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IN THIS REPORT
Overview
Top picks
Important update

SMALL SUV


Subaru Forester
Subaru Forester.

The Forester is both a good vehicle and a good value--about $22,000 for the 2.5X. This all-wheel-drive, car-based SUV handles with agility and rides comfortably. The interior features comfortable seats and lots of handy storage compartments. The Toyota RAV4 ($22,000) is a good runner-up.

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UPSCALE SEDAN


Acura TL
Acura TL.
The TL’s 2004 redesign transformed a good but unexciting sedan into a top performer. The TL (about $34,000) provides sporty performance, an impeccable interior, and respectable fuel economy. The BMW 330i (about $40,500) also blends sporty performance with a refined, comfortable driving experience.

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THREE-ROW SUV


Honda Pilot
Honda Pilot.
The eight-passenger Pilot ($33,000) blends the qualities of an SUV and a minivan. Its smooth V6 delivers spirited performance and respectable fuel economy. A comfortable ride, secure handling, impeccable fit and finish, and a fold-away, split third-row seat make it an excellent choice.

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FUN TO DRIVE


Subaru Impreza WRX
Subaru Impreza WRX and STi.
The rally-car-inspired Subaru Impreza WRX and its high-performance STi variant (about $26,000 and $32,000, respectively) prove that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a fun-to-drive sports car. They blend quick acceleration and balanced handling with the practicality of four doors.

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FAMILY SEDAN


Honda Accord
Honda Accord.

The Honda Accord ($21,000 to $30,000)
provides an excellent
balance of comfort,
roominess, and handling.The new gasoline/
electric Accord Hybrid, which scored highest in this category, is very quick and delivered 25 mpg in overall fuel economy. The Toyota Camry ($21,000 to $30,000) and Volkswagen Passat GLS ($26,000 to $31,000) remain other good choices.

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MIDSIZED SUV


Lexus RX330
Lexus RX330.
The RX330 (about $44,000 well equipped) is an excellent overall package. It blends a smooth, responsive powertrain and secure handling with a very comfortable ride. Its well-detailed interior is as quiet and plush as those of many luxury cars. The similar Toyota Highlander costs about $10,000 less.

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LUXURY SEDAN


Lexus LS430
Lexus LS430.
The Lexus LS430 (about $70,000, typically equipped) has a silky smooth V8 powertrain, spacious accommodations, easy-to-use controls, and a plush, quiet cabin. Comprehensive safety features, excellent reliability, and low depreciation also make this car a standout.

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NA



MINIVAN


Honda Odyssey
Honda Odyssey.
The redesigned Odyssey (about $26,000 to $38,000) leads the class in agility and comfort, with secure handling helped by electronic stability control. The interior is well crafted and versatile. The Toyota Sienna ($25,000 to $39,000) is quieter, rides a bit more comfortably, and offers all-wheel drive.

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NA



GREEN CAR


Toyota Prius
Toyota Prius.
This second-generation gasoline/electric hybrid (about $23,000) is a good alternative to a conventional midsized family sedan. It provides a roomy interior, good driving performance, and the versatility of a hatchback. Its 44 mpg is the highest overall fuel economy we’ve recorded in a five-passenger vehicle.

REPORT CARD
Test score ..................
Reliability ....................
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NA

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