Best Cars of the Year: 10 Top Picks of 2024

The cars, SUVs, and trucks that shine brightest in CR’s tests

New-car shoppers in 2024 have more than 260 models to choose from. To help you find the right one for you, Consumer Reports selects 10 Top Picks each year, based on road-test performance, predicted reliability, owner satisfaction, and safety. (All Top Picks come standard with automatic emergency braking that works both at low speeds with pedestrian detection and at highway speeds.)

“We picked the best models in a variety of price points and categories to provide smart choices for car shoppers,” says Jake Fisher, senior director of Consumer Reports’ Auto Test Center. (See how the car brands rank by their Overall Score.)

This year’s pantheon of automotive excellence includes four hybrids, three plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), and one electric vehicle, confirming that models with fully or partly electrified powertrains can best their gas-only rivals.

Subaru and Toyota made strong showings again this year, with two and four models, respectively. These two brands consistently offer smartly engineered models with simple controls, comfortable cabins, and the infotainment and advanced safety features that matter most.

History and extensive survey analysis show that the reliability of most models improves over the time they’re in production, with the last year of each generation typically being the most trouble-free, which adds to the appeal of the 2024 Subaru Forester and Toyota Camry. (Both will be redesigned for 2025. See the next-generation Forester and Camry.)

These Subaru and Toyota models, and the Ford Maverick Hybrid, are the only vehicles that were also Top Picks last year. The Tesla Model Y makes its debut on the list (the Model 3 was on it last year), aided by improved reliability. Making its second showing, the BMW X5 takes the top spot for luxury vehicles.

Read on to see which cars, SUVs, and trucks earn our highest honor for 2024.

Subaru Crosstrek

2024 Subaru Crosstrek in grey

Subcompact SUV
Redesigned for 2024, the Crosstrek made evolutionary advancements with engine and transmission refinements, a more modern infotainment system, an optional power seat, and an improved EyeSight suite of active safety features that all heighten its appeal. At 29 mpg overall, the Crosstrek boasts the best fuel economy for a non-hybrid SUV with all-wheel drive, but admittedly, the base 2.0-liter engine is a bit weak. The uplevel 2.5-liter engine is quicker, quieter, and more satisfying. Adding to the experience is the Crosstrek’s excellent ride quality and good everyday handling. It’s easy to enter and the cabin is roomy, with supportive seats and good outward visibility. This versatile vehicle is as well suited to urban errands as it is to weekend adventures.

Toyota Prius & Prius Prime

2024 Toyota Prius Prime

Hybrid/PHEV Car
The latest Prius was treated to a glow-up, bringing much sportier styling and 75 more hp than its predecessor had. The result is a sensible car that’s as efficient as it was before while going from 0 to 60 mph a significant 2.6 seconds more quickly, even with the addition of all-wheel drive. Plus, it’s cooler-looking and more engaging to drive after the makeover, though some comfort elements, such as space and ride, aren’t equal to the previous incarnation’s, and it’s much more difficult to see out of. The Prius Prime plug-in hybrid provides 39 electric-only miles, ideal for most daily chores. Once the battery is depleted, the Prime returns 43 mpg overall. Having two powertrain choices with this unique—and striking—car doubles its appeal.

Subaru Forester

2024 Subaru Forester in blue

Compact SUV
In its last year before a redesign, the Forester still stands tall, making its 11th appearance as a Top Pick. The winning formula includes a boxy design that maximizes interior space and grants unrivaled visibility. Access is a cinch, thanks to large doors and an elevated ride height. The seats are comfortable, room is generous, and the squared-off cargo space is copious. The Forester is among the best-riding models in its class, and its handling is responsive and secure. This is a well-rounded small SUV that delivers, making it easy to recommend year after year.


2024 Mazda 3 in tan

Small Car
Mazda proves that small, low-priced cars don’t need to be boring. In fact, the Mazda3 sedan and hatchback are highly entertaining to drive, with nimble handling and smooth powertrains. The base engine is the cost-effective choice, yet it packs 191 hp—more than most rivals—and there’s a feisty 227-hp turbofour for drivers seeking more verve. The overall feel, especially on higher trims, is more premium than the price suggests, making the Mazda3 seem a half-class above its mainstream competitors. It offers all-wheel drive with either engine, and BSW and RCTW are standard for 2024. We just wish the controls were less distracting.

Toyota Camry Hybrid

2024 Toyota Camry Hybrid in red

Midsized Car
The Camry Hybrid delivers amazing fuel economy in a comfortable package, yet it’s priced like some smaller cars that are also less efficient. It stands out for its unique and satisfying combination of virtues, as reflected in its sky-high 94-point road-test score. But it’s the stellar reliability and efficiency that are the main draws. The Camry Hybrid returned 47 mpg overall in our fuel-economy tests with 53 mpg on our highway test, making it highly cost-effective for commuting, and—with a 610-mile range per tank—road-tripping. This fuel-saving feat is performed with a 208-hp hybrid powertrain that’s smoother, quieter, more responsive, and a hint quicker than the base four-cylinder.

Ford Maverick & Maverick Hybrid

2024 Ford Maverick in orange

Small Pickup
The Maverick’s civilized ride, maneuverability, simple step-in access, fuel economy, and low price distinguish it among trucks. The crew cab interior is roomy and practical, with good legroom and headroom in front and back for such a small vehicle. The controls are easy to use, and convenient spots for storage are placed throughout. The 191-hp hybrid stands out for its terrific fuel efficiency and added refinement. The Maverick is a high-value offering that puts the “fun” in functional.

Toyota RAV4 Prime

2024 Toyota RAV4 Prime in white

Plug-In Hybrid SUV
The immensely popular RAV4 is available with a regular four-cylinder engine and an efficient hybrid powertrain, but the RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid takes efficiency to even greater heights. It boasts 302 hp, enabling the small SUV to scoot from 0 to 60 mph in a scant 6.3 seconds—2 seconds quicker than the gas-only version. An unusually long 42-mile electric-only range means owners can minimize their use of the gasoline engine. When the battery is depleted, the RAV4 Prime still delivers 34 mpg overall, slightly less than the 37 mpg of the hybrid version. Frisky and frugal, the Prime also rides better and is quieter than the other versions, making it a more premium experience all-around.

Toyota Highlander Hybrid

2024 Toyota Highlander in red

Midsized SUV
The Highlander is a comfortable midsized SUV, with a compliant ride, accommodating seats, thoughtful cabin conveniences, abundant active safety features, and commendable predicted reliability. But it excels at fuel efficiency, with its 243-hp hybrid powertrain. No other three-row SUV achieves 30 mpg overall in our tests, yet the Highlander Hybrid knocks it out of the park with 35 mpg—and all-wheel drive. On the highway, it gets 41 mpg. With a full tank, it has 590 miles of range. The hybrid adds about $1,500 to the gas-only version, with a quick payoff in fuel savings.


2024 BMW X5

Luxury SUV
Traveling in the X5 is a luxury experience. Its whisper-quiet cabin is lavished with leather and wood, finished with cushioned surfaces, and fitted with coddling front seats. The balanced suspension provides a supple ride and composed handling that holds its own on curvy roads. The turbo-six delivers quick acceleration, but the plug-in hybrid version is the real ace. It also uses a turbo inline-six, but it’s teamed with an integrated electric motor and a large enough battery for robust electric propulsion. Exquisite in almost every detail, the X5 sets a high standard.

Tesla Model Y

2024 Tesla Model Y in white

Electric Vehicle
The Model Y tops the electric car platform shared with the Model 3; its SUV-like body provides more passenger and cargo space than the sedan does. It makes going electric easy, thanks to its appealing midsized packaging, long driving range, and robust Supercharger compatibility, allowing rapid recharging across a vast charging network. The Model Y is stunningly quick in Long Range and Performance trims, going from 0 to 60 mph in under 5 seconds. Plus, it handles like a sports car, with responsive steering and minimal body roll in turns. Features are added and enhanced through over-the-air upgrades, so this already good car can get even better over time.