Among the many things that Edmunds.com allows everyday drivers to do is to publish personal critiques of vehicles that provide serious insight from those driving their vehicles under daily, real life circumstances. What follows is their summation of Top Rated Sedan, Coupe, SUV and Pick Up Truck:
The Kia Forte sedan is quickly moving in on Toyota and Honda, two manufacturers that have long dominated the small car category. The Kia Forte is one of the best-looking small automobiles on the market today. The Kia Forte’s inside is built on a number of riches jammed into it. Even the base Forte includes an iPod interface and a Bluetooth system that downloads your cell phone contacts. Also standard on the LX and EX trims is a 2.0-liter, 156-hp four-cylinder while the SX trim adds a sport-tuned suspension and a 2.4-liter engine that generate 173 horses. And talk about value; all this for around $15,000 and you’ll be driving one of the most fun-to-drive cars in its class.
Dodge’s retro-styled muscle car is captured in the Dodge Challenger, a formidable competitor to the Ford Mustang and Chevy Camaro. For less than $25,000 owners absolutely relish its forbidding looks projecting a bad attitude. Owners bragged about the Challenger’s fluid ride, spacious interior and all-around comfort. The Challenger is a classic muscle car updated for the 21st-century driver while the Camaro and Mustang have more performance-oriented postures. The Challenger holds its own in corners, it’s quick off the line from one traffic light to the next and cruises on an open stretch of road.
The Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4 are definitely better known than the Mazda’s CX-7 and that’s probably the only reason you can still get this top rated SUV for less than $25,000. “Nothing else in this price range compares to it,” said one reader about this exciting choice that offers sporty handling. “The sophisticated good looks turn heads on the highway with the stylish look of a BMW, Infiniti or Lexus,” as one owner commented suggesting that you’d need to spend that kind of money to meet or beat Mazda’s CX-7. If you are a shopper looking for value and performance you’ll treasure this refined and fine-tuned Mazda.
The Nissan Frontier moved into first place this time beating the two-time winner Toyota Tacoma. The Fontier’s car-like ride along with its on and off-road pickup truck performance with solid acceleration were frequently cited and 20 mpg highway fuel-economy is even more attractive with gas prices on the rise again. The Frontier comes with a 4.0 liter V6 engine a broad choice of setups, bed lengths tie-down cleats, bed extenders and trim levels so you can almost build the truck to meet your needs. Prices range from as little as $18,000 to just over $31,000. Owners find the Frontier to be both reliable and practical pickup truck. Cited most is the truck’s flexibility to perform a wide range of duties while offering a car-like ride and features like heated leather power seats, steering-wheel-mounted controls, extendable sun visors and Bluetooth capability.