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The 10 Best Cars Of 2017, According To Consumer Reports

In order to figure out how to put together a top 10 list featuring the year's best vehicles, several factors had to be taken into account.

For Consumer Reports, this meant looking at overall score per category, performance during road test, reliability, owner satisfaction data, and of course safety.

Also, the winners were chosen by segment, and while quite a few categories are missing, we still get to see some interesting results for segments such as sub-compact, compact, compact hybrids, sports cars, mid-size and large sedans (non-premium), small and mid-size non-premium SUVs, compact pickups and luxury SUVs.

Scroll down to see which cars got CR's vote of confidence.

SUBCOMPACT: TOYOTA YARIS IA



According to CR, the Yaris iA stands out in a segment filled with "insubstantial models". They also say that it feels refined for such an entry-level model, packing a smooth and potent four-cylinder unit and a good 6-speed automatic. Thanks to a full-featured infotainment system and low-speed automatic emergency braking as standard, the Yaris iA bumps last year's winner, the Honda Fit, to take first place in this category.

COMPACT: CHEVROLET CRUZE



The Cruze won the compact vote thanks to its generous standard features and smooth ride, but also the fact that during testing, it returned 30 mpg (7.8l/100km) overall, with a highway rating of 47 mpg (5l/100km) - which is pretty impressive coming from the 153 HP turbocharged four-cylinder petrol unit.

COMPACT HYBRID: TOYOTA PRIUS



It's hard to argue against the Prius when discussing non-premium compact hybrid vehicles. It basically pioneered the hybrid movement and during CR's tests, it achieved an amazing rating of 52 mpg (4.5l/100km) overall, the highest ever recorded by the team for a non-plug-in model. Of course, the fact that it comes with a comprehensive suite of safety features as standard only helped in securing its position atop this category.

SPORTS CAR: MAZDA MX-5 MIATA



Here's another model that's hard to argue against. The MX-5 also won this category for CR during last year's rankings, and it's easy to understand why. It comes alive on winding roads and puts a smile on your face even with a modest power output. Also, aside from featuring excellent steering response and balance, it managed to return 34 mpg (6.9l/100km) overall, which is better than the previously-mentioned Chevy Cruze.

MIDSIZE SEDAN: KIA OPTIMA



Last year it was the Camry, this year it's the Optima. It checks all the right boxes for a smart family saloon, such as good handling, steady ride, short stopping distances, easy-to-use controls and it's got plenty of room out back. The 28 mpg (8.4l/100km) overall rating isn't as good as the Camry's from last year, but it's not exactly bad either. Also, it seems that Kia recalling 12,000 Optima sedans last year due to cracked driveshafts didn't affect the overall verdict in this category.

LARGE SEDAN: CHEVROLET IMPALA



The Impala tops this category yet again for Consumer Reports, just as it did in 2016. They argue that it's because of its high comfort levels, responsive handling, ample trunk space and ergonomic interior - above all else.

SMALL SUV: SUBARU FORESTER




The Forester is also a back-to-back winner for CR, setting the standard for small SUVs, according to the publication. It's relatively roomy, fuel efficient, has solid reliability and provides easy access thanks to its big square doors. Then there's the performance and handling, which is where the Forester can differentiate itself from most of its rivals.

MIDSIZE SUV: TOYOTA HIGHLANDER



With such a competitive segment, you might wonder why the Highlander above all else. It seems that it scored very well with buyers looking for functionality, three-row seating, generous cargo space and light towing capability. The Highlander has also proven to be reliable, and with the 2017 update, it has more performance as well as two extra gears to boast about.

LUXURY SUV: AUDI Q7



The Luxury SUV segment was the only luxury/premium category considered for this list, and while that might be because CR only needed 10 categories in total, we would have still liked to see more premium models receive shout-outs.

As for the Q7, it's CR's highest-rated SUV tested recently, feeling more like a luxury sedan than a high-riding utilitarian vehicle. It's also large, agile, luxurious and high-tech, so when you put all those traits together, it's hard to give this trophy to some of its direct rivals, most of which have begun to show their age a bit in terms of technology.

COMPACT PICKUP: HONDA RIDGELINE



Last year's pickup truck category had an overall winner. Now however, we're talking about just the compact pickup segment, where the Honda Ridgeline stood out due to its refined yet versatile ride, solid handling and excellent fuel economy. It may not be able to tow heavy loads or take you on any major off-road adventure, but overall, it's a seriously clever pickup truck.

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