WASHINGTON (CBS News) — Consumer Reports is revealing the top cars of the year and one safety feature, in particular, is a common factor in all of the organization’s top picks for 2019.
We’re talking about automatic emergency braking.
Consumer Reports feels so strongly about the feature that it believes it should be standard equipment on all new cars — so it only considered vehicles that have that feature for its top picks this year.
The top picks were determined after extensive testing on the Consumer Reports test track where cars are pushed to the limit.
The Toyota Avalon hybrid turned out to be Consumer Reports top large car in 2019.
It’s one of 10 vehicles ranked best in its class, which gives Toyota more to brag about.
The Yaris, Camry hybrid and Prius also made the list.
Jake Fisher, who is Consumer Reports Senior Director of Auto Testing, explained to CBS News how they determine which cars are best.
“We rank them by something called the overall score,” he said. “We are looking at reliability, owner satisfaction, standard safety features, and of course more than 50 tests that we do here at the track.”
It’s not just handling that’s measured.
Analysts also set up a mannequin in the middle of their test track to test emergency braking.
Each vehicle in the top 10 is equipped with collision prevention sensors that can detect a person, or another car, and stop automatically.
This year’s class also gets better gas mileage.
“That is a trend,” said Fisher. “We are seeing better fuel efficiency in every category, even large pickup trucks”
For example, the Ford F-150 gets 19 miles per gallon, which is good for a full-size pickup.
The Avalon Hybrid can go 42 miles on a gallon of gas.
Fisher calls it: “A large car that has better fuel economy than small cars.”
If you’re not in the market for one of those cars — but are looking for a top-ranked used car — this link to Consumer reports top picks for the last nine years can help you.