Midsized Sedan: Kia Optima

Move over Honda Accord and Toyota Camry: The Kia Optima rocks the midsized sedan segment as a smart alternative to the me-too mainstream. It checks all of the right boxes for family-sedan buyers, with responsive handling, a steady ride and pleasant powertrain, short stopping distances, easy-to-use controls, and a roomy backseat. The Optima is a […]

Sports Car: Mazda MX-5 Miata

The Mazda MX-5 Miata is the embodiment of driving pleasure. Its alchemical formula has been honed since 1990, with the core ingredients consistently being a pliant four-cylinder engine, rear-wheel drive, sharp handling, and light weight. The real magic is in how the machine responds to the driver. The modest power is harnessed to great effect […]

Compact Hybrid: Toyota Prius

The car that pioneered the hybrid movement and has defined fuel-efficiency for four model generations still stands tall as an innovative green machine. Its fuel economy in our tests was a staggering 52 mpg overall—the highest we’ve ever recorded in a car that doesn’t plug in. Prius also touts excellent reliability, a remarkable accomplishment given […]

Subcompact Car: Toyota Yaris iA

Developed by Mazda, launched by Scion, and now marketed as a Toyota, the Yaris iA proves that subcompact cars can delight. A different model from the Toyota Yaris hatchback, the frisky iA sedan stands out in a segment filled with insubstantial models. It feels refined for this entry-level class, with a smooth and willing four-cylinder […]

Compact Car: Chevrolet Cruze

This redesigned sedan and hatchback bests two segment stalwarts, the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla, with an Overall Score at the top of the class. The formula is simple: Put the Malibu and Impala in a shrink ray, reducing scale but preserving the commendable driving manners and generous available features. The result is a […]