MIAMI (CBSMiami) – South Floridians who are ready to plunk down some hard earned cash so they can put the pedal to the metal but don’t know what to buy take note – Consumer Reports is out with its ‘best of the best’ 2013.

While there have been improvements in the US car sales, Japanese models continue to have more “best buy,” according to the consumer group.

Consumer Reports Best Picks:
Midsized Sedan – Honda Accord
Sports Cars – Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ
Budget Car – Hyundai Elantra
Compact Car – Subaru Impreza
Best Green Car – Toyota Prius

Consumer Reports said that one big manufacturer getting credit for turning things around between 2012 and 2013 is Honda. The manufacturer made a big U-turn for the 2013 model year, after poor ratings last year.

“I think they kinda came to figure out what was going on because last year was almost like a low water mark. Every year it seemed like Honda got a little worse. I mean they were resting on their laurels,” Consumer Reports’ Jake Fisher told CBS4’s Al Sunshine. “The Honda Civic we tested scored too low to even recommend. They came back 18 months (later), refreshed the car, improved it a lot. And then they got the Accord, they figured out something, got their Mojo back and are making good cars again.”

US carmakers have worked full speed to improve their quality over the last few years, to be more competitive when it comes to foreign models.

Foreign carmakers are working to increase production in the US to avoid high shipping costs from overseas factories.

The question of where a car is made is less of an issue today than several years ago.  Fuel economy, price, overall features and safety are what potential buyers are most interested in.

Another major trend Consumer Reports found this year is the increase of integration of cellular digital technology into vehicles.  Automakers are trying to make their cars and SUVs more interactive with today’s high tech smart phones and laptops.  The new technology, however, in some cases, had driven up prices and created a greater potential for distracting a driver behind the wheel.


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