Consumer Reports issues top auto picks

Every vehicle that Consumer Reports rates goes through 50 different tests and is driven thousands of miles. Then Consumer Reports' Annual Auto Issue names the best of the best.

For the first time in three years, an American vehicle has made the list -- the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew Cab for Top Pick Pickup.

"It has a very comfortable ride. It's very quiet," said Consumer Reports Auto Test Senior Director David Champion. "It has great towing capacity. Overall, it's just a really good truck."

To become a Consumer Reports Top Pick, a vehicle must have at least average reliability and it also has to meet Consumer Reports' new tougher safety standards.

"If they have been crash-tested, they need to have done well," said Champion. "And this year, for the first time, we're requiring that these vehicles must have stability control."

The fact that the Hyundai Elantra SE comes standard with electronic stability control helped it earn Top Pick in the small car category.

And another Hyundai, the Santa Fe, is Top Pick in the very competitive midsized SUV category. Consumer Reports says Hyundai has made huge strides.

"Hyundai some years ago produced particularly poor cars," said Champion. "They didn't test well and their reliability was also below average. Their cars test now near or at the top of their category."

It turns out the Elantra and the Santa Fe are the first Korean cars ever named a Consumer Reports Top Pick.

As for the popular family sedan category, the redesigned Honda Accord is the Top Pick for the sixth year in a row.

Here are Consumer Reports other Top Picks for 2008. For upscale sedan, the Infiniti G35. For luxury sedan, the Lexus LS 460L. For minivan, the Toyota Sienna. For small SUV, the Toyota RAV4. For green car, the Toyota Prius for the fifth year in a row. And for fun to drive, once again the Mazda MX-5 Miata.

Details on Consumer Reports' 2008 Top Picks will be available free from February 28 until April 7, 2008 at:

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