Consumer Reports Recommends These Lower Priced Popular Vehicles
Timothy Boyer's picture

Popular Cars to Avoid and What to Buy Instead Recommends Consumer Reports

Here’s your chance to avoid paying too much for a popular make and model with this new listing of small cars, a range of SUVs, and trucks that although not the highest priced, still qualify as popular cars. Included in the listing are the expensive popular models to avoid and the less expensive popular models that are smarter car shopping alternative choices with some under-the-radar models easily missed.
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Popular, Reliable…and Affordable…New Vehicles

Earlier this year we learned about the most discounted new cars available right now that analysts at Consumer Reports gleaned from a data base that showed what cars Americans are buying and how much they were willing to pay for them. However, discounted deals do change and incentives do expire resulting in some of those popular models now costing more.

Related article: Consumer Reports Best New Car Deals for 2022 Sedans

Today, however, we have a new report that offers not those expensive popular vehicles that can break the bank, but a revised look at other lesser-expensive popular models of small cars, a wide range of SUV sizes, and some trucks that are recommended today by the good folks of Consumer Reports.

Related article: Worst Deals on New Cars are Dominated by This One Popular Make

Data digging to narrow down less-expensive popular choices available right now with an eye on those with predicted reliable performance, safety features, and even some qualified “Green Choices,” CR analysts have put together a new listing today with pricing tailored perfectly to suit your needs and desires in an automobile.

Related article: Should You Buy a 2022 Toyota Supra? Here's a Review by a Toyota Mechanic

That said, here is a summary of CR’s latest report.

A POPULAR SMALL CAR TO AVOID

2022 Toyota Corolla Hatchback
Price Range: $21,165 - $25,215
CR MPG: Overall 36 / City 24 / Hwy 51 mpg
Rated #11 of 12 Compact cars
Cons Besides Pricing: According to CR analysts, one notable con is “…The Toyota’s below-average predicted reliability is a concern,” for this model.

A Popular Small Car Alternative

2022 Subaru Impreza
Price Range: $18,795 - $26,395
CR MPG: Overall 30 / City 21 / Hwy 41 mpg
Rated #1 of 12 Compact cars

An 'Under the Radar' Small Car Choice

2022 Hyundai Venue
Price Range: $19,000 - $22,250
CR MPG: Overall 32 / City 23 / Hwy 41 mpg
Rated #3 of 6 Subcompact cars

A POPULAR SMALL SUV TO AVOID

2022 Ford Escape
Price Range: $26,760 - $40,435
CR MPG: Overall 26 / City 17 / Hwy 37 mpg
Rated #13 of 22 Compact sport-utility vehicles
Cons Besides Pricing: According to CR analysts, one notable con is “…a key concern is its below-average predicted reliability,” states the report.

A Popular Small SUV Alternative

2022 Mazda CX-5
Price Range: $25,900 - $38,650
CR MPG: Overall 24 / City 17 / Hwy 33 mpg
#6 of 22 Compact sport-utility vehicles

An 'Under the Radar' Small SUV Choice

2022 Hyundai Tucson
Price Range: $24,950 - $43,200
CR MPG: Overall 35 / City 29 / Hwy 40 mpg
Rated #2 of 22 Compact sport-utility vehicles

A POPULAR MIDSIZED TWO-ROW SUV TO AVOID

2022 Toyota 4Runner
Price Range: $38,105 - $52,920
CR MPG: Overall 18 / City 12 / Hwy 24 mpg
Rated #10 of 14 Midsized sport-utility vehicles 3-row
Cons Besides Pricing: According to CR analysts, one notable con is that off-road it is great; however, “…if you spend most of your time on paved roads, you’ll quickly notice how this SUV falls short of its modern, more refined competitors.”

A Popular Midsized SUV Alternative

2022 Chevrolet Blazer
Price Range: $33,400 - $44,000
CR MPG: Overall 19 / City 13 / Hwy 27 mpg
Rated #3 of 11 Midsized sport-utility vehicles

An 'Under the Radar' Choice

2022 Ford Edge
Price Range: $37,145 - $45,945
CR MPG: Overall 22 / City 15 / Hwy 31 mpg
Rated #5 of 11 Midsized sport-utility vehicles

A POPULAR MIDSIZED THREE-ROW SUV TO AVOID

2022 Ford Explorer
Price Range: $33,745 - $56,495
CR MPG: Overall 21 / City 14 / Hwy 29 mpg
Rated #13 of 14 Midsized sport-utility vehicles 3-row
Cons Besides Pricing: “…the Explorer’s well-below-average predicted reliability rating further drives down its Overall Score. It’s among the least reliable vehicles in our reliability surveys,” say analysts.

A Popular Midsized Three-Row SUV Alternative

2022 Chevrolet Traverse
Price Range: $33,700 - $53,400
CR MPG: Overall 20 / City 14 / Hwy 28 mpg
Rated #5 of 14 Midsized sport-utility vehicles 3-row

An 'Under the Radar' Choice

2022 Mazda CX-9
Price Range: $35,280 - $47,210
CR MPG: Overall 22 / City 15 / Hwy 32 mpg
#4 of 14 Midsized sport-utility vehicles 3-row

A POPULAR MIDSIZED PICKUP TRUCK TO AVOID

2022 Chevrolet Colorado
Price Range: $25,435 - $44,200
CR MPG: Overall 18 / City 13 / Hwy 26 mpg
Rated #7 of 9 Compact pickup trucks
Cons Besides Pricing: According to CR analysts, “…the below-average predicted reliability is a deterrent, and owners rate satisfaction as merely average.”

A Popular Pickup Truck Alternative

2022 Ford Ranger
Price Range: $25,715 - $39,465
CR MPG: Overall 20 / City 14 / Hwy 27 mpg
Rated #3 of 9 Compact pickup trucks

An 'Under the Radar' Choice

2022 Honda Ridgeline
Price Range: $37,640 - $45,070
CR MPG: Overall 20 / City 13 / Hwy 29 mpg
Rated #1 of 9 Compact pickup trucks

And finally…

For additional articles about buying a new vehicle, here are some helpful pieces for your consideration:

Consumer Reports Mechanics Advise Avoiding These Models Known for Blowing a Gasket

Toyota Mechanic Asks Whether You Should Really Consider Buying a Toyota Corolla Cross

The 2022 Toyota Model Preferred by a Toyota Master Mechanic

COMING UP NEXT: Best Used Cars at the Right Price Lists Consumer Reports

Timothy Boyer is a Torque News automotive reporter based in Cincinnati. Experienced with early car restorations, he regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications for improved performance. Follow Tim on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites for daily new and used vehicle news.

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