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Consumer Reports: 10 best cars

The influential magazine reveals its top picks among the 2009 model year cars, trucks and SUVs.

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Best in class
Best in class
Jake Fisher, senior automotive engineer for Consumer Reports, takes the Mazda MX-5 Miata around a bend in the magazine's test track.
Consumer Reports magazine has become a major resource for American auto shoppers since the magazine began testing cars in the 1950s.

That's been good news for brands such as Toyota and Honda, which have generally done better than domestic cars in Consumer Reports' testing and in the magazine's vehicle dependability surveys.

While Detroit vehicles have been improving - the magazine recently said Ford Motor Co. now builds cars that rival Toyota and Honda in reliability - only one American product earned a Top Pick designation this year.

Consumer Reports is published by the not-for-profit Consumer's Union. The magazine does not accept advertising of any kind. The cars it tests are purchased at the magazine's expense from retail dealers, and all cars are run through an identical series of tests at the magazine's Connecticut test track. Test drivers also take the cars out into ordinary roads and use them in everyday situations. These tests are used to compute a 1-to-100 score.

To earn the magazine's coveted recommendation, a car must have good test scores, good safety scores - as judged by the federal government and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety - and average or better predicted reliability based on the magazine's owner surveys. These Top Picks are rated as the very best among recommended vehicles.

NEXT: Best overall: Lexus LS460
Last updated February 26 2009: 3:46 PM ET
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