It's not easy to be named a Consumer Reports' Top Pick. Consumer Reports test track are just a fraction of the tests each car must ace. And each car has to be reliable and safe.
Safety is determined using government and industry crash-test results. And reliability ratings come from you.
''Our annual reliability survey gives us data for over a million vehicles. We won't even consider a vehicle for a top pick unless it has at least average reliability,'' said Jake Fisher of Consumer Reports.
This year's top pickup truck is the Ram 1500. The new redesign makes this powerful truck feel like a luxury vehicle.
The Subaru Forester is Top Pick for small SUV. It has the best fuel economy in its class, easy to use controls, and a very roomy back seat. If you need more room, the Hyundai Santa Fe is the Top Pick Midsized SUV.
''The redesigned Hyundai Santa Fe brought even more room and comfort to an already competitive vehicle,'' Fisher said.
The Honda Accord four-cylinder is the Top Pick midsized sedan. Reasonably priced at about $23,000, it's really nice to drive and gets 30 miles per gallon overall.
And this year's Top Pick of the Top Picks - the best car overall is the electric Tesla Model S. It handles beautifully, is loaded with the latest electronic innovations, and it gets the equivalent of 84 miles per gallon.
And to round off the top 10 categories - for Top Pick compact car, Consumer Reports named the Subaru Impreza. The Top Pick luxury car is the Audi A6. The Top Pick Green car - the Toyota Prius. And the Top Pick Minivan - the Honda Odyssey.
Consumer Reports is published by Consumers Union. Both Consumer Reports and Consumers Union are not-for-profit organizations that accept no advertising. Neither has any commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site.
(All Consumer Reports Material Copyright 2011. Consumers Union of U.S. Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)