These vehicles are best-in-class, (auto) science tells us

The art of making a great car purchase actually lies with a little science. Or a lot, according to the Automotive Science Group, which aims to help consumers make informed car-buying decisions through its objective, data-driven analysis.

To that end, it has created the Automotive Performance Index, enabling shoppers to find the best new models across a range of categories. “You define the size and class of automobile that meets your needs, and we’ll differentiate the best-performing model in the segment,” says the group.

For 2019, the index has identified 33 best-in-class vehicles in 11 categories based on economic, environmental and all-around performance assessments. Nine overall winners are highlighted, too.

The leading 2019-year models, from 1,640 variants of car, crossover and SUV, are below. Two-seaters, convertibles and vehicles exceeding $100,000 were excluded from the study.

 

The 2019 Kia Sorento is the leading full-size SUV for all-round and economic performance, according to the Automotive Performance Index.

 

Best cars of 2019

Mini compact
Toyota Yaris – all-around performance
BMW i3 – environmental performance
Chevrolet Spark – economic performance

Compact
Mitsubishi Mirage – all-around performance
Toyota Prius C – environmental performance
Mitsubishi Mirage – economic performance

Midsize
Toyota Prius Prime – all-around performance
Toyota Prius Prime – environmental performance
Honda Fit – economic performance

Full-size
Hyundai Ioniq Plugin – all-around performance
Hyundai Ioniq Plugin – environmental performance
Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid – economic performance

Wagon
Subaru Outback – all-around performance
Subaru Outback – environmental performance
Fiat 500 L – economic performance

Best cars overall
Toyota Prius Prime – all-around performance
Hyundai Ioniq Plugin – environmental performance
Mitsubishi Mirage – economic performance

 

Best crossovers of 2019

Mini crossover
Mazda CX-3 – all-around performance
Lexus UX 250h – environmental performance
Hyundai Kona – economic performance

Compact crossover
Kia Niro Plugin – all-around performance
Kia Niro Plugin – environmental performance
Nissan Kicks – economic performance

Crossover
Toyota RAV4 Hybrid – all-around performance
Toyota RAV4 – environmental performance
Jeep Compass – economic performance

Best crossovers overall
Kia Niro Plugin – all-around performance
Kia Niro Plugin – environmental performance
Nissan Kicks – economic performance

 

Best SUVs and minivans of 2019

Midsize SUV
Mitsubishi Outlander – all-around performance
Tesla Model X – environmental performance
Nissan Rogue – economic performance

Full-size SUV
Kia Sorento – all-around performance
Toyota Highlander Hybrid – environmental performance
Kia Sorento – economic performance

Minivan
Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid – all-around performance
Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid – environmental performance
Ford Transit Connect – economic performance

Best SUVs and minivans overall
Mitsubishi Outlander – all-around performance
Tesla Model X – environmental performance
Nissan Rogue – economic performance

 

Many car buyers shop by brand, and Automotive Science Group analyzed 32 automakers in five categories. Besides all-around, environmental and economic performance, there were awards for most-distinguished brand and social performance, which takes into account factors such as labor policies and practices.

 

Best brands of 2019

Mitsubishi – all-around performance
Tesla – environmental performance
Mitsubishi – economic performance
Mini – social performance
Toyota – most-distinguished brand

 

 

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