7 On Your Side, Consumer Reports: Annual list of top new and used cars for 2018

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Is it time for new car? Consumer Reports is out with its annual auto issue that includes its exclusive top car picks. (Shutterstock)

Is it time for new car? Consumer Reports is out with its annual auto issue that includes its exclusive top car picks. Whether you're in the market for something new, or slightly used, 7 On Your Side's Michael Finney reports on how to find a safe, satisfying and reliable ride.

At its 327-acre test track, Consumer Reports tests about 50 new cars each year, evaluating everything from performance, to fuel economy, to child seat installation.

Consumer Reports just released its 2018 Top Picks including the Chevy Impala as Consumer Reports' top large car.

The Subaru Forester is chosen as the top small SUV, and the Ford F-150 is selected as the top full-sized pickup.

But the average price of a new car is over $35,000, so buying a reliable used car can be a great way to save money.

Consumer Reports also has recommendations for used cars that performed well in its tests when they were new, and have held their value with better-than average reliability.

"Your best bet is to look for a car around three to five years old that fit your budget," said Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports Auto Expert. "That's because the typical lease is three years long, so you could pick up a great vehicle coming off lease at a pretty steep discount, as low as $20,000 or less."

If you are looking for a small SUV without the sticker shock of buying a new car, Consumer Reports suggests you check out a used Mazda CX-5 from 2013 to 2015, or a Toyota RAV4 from 2008 to 2013.

Want something sportier? A 2014 Subaru BRZ, or its sister car, the Scion FR-S, will give you a fun ride, without breaking the bank.

Need something practical? Consumer Reports says you can't go wrong with the Toyota Camry.

Look for a model from 2008 to 2015. It consistently did well in Consumer Reports' tests, and can be had for under $20,000.

You can check out Consumer Reports' full list of the top picks for cars both new and used on their website. Here is a link to that information.

Related Topics:
automotive7 On Your Sideconsumer reportsconsumerconsumer concernscarsauto industryshoppingSan Francisco
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