Buying a car is hardly a decision to take lightly and is best tackled after plenty of research. Thankfully, automotive writers and consumer advocates spend countless hours reviewing nearly every new vehicle that comes on the market so that you can feel confident before dropping a down payment.
After looking through the data collected by trustworthy outlets like Consumer Reports and J.D. Power, we’ve rounded up the best models on the market today. If you were wondering what not to buy, check out our list of the worst-rated cars on the market right now. But the ones listed here have proven themselves to be great investments.
As a brand, Lexus is scoring across the board in terms of dependability and performance, placing three models on this list alone. The ES is one of the luxury brand’s best vehicles and it has some impressive hardware to back up that claim. In J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study, the ES was the highest-scoring car overall, and it earned the best score in the 31-year history of that study. Consumer Reports also highly recommends the ES, giving the 2020 model a stellar grade of 87 out of 100.
The luxury brand of Hyundai, Genesis (the 2018 G80 is pictured below) has been making a name for itself as one of the best makes on the road in the past few years. In its fawning review of the 2020 Genesis G80 — where it scored an 89 out of 100 — Consumer Reports gave it high marks across the board, predicting that owners are virtually guaranteed to be satisfied after buying one. J.D. Power agreed, rating the G80 as the best for dependability among the class of midsize premium cars in 2020, edging out similar models from Audi.
With five models on our list, Toyota is represented more than any other automaker. Among its fleet, the Avalon is one of the most respected, earning several impressive distinctions for 2020. Consumer Reports called the Avalon the best large sedan on the road today, with its score of 93 out of 100 being by far the best in the category. That publication also dubbed the Avalon one of the 10 most fuel-efficient cars on the market, averaging 52 miles per gallon on the highway. In addition, J.D. Power awarded this model the best of all large cars in terms of dependability.
BMW 2 Series
If you’re looking to go small and sporty with your next ride, the BMW 2 Series comes highly recommended. J.D. Power rated it best among all small premium cars for dependability — with BMW’s i3 being the only other model in that class to perform above average. The consumer research group also voted the 2 Series the best in its class in initial quality in its 2019 awards. For its part, Consumer Reports gave the 2020 2 Series a grade of 87 out of 100 with basically its only critique being about its small back seat.
Mazda MX-5 Miata
Mazda’s iconic MX-5 Miata has come with the “recommended” seal from Consumer Reports in every model year since 2000. The 2020 version was no different, earning a grade of 86 out of 100 from the publication, as well as places among its lists of the 10 most reliable cars and the 10 most satisfying cars for 2020. Among the class of compact sporty cars, J.D. Power also called the MX-5 Miata the best in vehicle dependability, making it a great choice for anyone looking for a fun, eye-catching drive — especially at its price.
If you’re in the market for an SUV that won’t empty your bank account or take up too much room in your garage, the Chevy Equinox is a solid option. This model, which can easily be found new for less than $30,000, earned some impressive honors from J.D. Power recently. The group gave it the highest rating for dependability and initial quality among the class of compact SUVs, ranking it ahead of pricier models like the Volkswagen Tiguan and Jeep Cherokee.
A classic in the SUV world, the Toyota 4Runner has proven to be a good investment for its owners. In 2020, Consumer Reports listed it among the 10 most reliable cars on the market. J.D. Power agreed with that assessment, giving it top marks for dependability in the class of midsize SUVs. That outlet also found that the 4Runner had the best resale value among all midsize SUVs in its 2019 awards.
If you’re shopping in the higher echelon of prices among midsize SUVs, the Lexus GX seems to be your best bet. Consumer Reports gave the 2020 GX a score of 79 out of 100, calling its interior “luxurious” and its power train “silky smooth.” The publication also listed the GX among the 10 most reliable cars for 2020, which is good to know when you’re shelling out around $60,000. The GX also earned some hardware from J.D. Power in 2020, getting the best grade for dependability among all midsize premium SUVs, beating out models from Cadillac and Mercedes-Benz.
You won’t get the kind of fuel economy in the Chevy Tahoe that you’ll find in other cars on this list, but you will find a ton of interior space. In the class of large SUVs, J.D. Power ranked the Tahoe best in dependability in 2020. It also voted it the best in initial quality for that class its latest awards. Consumer Reports was a bit softer in its review of the 2020 Tahoe but still gave it high marks for expected satisfaction, driving experience and comfort.
The Porsche Cayenne is the most expensive ride on our list, but it seems to be worth the money, based on expert reviews. Consumer Reports fell in love with the 2020 Cayenne, giving it a grade of 88 out of 100 and praising its quiet, comfortable ride. J.D. Power felt the same way, voting it to the top of the best driving experience category among the class of midsize premium SUVs in 2019. That outlet highly recommends Porsches in general among luxury brands because it’s found that Porche is providing buyers with an excellent experience at the dealership.
Another excellent small SUV that provides plenty for your money is the Subaru Forester. Consumer Reports called it one of the 10 most fuel-efficient SUVs on the market, finding that they got an average of 38 miles per gallon on the highway. The publication firmly recommended the 2020 model, giving it a grade of 84 out of 100 and dubbing it the best small SUV in its price range for the year.
The Lexus RX is a model that Consumer Reports has been recommending for years and the 2020 version is no different. The publication gave it a score of 80 out of 100 and called it the best midsize SUV in its price range for 2020 and called it one of the 10 most fuel-efficient SUVs on the market. “The RX promises a premium, worry-free ownership experience,” Consumer Reports wrote of the latest version. J.D. Power agreed, voting it highest in initial quality among midsize premium SUVs in 2019.
Depending on what features you decide to have included with your Dodge Challenger, the price can vary greatly, but it comes recommend among its class of midsize sporty rides. J.D. Power ranked it best in initial quality for that class in 2019, edging out the Chevy Camaro and Ford Mustang. Consumer Reports praised the 2020 Challenger for its infotainment system, the power and sound of its engine and for having a roomy backseat. Based on owner feedback, that publication also dubbed it one of the 10 most satisfying cars on the market today.
A pioneer in the hybrid category, the Toyota Prius is still earning respect from drivers and automotive experts today. You’ll get plenty of bang for your buck if you buy one because the price tag isn’t bad and the fuel economy is legendary, with its 59 highway miles per gallon ranking it among the 10 most fuel-efficient cars on the market today, according to Consumer Reports. That publication also listed the 2020 Prius among the 10 most reliable cars for the year and crowned it the best hybrid vehicle at its price range.
Chevrolet Silverado HD
If you’re looking to upgrade your pickup truck to something with some serious hauling power, the Chevy Silverado HD is the one J.D. Power recommends climbing into. This massive ride was rated highest among all large heavy-duty pickups for dependability, according to the group’s 2020 study. The Silverado 2500 HD was also voted the best in its class for initial quality in 2019.
At its price, the Subaru Legacy is pretty tough to beat among midsize sedans in 2020. Consumer Reports fawned all over it in a review that gave the newly updated model a grade of 87 out of 100. The outlet praised it for having all-wheel drive as a standard feature, a roomy trunk, a great ride and suspension “that’s better than some luxury sedans costing three times as much.” All that led Consumer Reports to crown the Legacy the best midsize sedan in its price range for 2020.
It’s tough to find a single 2020 model that Consumer Reports liked more than the Kia Telluride. This vehicle earned a near-perfect grade of 92 out of 100 in this outlet’s rigorous testing practices that gauge everything from how it drives, how it handles fuel and how reliable it will be. The outlet called it the best three-row SUV in its price range, dubbing it an “undeniable class leader.” It also ranked the Telluride among the 10 most satisfying cars on the road, based on owner feedback.
Another car that Consumer Reports loves right now is the Toyota Corolla. At its price range, the publication named the Corolla the best small car on the market. Consumer Reports especially recommends the hybrid version of the Corolla but recommends both types of the model. It ranked this budget-friendly ride among the 10 most fuel-efficient cars on the road today. As a bonus, it’s the only car on our list that starts below the $20,000 mark.
Honda only landed one vehicle on our list and you might be surprised to see that it’s a pickup truck. The Ridgeline was called the best compact pickup in its price range by Consumer Reports. The publication gave it a grade of 76 out of 100 and called it “the most civilized pickup truck we’ve ever tested.” It was dinged for having a shallow bed and light towing capacity but Consumer Reports praised the Ridgeline for its fuel economy, payload capacity and the comfort of its ride.
As a brand, Buick has a reputation for providing a great buyer experience and reliable vehicles. J.D. Power gave Buick the highest overall score in its 2019 dealership experience ratings and also had it as the top-rated American brand in terms of overall dependability. The Regal itself was given J.D. Power’s distinction as the best midsize car for dependability in its 2020 study.
The only minivan to make our list is the Toyota Sienna. J.D. Power rated it as the most dependable minivan for in its 2020 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study, which is precisely the kind of attribute you’d want in a vehicle that’s meant for hauling your loved ones around. Consumer Reports also has a long history of loving the Sienna, having given the model its “recommended” stamp every year since 2000. The publication called the 2020 version roomy, quiet, comfortable and very reliable.
The attractive Genesis G70 is another highly recommended model from this brand that is still relatively new on the block. The G70 was called the best in initial quality in the class of compact premium cars for 2019 by J.D. Power. Consumer Reports agreed, giving the 2020 G70 a score of 82 out of 100. The publication called it a “credible challenger” to established models like the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, giving it a perfect grade for reliability.
The Porsche Macan is a bit easier to afford than its sister model, the Cayenne, but it doesn’t seem to sacrifice much in that deal. The 2020 Macan was given a grade of 82 out of 100 from Consumer Reports, which praised its sporty handling and its seats above all else. J.D. Power dubbed it the most dependable premium SUV in its 2020 study, which is comforting when you’re spending this kind of money.
For buyers who want an SUV but don’t want to dread the monthly payments too much, the Kia Sportage is tough to top. In 2019, the Sportage was voted best among the small SUV class in initial quality by J.D. Power, which was a large class that included 15 models. The group especially praised the Sportage for its reliability and driving experience, which surpassed similar models by Honda, Subaru and Mitsubishi, among others.
Another great option for those needing a roomy ride without the heft of an SUV is the Nissan Maxima. The 2020 model came recommended by Consumer Reports, who scored it at 80 out of 100 and praised its fuel economy, acceleration and standard automatic emergency braking. J.D. Power also recommended the Maxima, voting it best in the 2019 class of large cars in initial quality.