Best Car Models
Updated on 11/29/2017
Buying a car is inevitable for most people. Whether it’s your first car or your fifth, a car is expensive so it’s important to research the different models, features and packages available before you make a purchase. Choosing features and a car style that is right for your lifestyle is key to finding a car that you'll be happy with.
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Compare Reviews for Top Car Models
Read 101 Reviews
Toyota Corolla is a model of subcompact and compact cars made in Japan and introduced in the United States in 1968. It has consistently been ranked top of its class and continues to be among the most popular consumer vehicles.
Read 337 Reviews
The Nissan Sentra was introduced in 1982 as a subcompact car. Current Sentra models boast excellent gas mileage, getting up to 37 mpg on the highway. Each model comes with a 124-130 hp engine and seats up to five passengers.
Read 1376 Reviews
The Ford Focus was introduced in 1998 and continues today in its fourth generation. Considered a sedan, the Focus comes in three four-door models and a hatchback model. All models boast great gas mileage, getting up to 38 mpg.
Read 410 Reviews
Dodge began production on the full-size Ram truck in 1981 which has since been named Truck of the Year five times. The 2017 Ram model comes in multiple trim, cab and engine options, designed for multiple uses.
Read 246 Reviews
The Ford F-Series is currently on its thirteenth generation, dating back to 1948. Current F-150 models include a 3.5 liter, EcoBoost engine with a towing capacity of 12,200 pounds. Also included is a 10-speed transmission.
Read 850 Reviews
Toyota started production on the Prius in 1997 as a hybrid electric car. Today, it comes in either a four-door sedan or a five-door hatchback and is considered the most fuel-efficient, non-plugin car in the United States.
Read 236 Reviews
Chevrolet began production on the Cruze in 2008. The current model of this compact car boasts 40 mpg on the highway and a turbo engine that comes standard. The interior can be configured for optimal storage and cargo space.
Read 174 Reviews
Ford began production on the Explorer in 1990 and continues to manufacture the popular full-size SUV in its fifth generation. The Explorer seats up to seven passengers and gets close to 24 mpg on the highway.
Read 196 Reviews
The Nissan Titan is a full-size pickup truck manufactured by Nissan for the North American market. The 2017 lineup features multiple power and luxury packages including built-in tool boxes and load-securing systems in the bed.
Read 779 Reviews
Nissan introduced the Altima in 1992 as a midsize sedan and continues to produce the car in its fifth generation. The current generation consists of eight models with differing add-on features and engine sizes.
What features matter most?
How fuel efficient are cars today?
As the cost of gasoline rises, fuel-efficient cars are becoming more prominent and sought-out. Many car manufacturers include hybrid versions of base models so you may see more electric cars on car lots that can save you thousands of dollars a year on gas.
- EcoBoost engines: EcoBoost engines are designed to provide the same torque and horsepower as a regular engine but get around 30 percent better fuel efficiency and 15 percent lower greenhouse emissions.
- Hybrids: Hybrid vehicles use a combination of fuel and electric power. During startup and low speeds (under 35-40 mph), the engine uses battery power and switches to fuel once the battery is depleted or the vehicle needs more power during higher speeds. Simultaneously, the gasoline powers an electric generator to recharge the battery.
- Electric cars: Electric cars run solely on battery power and must be recharged as the power gets low. Electric cars that are currently on the market can get the equivalent of 60 to over 100 miles per gallon.
What are some popular safety features in car models?
Safety features in new cars have greatly improved and not only include features that help protect passengers in the event of a crash, but features that help prevent accidents.
- Airbags: Airbags are not a new safety feature but they have improved in current car models. Many new vehicles come with front, side and curtain airbags that deploy upon impact.
- Forward-Collision Warning (FCW): One of the most innovative safety features on the market today is FCW. It uses laser, radar or cameras to monitor surrounding conditions and your current speed to alert you about potential impacts. This gives you ample time to react to and avoid a potential collision.
- Blind-spot monitoring: Blind-spot monitoring works by alerting you with side mirror lights and audible chimes when there’s a vehicle in your blind-spot.
- Rear cross-traffic alert: Rear cross-traffic alerts notify you when traffic or a jogger is approaching from the side as you back out.
What are some common technological features in car models?
Advances in technology take convenience to a new level for new car model owners. Things like heated seats and steering wheels, voice control, smartphone integration, Bluetooth and head-up displays are great features that come standard or in packages in many new models.
- Voice control: Voice control allows you to put your phone away and keep your eyes on the road. You can speak a radio station, GPS destination or contact to call and the car automatically performs the action.
- Smartphone integration: Many new car models include smartphone integration in their standard models. Features like Apple’s CarPlay and Android’s Auto bring your phone screen to life on the dashboard’s touchscreen.
- Head-up display: Head-up displays project information like miles per hour (mph), speed, navigation information and temperature on the windshield in front of you so you don’t have to divert your eyes to check operating information.
What are the different types of add-ons for car models?
Car models come with various trim levels, options and packages that can be a little confusing and sound redundant. Most of these are based around a base model and include various add-on options for an increased price.
- Trim levels: Trim levels denote the engine type, transmission type, the number of doors and standard features. For example, a particular car model might have a base model that starts with an L and goes up to XLE as more features are added and the price increases.
- Options: Options are add-ons like technology, safety and luxury features that don’t come standard on a model. Options include things like sunroofs, advanced entertainment/stereo systems and extra safety features.
- Packages: Packages are options that are bundled and priced together in groups like a “convenience package” or “technology package.” Buying a package is usually cheaper than buying individually priced options.
What are the most common types of cars?
Subcompact cars are smaller than a compact car but larger than a microcar. They are typically around 165-175 inches in length and can be have two or four doors. Examples of subcompact cars include the Ford Fiesta, MINI Cooper and Honda Fit.
Compact cars are slightly smaller than mid-size cars and have two or four doors. Compact cars have an interior volume of around 100-110 cubic feet. Examples of compact cars include the Mazda3, Chevrolet Cruze and Nissan Sentra.
Mid-size cars are equal to or bigger than compact cars and have an interior volume of 110-120 cubic feet. Many mid-size models come in a two- or four-door version, as well as a hatchback version. Examples of mid-size cars include the Toyota Camry, Ford Fusion and Chevrolet Malibu.
Full-size cars are designed for comfort and luxury, with ample room for up to five passengers. The interior volume of a full-size car is greater than 120 cubic feet. Examples of full-size cars include the Chevrolet Impala, Nissan Maxima and Dodge Charger.
Pickup trucks come in sizes ranging from mid-size to super-duty and are designed for carrying and towing large payloads.
Sport utility vehicles (SUVs) are typically mid- to full-size, carrying five to eight passengers comfortably while having ample room for luggage or other cargo. SUVs come in different styles with various add-on packages to support multiple lifestyles. Interior entertainment systems are common in current models, as well as luggage and bike racks.
Who buys cars?
It’s important for individuals to choose a vehicle that fits their lifestyle. Someone who commutes long distances may want a fuel-efficient car, while someone who owns land may find a full-size truck useful.
Families with multiple kids benefit from having spacious vehicles like minivans or mid- to full-size SUVs. Many of these models come with built-in entertainment systems and can seat up to eight passengers.
People in the agricultural and industrial industries
People who work in agriculture, construction and similar outdoor jobs require vehicles such as trucks to carry and tow heavy payloads while crossing rugged terrain.
Companies needing fleet vehicles
Larger corporations sometimes keep an inventory of fleet vehicles that can be checked out by employees needing to travel for work. Fleet vehicles usually consist of a mix of large SUVs, fuel-efficient cars and trucks for field workers.
Information in this guide is general in nature and is intended for informational purposes only; it is not legal, health, investment or tax advice. ConsumerAffairs.com makes no representation as to the accuracy of the information provided and assumes no liability for any damages or loss arising from its use.
Compare Reviews for Top Car Models
Read 366 Reviews
The Escape got its start in 2000 and is in its third generation. The current model boasts up to 29 mph on the highway and can seat five passengers. Customers can choose from three engines, including a turbo charger option.
Read 580 Reviews
The Chevy Malibu is a mid-size, four-door car in its eighth generation of production. Current model design focuses on safety and efficiency, with 36 mpg on the highway and up to 11 safety features available.
Read 749 Reviews
The Chevy Silverado is the same base model as the GMC Sierra and includes a V8, 6.2 liter, 420-horsepower engine for its top model. It is made with high-strength steel and offers 12,500 pounds of towing capacity.
Read 222 Reviews
The Honda Civic was introduced as a subcompact, two-door car in 1972. Today, it comes in a coupe, hatchback and sedan model, all boasting up to 40 mpg fuel efficiency on the highway.
Read 54 Reviews
The Nissan Versa is manufactured in two models: the Sedan and the Note. The Note accommodates up to five people and boasts 31-39 mpg. It has a 109-horsepower engine and can include multiple add-on features.
Read 289 Reviews
The CR-V got its start in 1995 and is Honda's version of a compact crossover SUV. The current CR-V model comes in four packages and includes advanced technology like driver-assisted intelligence and over 50 technology features.
Read 89 Reviews
Ford started production on the Mustang in 1964 and today is making its sixth generation of the sports car. The current model includes a 5.2 liter, V8 engine which produces 526 hp. The interior includes voice-activated technology.
Read 351 Reviews
Ford’s F-250 and F-350 series of full-size trucks are considered super-duty trucks designed to tow and carry large payloads. They come in gas or diesel versions with 6.2-6.7 liter, V8 engines.
Read 250 Reviews
Honda introduced the Accord in 1976 as a four-door sedan. Today, the Accord is considered a full-size sedan and comes in five models featuring different specifications. Consumers can custom-build their own car off of base models.
Read 223 Reviews
The GMC Acadia was introduced in 2007 as a mid-size crossover SUV and continues to be a popular model today. In its second generation, the current models of Acadia come in seven packages that include different features.
|GMC Yukon Denali|
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The GMC Yukon Denali is a luxury full-size SUV that includes three rows of seating designed for comfort. The Denali features leather seating, head-up display, a heated steering wheel and heated front seats.
Read 184 Reviews
GMC’s Sierra (same as Chevy’s Silverado) was first produced in 1987 and today is a popular full-size, heavy-duty pickup truck. Customers can build their own vehicle using a base design and choosing from multiple features.
Read 249 Reviews
The Camry got its start in 1982 as a compact car. Today, it's considered mid-sized and features seven packages in the current model, including a hybrid version. The Camry adopted a sporty interior and has a 3.5 liter, V6 engine.
|GulfStream Coach RV|
Read 41 Reviews
Founded in 1971, Gulf Stream Coach, Inc. is a manufacturer of RVs and RV products. Gulf Stream offers a full range of RVs that you can find at dealers across the United States. Gulf Stream is a family-owned company.
Read 53 Reviews
The Honda Insight is a hybrid electric vehicle first produced in 1999. Through a series of redesigns, it is now a compact hybrid vehicle with a 101-volt nickel-metal battery that is capable of producing up to 44 mpg.
Read 220 Reviews
Dodge began production on the Journey in 2008 and continues to produce the mid-size crossover SUV. The current model comes in five packages that include various features like ample cargo space and advanced technological features.
Read 38 Reviews
Toyota first started production on the 4Runner in 1984 based on their pickup truck. Today, the 4Runner is on its fifth generation and it is ranked as one of the top 10 longest-lasting vehicles on the market in the United States.
|Chrysler PT Cruiser|
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Nissan introduced the Murano in 2002 as a mid-size crossover SUV. Today, the Murano is on its third generation and is produced in three models, each with varying features. All models seat up to five people and get 28 mpg.
Read 73 Reviews
The Highlander is Toyota’s crossover SUV that was introduced in 2000. Today, the Highlander is third generation and customers can choose from eight models, including a hybrid version.
Read 108 Reviews
The Sienna got its start in 1997 and continues to be a popular minivan model in the United States. The latest model gets up to 27 mpg on the highway and comes in five different models with varying features.
Read 751 Reviews
The Maxima was introduced in 1981 as a full size car. Today, Nissan continues to produce the Maxima in its eighth generation. Current models come in six packages with varying interior and exterior features.
Read 112 Reviews
The first Charger was seen in 1964 as a show car. The 2017 model is a four-door sedan that comes in four packages. Known for its power, the Charger offers a 707 hp, supercharged V8 engine option and a family-friendly option.
Read 429 Reviews
The Jetta was first produced in 1979 as a compact family car. The latest Jetta model is considered a compact performance sedan and include technological features like smartphone integration and touchscreen displays.
Read 416 Reviews
Toyota began production on the Tacoma in 1995 and today is producing the third generation of the mid-size truck. Customers can choose from six packages for the Tacoma, including an off-road version.
Read 153 Reviews
Chrysler began producing the 300 in 2004. It is a full-size luxury sedan that comes in four models that vary in style and power. Chrysler 300s have a luxurious interior and boast up to 30 mpg on the highway.
Read 170 Reviews
Toyota began production on the RAV4 in 1994 and today is manufacturing the fourth generation which began in 2013. The RAV4 is a mid-size SUV and comes in eight model packages, including a hybrid and an adventure package.
Read 398 Reviews
Nissan began producing the Pathfinder in 1985 as a mid-size crossover SUV and continues to produce new models in its fourth generation. Current models come in five packages with varying features but all include a 284 hp engine.
Read 314 Reviews
Nissan began production on the Frontier in 1997 as a midsize truck. The current model features a cargo-carrying system for the bed, rear-door access, underseat storage and a flip-up rear bench.
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The Caravan is a minivan model by Dodge that hit the market in 1984. Today, the Caravan is on the fifth generation of models and includes seating for seven passengers, a 283 hp engine and up to 25 mpg on the highway.
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Originally called the Yukon, the Chevy Tahoe first hit the market in 1991 and was renamed Tahoe in 1995. The Tahoe is a large SUV seating up to eight people, has a 5.3 liter, 355 hp engine and multiple interior luxury features.
Read 76 Reviews
Coachmen has been manufacturing RVs since 1964. Coachmen has a full line of motorhomes, toy haulers, fifth wheels, destination trailers and more. Coachmen became a brand of Forest River, Inc. in 2008.
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The Impala is a full-size car made by Chevrolet that began production in 1957. Today, Chevy is making the tenth generation of Impalas which boast an excellent safety system, smartphone integration and Wi-Fi.
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Chevy started production on the Volt in 2010, which is marketed as a plug-in hybrid car with lithium-ion batteries that vary in size based on the model. The Volt boasts up to 53 miles of electric range and around 50 mpg.
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The Durango began as a mid-size SUV from 1997-2003 then switched to a full-size SUV where it remains today. It can seat up to five passengers and has two engine packages ranging from a V6 to a V8.
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The Escalade is a full-size luxury SUV introduced in 1999. The 2017 model includes interior conveniences and comforts such as head-up display, climate-controlled seats, smartphone integration and power-folding third-row seats.
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The Odyssey is a five-door minivan made by Honda. It is currently on its fifth generation which includes six model packages with varying features. Technological features include rear entertainment systems and automatic doors.
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The Tundra entered production ins 1999 and continues to be a top-selling, full-size pickup truck in the United States. The 2017 model includes a 6,400-10,500 towing capacity and 310-381 hp.
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The Nissan Leaf was introduced in 2010 and is designed to be affordable and eco-friendly, boasting over 100 mpg. It is a compact car with a 360 V Lithium-ion battery that can run the car for 107 miles.
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The Armada is Nissan's large SUV and was first introduced in 2003. It is currently on its second generation which comes in three versions, all with varying features. The Armada can seat up to eight passengers and gets 19 mpg.
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The Passat was built in 1973 as a large family car and today is classified as a mid-size vehicle. It boasts a 1.7 liter, 170-horsepower, fuel-efficient engine and smartphone touchscreen capabilities.
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Dodge started production on the Dart in 1960 as a compact car. Today, the redesigned Dart is a technologically advanced compact car, boasting up to 40 mpg and up to 184 hp.
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Launched in 2013, The MKC is a crossover model built on the Ford Global C platform. In 2016, Lincoln sold over 25,000 models of the compact luxury SUV in the United States. The MKC comes with either a 2.0 or 2.3 EcoBoost engine.
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The Chevrolet Corvette was first produced in 1953 as a sports car and today is on its seventh generation which began in 2014. The current series comes in three models ranging in engine power from 460-650 hp.
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The Toyota Avalon is a fullsize car that began production in 1994. Today, the Avalon comes in eight models including a hybrid version. It has an interior built for comfort and a powerful V6, 268 hp engine.
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The Mercedes C class is a line of compact executive cars that were introduced in the early 90’s. The 230 offers drivers 17-23 mpg and includes a 2.5 liter V6 engine and a 16.4-gallon fuel tank.
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Nissan began production on the Quest in 2004 and continues to make the minivan in its fourth generation. Built with luxury and convenience in mind, the current models include features like automatic doors and a spacious interior.
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The Dodge Challenger is produced by Chrysler Dodge and was first introduced in 1958. Today, it is on its fourth generation of models, which was introduced in 2008 to rival the fifth generation Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro.
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The Suburban came into production in 1935 and is a full-size, extended-length SUV. Current Suburban models include a 5.3 liter, V8 engine that produces up to 355 hp, over 120 cubic feet of cargo space and up to 14 charge points.
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The Lincoln Navigator was introduced in 1998 in North America by the Ford Motor Company. The luxury SUV is now on its fourth generation and includes a 3.5 liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine and best-in-class towing capabilities.
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Ford began production on the Taurus in 1985. Today, it is on its sixth generation of models as a full-size car. The 2017 model features 18/27 mpg, room for five people and various engine packages with differing power options.
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Ford first produced the Expedition in 1996. A full-size SUV, it seats up to 8 passengers, and offers multiple interior configurations to provide great cargo space. The fourth generation hits the market in 2018.
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|Chevy Monte Carlo|
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Volkswagen started production on the Beetle in 1936 and this model continues to thrive today. Known for its rear-engine design, this economy car has adopted a sporty look and engine design and boasts up to 33 mpg on the highway.
|Toyota Land Cruiser|
Read 20 Reviews
The Land Cruiser got its start in 1951 and is Toyota’s longest running series. The Land Cruiser is popular with off-road enthusiasts and comes in multiple models with varying off-road packages.
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The Toyota Yaris is a subcompact, eco-friendly car that comes in a coupe, sedan and hatchback model. The 2017 model boasts 30-36 mpg on the highway, Bluetooth capability and smart-space interior configuration.
|Mercury Grand Marquis|
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The GMC Canyon was introduced in 2004, replacing the Chevrolet S-10 as GMC’s compact pickup truck. Today, the Canyon offers 181 horsepower, a trailer brake controller and a maximum towing capacity of 7,700 pounds.
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The Mercedes SLK class of cars began production in 1996 as a compact luxury coupe vehicle. The 230 model, also called the Kompressor, has an I4 supercharged engine, reaching 0-60 mph in 6.9 seconds and a top speed of 148 mph.
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The Chrysler Pacifica was originally the name for Chrysler's luxury minivan introduced in 1999, later switching to the name of their crossover vehicle in 2004 and today is the replacement for their Town and Country minivan.