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The 10 car brands with the most Top Picks in history

The 10 car brands with the most Top Picks in history

We’ve been formally assembling Tops Picks for the past 17 years, featuring the best models of the year in 10 vehicle categories. In looking back, some manufacturers stand out from the competition, while others have never made the cut. Here, we highlight the brands that have had the most Top Picks.

For 2013, Honda is back with three models in the latest Top Picks list, having the strongest showing this year. However, just last year, there wasn’t a single Honda. In fact, last year, Toyota was king with five of their models making the list.

Japanese brands have appeared 131 times since 1997 when we debuted our Top Picks. Toyota and Honda have dominated, with 48 and 34 models, respectively. Together, those two brands represent nearly 50 percent of all Consumer Reports’ Top Picks.

American automakers haven’t fared as well. Ford has earned nine spots throughout the years, GM seven, and Chrysler three. Chrysler models haven’t made the Top Pick list since 1998.

Most frequent Top Picks by brand:

Brand # of Top Picks since 1997
Toyota 48
Honda 34
Subaru 13
Lexus 12
Mazda 10
Ford 9
Volkswagen 9
Chevrolet 7
Hyundai 7
Infiniti 7

Other notable Top Pick facts include:

Top-Picks-2013-1997-mags.jpg• The Toyota Prius has earned the Top Pick for Green car 10 years in a row.
• Since 1997, Toyota has also led a number of SUV categories, with RAV4, 4Runner, Highlander, and Lexus RX winning consistently.
• The last Chrysler Corp. product to make the list was the Jeep Grand Cherokee in 1998.
• This is the 9th time the Honda Accord has been the top family/midsized sedan.
• As an example of the competitiveness of the sporty/fun-to-drive category, all of these manufacturers had at least one win over the years: Ford, Honda, Mazda, Nissan, Scion, Subaru, and Volkswagen.
• The early years were good for domestics and European makers. Detroit earned four Top Picks in 1997 and European makers earned four in 1998. Both have not hit those numbers since.
• Volkswagen had a good run with its Passat sedan, which held or shared the top billing in the family sedan category from 1998 through 2004.
• Top pickup truck accolades show Ford winning four times, Toyota three, and Chevrolet six times.
• Korean makers joined the Top Picks rank in 2008 and have had at least one model every year since.

See our full 2013 Top Picks list and the rest of our annual autos issue coverage in our special section.

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