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Consumer Reports releases its 2017 'Top Car Picks'

Annual list includes 4 top-performing models

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Consumer Reports is out with its annual auto issue that includes a list of top car picks. These are the top-performing models that the consumer watchdog finds to be reliable, safe and satisfying.

Small SUV:  Small SUVs are the now most popular cars on the road. Topping the list in that category, the Subaru Forester, which Consumer Reports says “sets the standard for small SUVs” with excellent fuel economy, super-easy visibility, and top-notch safety ratings.

Midsize sedan: If a midsize sedan is more your style, the Kia Optima beats out the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. It’s stylish, responsive and a good value at around $25,000.

SLIDESHOW: See "Top Car Picks" for 2017

Smaller car: Need a smaller car at a great value? The roomy Chevrolet Cruze has a smooth and quiet ride with very impressive fuel economy -- 47 miles per gallon on the highway! And its overall score in CR’s testing beats the popular Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla.

Compact pickup: Looking for a new compact pickup? In Consumer Reports testing, the redesigned Honda Ridgeline handles and rides far better than any other pickup. It also gets impressive gas mileage and has a versatile tailgate and under-bed storage. 

Consumer Reports also looks at data across an entire model line to come up with a brand report card. This year, the top three are all German automakers: Audi, Porsche and BMW. At the bottom of that brand report card were Mitsubishi, Jeep and Fiat.

For Consumer Reports' full list of top picks, including top sports car and top compact hybrid, go here.