Toyota Hybrids and Other Models Take Five Spots Out of 10 on CR ‘Top Pick’ List

The latest “top pick” list by Consumer Reports has five out of 10 Toyotas on it, including the Camry Hybrid and Prius.

The last time domination by a single brand of this magnitude happened was by Honda in 2003, according to USA Today, which observed also that no Hondas were found on this year’s CR list.

Note that the updated 2012 Camry Hybrid was named best “family sedan,” not green family
sedan or hybrid family sedan. It edged out all the other Camrys in doing so.

Of it, CR said:

FAMILY SEDAN: Toyota Camry Hybrid ($29,052). In addition to its impressive 38 mpg overall fuel economy, other high points include a comfortable ride; a roomy, quiet, cabin; fairly quick acceleration; and for 2012, a nicer interior and somewhat crisper handling (although the Camry is still no sports sedan).

Perhaps many of you are not surprised, and just as likely, it will not seem a stretch that the Prius won best “green car,” as CR noted:

GREEN CAR: Toyota Prius ($26,750 to $28,217). The Prius sets the standard for fuel efficiency, practicality, and affordability with its overall 44 mpg. Its roomy interior, comfortable ride, and hatchback versatility make it easy to live with. The 41 mpg of the new Prius V wagon easily tops its class.

The other three categories and models won by Toyotas are: Small SUV: Toyota RAV4; Family Hauler: Toyota Sienna; Family SUV: Toyota Highlander.

USA Today


  • Old Grumpy

    Once again Jeff Cobb seems to be working for Toyota!! Ok 5 out of 10 were Toyotas! So what! What were the outer 5 no mention of the Ford Mustang, Infinity, Hyundia, or the Subaru and heaven forbid we should mention the Chevrolet!! Jeff needs to be a little more fair and balanced in his reporting!! Maybe he should ask Toyota for a raise! Rant over!

  • Theodore

    Dude give it a rest. He answered ur last rant and has postef positive news about 3 other brands 2day. This guy also writes for the gm-volt site so l dont expect he works for toyota!

  • Capt. Concernicus

    @ Old Grumpy,

    Okay. We get it. You hate Toyota.

  • DownUnder

    Should change pen name to Old Broken Record

  • Old Grumpy

    Sorry if I hurt anyones feelings. I think Jeff answered my other post very well. I understand it is hard to keep things balanced. And I really don’t hate Toyotas. They make a very nice car, but so do a lot of other manufacters. I’m just saying that there are alternatives to toyota that should be reported on. I felt that these 2 articles in particular just try too hard to say how Great Toyotas are and don’t give other cars a fair hearing! I happen to love the Volt and the Ford Focus hybrid but thats just me! Also love the Kia!! Again sorry if I hurt anyones feeling (didn’t mean too just looking for some balance in the reporting)

  • Jeff Cobb

    Old Grumpy – I understand you saying I could have been more “fair and balanced,” but perhaps you should know a bit more that goes into the process of picking what to say or leave out in a short news report.

    “Newsworthiness” involves subjective criteria that I have to sort through. The fact that one automaker dominated half of the 10 spots for the first time since 2003 was not lost on the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, or AutoBlog to mention a few out of several which cued in on this.

    Sure I could have listed all CR’s entries as USA Today did in its longer format piece, but I hit the high spots within the frame work of condensed news. Briefs do not pretend to be in-depth reporting. They are accurate as far as they go, and omissions are not made to favor personal biases. That had nothing to do with it.

    If you’ve noticed, we are now putting out more daily content that is solid for what it is. That said, we are always refining our act, and open to perfecting the form.

    Just because a piece is only 250-500 words does not mean it should seem incomplete. It is an art form in itself, and we will keep working at it.

    You have my email address, and you now know I am not shilling for any brand. That would cost me my credibility, and that’s the last thing I want.

    The good news is this site will be getting better in a number of ways, so thanks for reading and your benefit of the doubt if needed.

  • alex777

    “I happen to love the Volt and the Ford Focus hybrid but thats just me!” What is it Focus hybrid? It’s another dream for those who confuse the pedals? I mean toyotas recall crisis, sorry if I hurt anyones feelings :)) Volt – much ado about nothing (IMHO) it’s a 4- seated car (40000$) for a Chevrolet true patriots! WSJ that confirm http://247wallst.com/2011/12/27/the-worst-product-flops-of-2011/2/ “The Worst Product Flops of 2011″ If I were You I would have loved Nissan Leaf and Lexus 200h (much more real cars)! Sorry if the truth is so unbalanced :))
    Camry Hybrid 2012(4339 – not 38 mpg!) for 25900 $ – it’s my unbalanced dream! Why unbalanced because I am an anesthesiologist in Belarus, but not in the U.S.!

  • arizonataylor

    I’d like to see what Prius’s market share is in the hybrid category. I’m betting it’s pretty significant.

    You can take these hybrid cars and get even better mileage by hypermiling.

    http://arizonataylor.hubpages.com/hub/Save-Gas-Cut-Fuel-Costs-Expert-Money-Saving

  • JD

    Hypermiling? …

    I recently bought a 2012 Camry LE hybrid and got 61mpg avg during one 50 mile round trip! I’d say that’s hyper-mileage!

    WHAT A CAR!!! Toyota has the experience and 5 top cars in the CR assessment says it all.

    Thanks for the report Jeff Cobb.

  • veek

    Thanks for the article, and for helping make economical driving more attractive. A few years ago, the Prius was about the only choice available in the high-economy sector, and now we have so many good choices. Manufacturers have done much work. This “Top Pick” list is not just good for Toyota, it’s good for us all.

  • Volt Owner

    Right. But you’re still buying gas – I’m not! I do a 38mi round-trip commute 5 days a week to work, and that costs me $.02/mile in my Volt. Also have 0-60 in 8.8sec, 149hp, 273lb-ft of torque if I want to have a li’l fun. Not to mention leather, navi, etc…

    So when gas is $5-6/g you’ll STILL be buying gas, and I’ll STILL not be buying gas. My only issue will be buying a tankfull (9.3g) every 6mos to flush out the old, stale, unused, unburned, unneeded gas out of the tank, because I never had to use it :)

    What a wonderful place it’s becoming… I can actually HAVE my cake, AND eat it, too!

    Thanks, GM! Ya done good with Volt!
    The grief you’re getting, is from either those who can’t afford it, those who already got a crybrid, or those who listen to media propaganda, and know NOTHING of the Volt.

  • Volt Rocks

    150 MPG…let me repeat that…150 MPG. That is what I am getting with the Volt. Love the car. 85% of the time…I have run it on battery. I have done 60 miles battery alone on one trip (through mountain mode). Fantastic vehicle. I received a PA rebate and anticipate the federal tax credit making this car a bargain. Seriously…kicks the crap out of any hybrid vehicle out there.

  • NSB

    Love my volt too, brother. 150 MPG. Amazing vehicle.

  • veek

    If you do the math, the Prius almost certainly comes out far ahead of the Volt on any rational basis, although if someone loves driving the Volt and justifies it in their own mind, that’s up to them and it’s their choice.

    If you drive a Volt 15,000 miles per year and get 150 mpg, you use 100 gallons of gas. If you drive a (conventional non plug-in) Prius 15,000 miles per year and get 50 mpg, you use 300 gallons of gas. Even at $5/gallon, you will save $1000 per year on gas, but be sure to factor in the added cost of the Volt. Don’t forget to add the extra electricity for the Volt, which depends on your rates (the amount of pollution for the electricity, and the extra capacity the utility needs, also depends on your region), and the cost for the high-amp plug if you bought it. Finally, look at the Really Huge Cost for a new car, which is depreciation. I would imagine the Volt will depreciate significantly faster than the Prius, and this is probably where the Prius — plug-in or no plug-in — wins big on cost. Of course, dependability is another consideration if you keep the car long-term, and here, you are comparing the record of Toyota to GM — and be realistic here. Again, if you like the driving experience of the Volt, and you have $40K to spend, then go for it, but please don’t try to justify this decision on cost. If you want to justify the Volt because it uses 200 fewer gallons per year, keep in mind there are probably many other ways to save gas without spending all the extra money a Volt will cost.

  • bskija

    Since 1976 all of my cars have been Toyotas. No, I’m not a fanatic for Toyota. If the day ever comes when I believe another make is superior to a Toyota I will buy that make. Currently, I own a Prius 2 2011. It gets 52.5 mpg and I drive the car without trying to get top mpg. This is an advanced vehicle, but you must study the owners manual to avoid any problems. If there are things you don’t like about the Prius it is a good probability that they can be changed either by you or by the Toyota dealer.

  • JD

    I paid $24K for my 2012 Camry LE HV. Alittle more than half what you will pay for a Volt (not counting your govy rebate(?). However,
    I say lets encourage each other, not try to outdo each another by touting our personal choice of fuel sipping vehicle as the best. Bottom line is we’re all doing our part in reducing emissions and gas consumption. That is the point isn’t it?

    I love my 2012 Camry HV. Its safe, comfy, roomy, good looking and has plenty of zip with the combined 200HP when needed. And it does zip! Plus, its built in the good ole USA. I’ve been pleasantly surprised to be getting an average 52mpg with this mid-size sedan. I traded a Corolla which was at ~36-38mpg during winter (I live in Maine) and 40+mpg during summer highway jaunts. Thank you Toyota and keep up the good work with all you do!

  • JD

    I paid $24K for my 2012 Camry LE HV. Alittle more than half what you will pay for a Volt (not counting your govy rebate(?). However,
    I say lets encourage each other, not try to outdo each another by touting our personal choice of fuel sipping vehicle as the best. Bottom line is we’re all doing our part in reducing emissions and gas consumption. That is the point isn’t it?

    I love my 2012 Camry HV. Its safe, comfy, roomy, good looking and has plenty of zip with the combined 200HP when needed. And it does zip! Plus, its built in the good ole USA. I’ve been pleasantly surprised to be getting an average 52mpg with this mid-size sedan. I traded a Corolla which was at ~36-38mpg during winter (I live in Maine) and 40+mpg during summer highway jaunts. Thank you Toyota and keep up the good work with all you do!

  • bskija

    On my Prius 2 2011 there is one thing I would like to see changed. It is the P switch button (Park button). The P switch button is too close to the shifter and the auto mode. If you accidentally push the P switch while doing 65 on the highway you lose all power and have to coast to the shoulder of the road. You then start the Prius as you normally would to get it back on the highway. If an unlikely event happens that some charlatans say that the car speeded up with no control on the car to stop it, use the P switch deliberately. Toyota says to put the Prius in N to stop it. (Neutral) I believe pushing the P switch is the better and quicker way to go. Although I believe you will never have to resort to this way of stopping the car. Another way to use the N (Neutral) on your shifter is when you drive through a car wash. Unlike the other positions on your shifter where you only kiss the position and let it fly back to the home position you have to hold the N (Neutral) for a few seconds.
    Another change I would like to see is with the power switch and the eco switch. Making these two switches tactile (Able to feel) you could tell which switch you are about to push by the feel of the switch. There would be no need to take your eyes off the road to push the selected switch.

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