Consumer Reports Top Auto Picks for 2015

FILE - This June 22, 2012 file photo shows a Tesla Model S outside the Tesla factory in Fremont, Calif. Tesla Motors Inc. (Paul Sakuma, File)

Consumer Reports just released its 2015 list of Top Pick cars. These are the best of the best of the 270 cars Consumer Reports has recently tested. The engineers identify ten winners in ten of the most popular categories. This year's list contains three models built by American carmakers.

Consumer Reports Top Picks list hasn't had this many American models since 1998.

The Buick Regal is the Top Pick sports sedan. Consumer Reports auto engineers find the Regal's agile handling and stylish features give the feel of driving a high-end European car.

The Chevrolet Impala V6 is the Top Pick large car. It's roomy and comfortable. It rides like a luxury car, but with better handling than you typically get with large cars.

For the second year in a row, the Best Overall car goes to the American-made Tesla Model S. But it's pricey, close to 90-thousand dollars. Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports Auto Testing Director explained the selection process: "We choose our top picks based on reliability data for more than a million vehicles, safety performance in government and industry tests. Plus we drive these vehicles for thousands of miles and evaluate them in more than 50 tests."

This year's top picks are again dominated by Japanese carmakers, with Subaru the biggest winner. Its Impreza wins best compact car. The Subaru Legacy is the Top Pick for midsized sedans. And the Subaru Forester wins the small SUV category. Fisher: "Subarus continue to do really well in our tests. They're reliable and offer a lot of practicality, plus all-wheel drive is standard."

Other Japanese winners - the Toyota Highlander for midsized SUV.

And the Honda Odyssey for Top Pick minivan.

Top luxury car goes to the only European car on the list - the Audi A6. It handles well, is beautifully finished, and gets decent fuel economy for its size.

Rounding out Consumer Reports Top Picks - in the green car category, the Toyota Prius earns Top Pick for the twelfth year in a row. Costing 29-thousand dollars, it's affordable, gets great fuel economy, and is very reliable.
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