Meet Our Experts
- Rachel Rothman, GH Chief Technologist & Head Engineer
- Drew Dorian, Car and Driver Staff Editor & Car Tester
- Laurie Jennings, GH Institute Director & Lead Consumer Tester
- Lexie Sachs, Director, Textiles, Paper & Plastic Lab, & Consumer Tester
How We Tested
After driving the year’s new vehicles on over 5,000 miles of city roads, highways, and test tracks, we narrowed it down to the top 50 makes and models. Using industry standards and our proprietary protocols, we rated cars on:
Then our engineers, analysts, and consumer testers evaluated all the little things people really care about, like how easy it is to fold down the seats, how much cargo space there is in the trunk, how well car seats fit in the second and third rows, and whether they’re a struggle to install. We also looked closely at the interior: the amount of head and legroom, storage space for front- and rear-seat passengers, overall comfort, and how easy the infotainment system is to use without ever reading the manual. Plus, we gave points for innovative and useful features like hands-free liftgate, well-placed lighting, and anything else that improves the driving experience.
WHY WE LOVE IT There are good reasons that the Accord is our most awarded car. It’s loaded with standard safety features and has a roomy interior and a large trunk (best in class at nearly 17 cubic feet). Plus, it’s a blast to drive!
STANDOUT FEATURES In tests, it handled turns easily and accurately — more like a sports car than a sedan. Every model comes with lane-keeping assist and automated emergency braking.
GOOD TO KNOW We love how spacious the interior feels — kids, adults and even multiple car seats can fit in the back seat comfortably — but keep in mind that it has less storage around seats for drinks and other items.
LAB RESULTS Year after year, our experts keep returning to the Accord. It’s the perfect balance of performance, reliability and practicality. You can’t buy a better family car at this price.
2020 Honda Accord, from $24,020 (base price)
WHY WE LOVE IT It’s a super fun-to-drive, upscale vehicle that’s not quite as expensive as other premium sedans. The exterior is designed to get noticed – and if you get behind the wheel, you’ll notice it does turn heads.
STANDOUT FEATURES This sporty sedan will not disappoint, with lots of standard tech included like blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alerts and lane-departure warning.
GOOD TO KNOW The lackluster infotainment will make you happy to plug in to your Apple CarPlay or Android Auto alternative, and rear seating has limited legroom. The back seat is a bit tight, so make sure you bring your kids when you book a test drive.
LAB RESULTS Testers raved about the sporty and swift acceleration and found the cubby in the center console particularly convenient for phones, keys and the like. This is the second year in a row the Genesis G70 has won in this category.
2020 Genesis G70, from $35,450 (base price)
WHY WE LOVE IT It’s a dedicated hybrid that doesn’t scream “Look, I’m green!” It’s just quietly efficient and responsible, offering superb fuel economy.
STANDOUT FEATURES You get a similar look and feel to the ultra-popular Honda Civic, with the added benefit of better mileage. It’s surprisingly quick for a hybrid, feeling more like a traditional compact sedan than eco counterparts. Unlike other hybrid sedans, you still get a lot of cargo space and a roomy interior.
GOOD TO KNOW Drivers may miss adjustable lumbar support and the base trim lacks some features we’d appreciate, like blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alerts.
LAB RESULTS The Insight offers a comfortable, refined and responsive driving experience. Given the negligible price premium over the Civic and the improved fuel economy, this car is a smart choice.
2020 Honda Insight, from $22,930 (base price)
WHY WE LOVE IT Mix a sleek, stylish exterior with exceptional comfort and loads of fun behind the wheel and you’ve got the Tesla Model 3.
STANDOUT FEATURES We were wowed by the super-responsive and intuitive touchscreen infotainment system that’s a staggering 15-inches. An autopilot package is now standard, which doesn’t mean it’s entirely self driving (yet!), but has some extra autonomous features like automatic lane changes.
GOOD TO KNOW Its interior layout is surprisingly minimal for such a futuristic car. Some may be disappointed it doesn’t come with integrations for Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, or Sirius XM. And unless you have a charging station installed in your home, you’ll want to research locations near you.
LAB LOWDOWN The Model 3 is quick, fun-to-drive, and offers a similar wow-factor to the more expensive Model S sedan, says one of our experts. This is the second year in a row the Model 3 has won a GH Car Award.
2020 Tesla Model 3, from $39,990 (base price)
WHY WE LOVE IT It’s an enhanced version of a vehicle already beloved by many (and us!). Now in its sixth generation, it feels familiar yet more modern. The rugged exterior design appeals to anyone with an outdoorsy side.
STANDOUT FEATURES This wagon boasts a comfortable ride for backseat passengers and ample cargo space. It’s particularly great for adventure-seeking families who may venture onto unpaved, gritty trails.
GOOD TO KNOW You’ll have to get at least the Premium trim for a lot of niceties, including 4G LTE mobile hotspot, a larger infotainment screen and more USB ports.
LAB RESULTS This perennial favorite includes loads of standard safety tech including forward-collision warning, automated emergency braking and adaptive cruise control. This is the second year in a row the Subaru Outback has won in this category.
2020 Subaru Outback, from $26,645 (base price)
WHY WE LOVE IT It’s an ultra wallet-friendly pick that’s nimble on tight city streets, yet still feels roomy for its size.
STANDOUT FEATURES The Hyundai Venue is practical with its stack of standard safety tech features and responsive, intuitive infotainment system. Our testers were pleasantly surprised by the ample passenger space in the front and suitable spacing in the rear.
GOOD TO KNOW This is a great value pick as long as you don’t need all-wheel drive, lots of cargo space or take frequent family road trips on the highway.
LAB RESULTS This spritely-but-small subcompact crossover is great to whip around the city.
2020 Hyundai Venue, from $17,350 (base price)
WHY WE LOVE IT It strikes the balance of being both a fun and functional ride in a category that is gaining popularity.
STANDOUT FEATURES Lots of standard safety tech like standard automatic emergency braking. Optional are even more advanced features like semi-autonomous driving. It features ample storage not just in terms of what can fit, but also in clever accommodations like a hook in the glovebox that can come out and a divider in the trunk storage.
GOOD TO KNOW We like that the infotainment screen is large, but it’s on the slow and laggy end of the spectrum. The rear seats no longer have a power-folding capability.
LAB RESULTS It offers the balance of a smooth and refined ride with a comparably comfy and spacious interior for both the driver and the passengers.
2020 Volvo XC40, from $33,700 (base price)
WHY WE LOVE IT A three-time winner of the GH Car Awards, this sporty crossover looks and drives like a luxury vehicle, but comes in at a much lower price.
STANDOUT FEATURES The CX-5 handles smoothly over bumps, has responsive brakes and rides as well in town as on the highway. Its interior is well designed, with luxe details, like a leather-wrapped steering wheel, standard. The trunk offers substantial storage space.
GOOD TO KNOW We found the infotainment system sluggish, so you’ll likely want to enable Apple CarPlay or Android Auto (available on most models) for GPS and music.
LAB RESULTS The CX-5 makes you feel as if you’ve gotten more than you paid for. Its sophisticated modern design and excellent handling make it seem like a timeless high-end vehicle.
2020 Mazda CX-5, from $25,190 (base price)
WHY WE LOVE IT An appealing aesthetic wraps this practical, fun-to-drive crossover.
STANDOUT FEATURES The user-friendly infotainment system is responsive and intuitive. It comes standard with tech niceties like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, four USB ports and a WiFi hotspot.
GOOD TO KNOW The cargo space isn’t as spacious as others in its class, but it offers an optional clever management system. It’s made up of a floor-mounted rail that keeps items secure and a partition and netting to keep items separated. It’s offered with both a four-cylinder and a powerful V-6 engine, but only the V-6 is available in all-wheel drive.
LAB RESULTS You’ll enjoy a confident, responsive drive that may just rival that of Matthew McConaughey’s commercials.
2020 Chevrolet Blazer, from $28,800 (base price)
WHY WE LOVE IT It’s a premium SUV that holds true to Porsche’s core of being an exciting, sporty ride. As the largest Porsche SUV, it provides ample roominess and cargo space.
STANDOUT FEATURES The 12.3” touchscreen is standard, and is responsive and easy to navigate. All models include 4G LTE mobile WiFi hotspot and Apple CarPlay integration.
GOOD TO KNOW Compared to other premium rides, the standard package is a bit sparse on luxurious items. Lots of upgrades are available to help personalize the ride, like color and material of interior and cushioning on seats.
LAB RESULTS It’s a premium SUV that will impress with its quiet agility.
2020 Porsche Cayenne, from $66,800 (base price)
WHY WE LOVE IT This spacious vehicle delivers a high-end, quiet ride for a fraction of the cost. It’s even enjoyable for adults seated in the third row. And with the back two rows folded down, it can fit an impressive 35 carry-on bags!
STANDOUT FEATURES This all-new vehicle offers ample standard features, including robust driver-safety tech and a large screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Plus, the rear-blind-spot-collision avoidance gives a dash video view of the next lane when you use your turn signal.
GOOD TO KNOW Fuel economy isn’t stellar compared with that of similar vehicles. If you want dual sunroofs and captains’ chairs in the second row, you’ll need to upgrade to the top trim.
LAB RESULTS Our engineers found the driving experience refined and comfortable. DriverTalk aptly muted music in the vehicle so the driver could be heard everywhere through the intercom system.
2020 Kia Telluride, from $31,890 (base price)
WHY WE LOVE IT The all-new Aviator is a powerful, luxurious mid-size SUV that offers a cushy ride for six or seven passengers depending upon your chosen configuration.
STANDOUT FEATURES There are a breadth of popular driver assist features included standard in Lincoln’s Co-Pilot360 like forward-collision warning with automated emergency braking and blind-spot monitoring with lane-keeping assistance. Optional is the brand’s novel Phone as a Key system, where you can use your phone to unlock the car.
GOOD TO KNOW Adults won’t want to spend any long hauls in the backseat because of the lack of legroom. The Aviator is also available in a capable plug-in-hybrid variant for added efficiency, but its brake system leaves room for refinement.
LAB RESULTS This upscale SUV smoothly cruises on highways with agility. You’ll be so comfy in this serene ride you’ll hate to park it at the end of the day.
2020 Lincoln Aviator, from $51,100 (base price)
WHY WE LOVE IT The largest BMW yet, the X7 is a sleek, roomy SUV that offers the impressive driving experience you’ve come to expect from the iconic brand. Even riders in the middle and back rows will enjoy the ride thanks to the roomy interior and large windows.
STANDOUT FEATURES Our experts like that all models have standard all-wheel drive. You’ll also get high-end extras like a panoramic sunroof, four-zone climate control and a wireless smartphone charging pad. Upgrade for even cooler add-ons, like volume adjustment using just a hand gesture.
GOOD TO KNOW It’s nice to have third-row seating, but the small space is best suited for kids, especially on long drives. Also, the third-row power seat adjustment can be slow.
LAB RESULTS For someone who doesn’t want to sacrifice excitement for practicality, this luxury SUV is the perfect middle ground. It’s a family car that doesn’t scream “family car” in looks or handling.
2020 BMW X7, from $73,900 (base price)
WHY WE LOVE IT There is space for everyone and all their things. If you’re a grown adult forced to sit in the third row, you won’t feel cramped. The third row power folds from the front making it easier to get in and out or the back to make loading cargo easier.
STANDOUT FEATURES All models are outfitted with Ford’s Co-Pilot360 – the brand’s driver-assistance arsenal, including automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection and lane-keeping assist with lane departure warning. Also standard on all vehicles is a touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and 4G LTE mobile hotspot. With 15 cupholders standard, you’ll never be on the hunt for a spot for your coffee cup or Hydroflask.
GOOD TO KNOW As the size would imply, it’s not the easiest to maneuver, particularly in tight spots.
LAB LOWDOWN It’s a workhorse that’s spacious enough for a family of five plus all of their gear.
2020 Ford Expedition, from $52,810 (base price)
WHY WE LOVE IT It’s a fully electric vehicle that doesn’t compromise on performance or design. It provides an exceptionally quiet, comfortable ride for all passengers with ample interior space and generous legroom.
STANDOUT FEATURES This luxurious SUV rides more like a sporty sedan. Audi’s cool digital gauge cluster, Virtual Cockpit, is a particular high point. A host of driver-assistance tech is included standard like standard forward-collision warning with automated emergency braking and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alerts.
GOOD TO KNOW The range isn’t quite as impressive as other electrics at just over 200 miles, but it’s likely more than enough for most riders’ daily commutes. A universal public charging infrastructure isn’t well developed yet, so having the ability to charge at home is key.
LAB LOWDOWN Driving an electric SUV never looked, or felt, so good.
2019 Audi e-tron SUV, from $74,800 (base print)
WHY WE LOVE IT It’s the ultimate pick if you have a large family and tons of gear. With all the useful features you want, from a flexible interior to top-quality infotainment, it offers unbeatable value.
STANDOUT FEATURES The second and third rows on non-hybrid models fold fully into the floor for extra cargo space. We also like that key driver-assistance features, like automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, are standard.
GOOD TO KNOW The base price has gone up by nearly $10,000 since we last gave it an award. If you don’t need all the bells and whistles, opt for the pared-down Voyager.
LAB RESULTS If you want a ride with lots of cargo and passenger space as well as good fuel economy, you can’t go wrong with this minivan. The hybrid version of this vehicle is also a past GH Car Award winner!
2021 Chrysler Pacifica, from $34,045 (base price)