in Consumer Reports' 2011 Top Picks list

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The Ford Mustang (Sporty Cars) and Kia Sorento (Family SUV) are among six new models named to the Consumer Reports annual Top Picks car list for 2011. The diverse selections include eight brands from six manufactures, with Toyota models claiming three categories.

The redesigned Hyundai Elantra, which now comes standard with Electronic Stability Control (ESC), also tops the list in the Small Car category. The previous Hyundai Elantra SE was Top Pick for Small Sedan for the past three years.

The Honda Fit, Toyota RAV4, Toyota Sienna and Chevrolet Avalanche are new additions to the list. The Infiniti G37, Toyota Prius and Nissan Altima are returning selections from the 2010 list.Toyota shines in Consumer Reports' 2011 Top Picks list 3

Consumer Reports’ Top Picks are the best all-around models in their categories and are judged via road tests, reliability, and safety requirements, specifically:

* Must score at or near the top of its category among the more than 270 vehicles Consumer Reports has recently evaluated at its Auto Test Center;

* Have average or better predicted reliability (based on the problems subscribers reported on more than 1.3 million vehicles in Consumer Reports’ latest Annual Auto Survey);

* Performed adequately in overall safety if tested by the government or insurance industry safety tests;

* Must offer electronic stability control (ESC), a proven lifesaving safety feature, as standard equipment.

The Toyota Prius retains its position as the Top Pick for Green Car for the eighth consecutive year. It still gets the best fuel economy — 44 mpg overall — of any vehicle Consumer Reports has recently tested.

Consumer Reports’ testing procedures are the most comprehensive of any U.S. publication or Web site. More than 50 individual tests are performed on every vehicle, including evaluations of braking, handling, comfort, convenience, safety, and fuel economy. Roughly 6,000 miles of general driving and evaluations are racked up on each test car during the testing process. Consumer Reports buys its test cars anonymously from dealers.

Budget Car:Honda Fit
Small Car: Hyundai Elantra
Family Sedan: Nissan Altima
Small SUV: Toyota RAV4
Green Car: Toyota Prius
Family SUV: Kia Sorento
Sporty Car: Ford Mustang
Family Hauler: Toyota Sienna
Sports Sedan: Infiniti G37
Pick-up Truck: Chevrolet Avalanche.

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