Top 10 Cars of 2012: Consumer Reports’ Top Picks by Category

FAMILY SEDAN: Toyota Camry Hybrid

Toyota Camry Hybrid continues to be one of the best midsize hybrid cars in market for the year 2012 that features a stylish exterior as well as a relaxed and exclusive interior. An extensive list of standard equipments include a comfortable cruiser with plenty of amenities, luxurious roomy areas for a five-member family, an impressive 38 mpg overall fuel economy and intuitive controls for climate as well as entertainment functions.

“From the spacious cabin to the quiet ride and the great handling to the available power, I think that the Camry Hybrid is really the perfect family car. I could see my family loading up the car for a road trip and actually enjoying the drive – no one would be cramped, our ears wouldn’t be irritated by road noise and the vehicle is even fun to drive.” –Melissa Hincha-Ownby, Forbes: Test-driving The New 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid

SPORTY CAR: Ford Mustang

Considering the blend of attractive qualities of performance, fuel economy for its class, vigorous exterior as well as first-class interior and dynamic driving, Ford Mustang continues to acquire pleasing reviews and is considered to be the best iconic sports car in the competitive market. It offers plenty of pleasure with agile handling, an honest ride, relaxed front seats, and very excellent fit and finish with an inviting package.

“The Mustang’s iconic appeal accounts for its perennial popularity, and it will inspire you to compose vacation photos around it as if it were a portable landmark. But at $37,220 as equipped for our drive with the Pony appearance package and navigation … the value proposition seems off, making us wonder: Is the base car the sweetest deal?” — Motor Trend


The 2012 Toyota RAV4 continues to dominate Small SUV markets and wins customer hearts with its two distinctive features: an optional third row and a powerful V6 engine, delivering the excellent gas mileage in its class (23 mpg). Plenty of interior space and possible seating for seven members, which offers greater measure of luxury, making it one of the best family cars in the class.

“Its size makes it a great errand runner, even if the rear cargo door opens from the wrong side for a U.S. audience. There is the Toyota promise of quality construction and long life. Plus, if you can hold the line on options, you can get one for a reasonable price.” — MarketWatch


The features of 2012 Hyundai Sonata, considering its price, outshines other competitive models in the market. It delivers not only better fuel economy and a contemporary roomy interior but also heaps of features including four- and turbocharged four-cylinder engines, well-equipped cabin, spacious back seat and trunk, Bluetooth, satellite radio and a USB connection back up, agile ride, dexterous handling, and thrifty 27 mpg overall. Hyundai Sonata is the best and affordable alternative to the Camry Hybrid.

“And Hyundai just nukes the competition with a svelte, sophisticated mid-size sedan featuring a high-tech engine, league-leading fuel economy and a crazy-low price.” — The Wall Street Journal

FAMILY HAULER: Toyota Sienna

The 2012 Toyota Sienna is extremely competitive as well as best-in-class family car with its comfortable interior that includes plenty of cargo space to carry up to eight people and modern features, such as a split-screen DVD player and second row lounge chairs, lively performance, decent fuel economy (20 mpg), and a comfortable ride. It’s the only minivan that has at least average reliability. There are five different trims available on the 2012 Sienna: base, LE, SE, XLE as well as Limited.

“There’s something for everyone with five different trim levels, two different engines, front- or all-wheel drive, and even a sport-tuned SE edition. Yep, Toyota thinks the world is ready for a sporty minivan.” — Autoblog


If you are considering to have a stylish sleek, sporty and powerful upscale midsize car, Infiniti G is undoubtedly a great choice with its potent V6 engine, brilliant handling and high-end interior as well as appealing exterior. The 2012 Infiniti G is available in three body styles that include sedan, coupe and convertible and five different G models for buyers such as G25 sedan, G37 sedan, G37 coupe, IPL coupe and G37 convertible.

“Infiniti’s G sedan offers performance, refinement, and available all-wheel drive, making it a Best Buy in this highly competitive class. Pricing that undercuts most rivals is an added bonus.” — Consumer Guide (sedan)

GREEN CAR: Toyota Prius

Toyota Prius is all time favorite and most successful car in the competitive market for exceptional fuel economy ratings of 51/48 mpg city/highway. It is practically affordable with roomy interior, contented ride, and hatchback adaptability.

“On the styling front, if the Prius c makes it to market looking anywhere close to this concept, it will certainly be a head turner. There are shades of Renault Megane in the booty and a pair of futuristic, high set headlights up front, which combine to make it one of the funkier Toyota concepts we’ve seen in while.” — Motor Trend

SMALL CAR: Impreza

The 2012 Impreza might not be as stylish as previous models but still it can be a great choice for powerful engine, roomy front and rear seats, useful interior cubbies and good cargo space. Standard all-wheel drive assists equip the Impreza with superior cornering capabilities and a firm, planted feel. It is now accessible in base, Premium, Sport Premium, Limited and Sport Limited trims and it comes standard with all-wheel drive.v

“Overall, the new 2012 Impreza 2.0i should be a good choice for shoppers looking for a comfortable, frugal and safe compact car (especially if they live in the snowbelt). We’d still suggest taking a looking at other top competitors, as models like the Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra and Mazda 3 can be more stylish and more enjoyable to drive.” — Edmunds

PICKUP TRUCK: Chevrolet Avalanche

Chevrolet Avalanche offers the best combination of convenience and versatility with a steady, comfortable ride, and well-crafted and equipped interior and attractive exterior. Its overall mpg is 14. The Chevrolet Avalanche comes in LS, LT and LTZ trims

“Shopping for a pickup truck primarily for passenger use? Check out the Avalanche. It offers a special blend of useful passenger accommodations, expandable cargo room, big-truck muscle, and friendly road manners.” –Consumer Guide

FAMILY SUV: Toyota Highlander

Considering its overall performance and personality, the 2012 Toyota Highlander is strong contender. Its remarkably refined, comfortable ride ranked it always high. The Highlander comes in base, SE and Limited trims. It is a cost-effective and comfortable minivan alternative, if considering reasonable price with large space, with a seven-seat crossover.

“Highlander is a competent, refined, family-focused SUV that offers great practicality, cargo and passenger versatility, and evident quality.” — Consumer Guide