Gayle Anderson was live in Hollywood to take for "APRIL 2010 CONSUMER REPORTS- THE CARS".

CONSUMER REPORTS' Annual Auto Issue announced its findings at the Washington Automotive Press Association (WAPA) press conference on February 23rd in Washington, D.C. and named six new models to its annual Top Picks car list for 2010. Comprised of nine different car brands, this year's list is the most diverse group of Top Picks in over a decade. The selections for best models of the year include the Mazda5, Nissan Altima, Subaru Forester, Volkswagen GTI, and Chevrolet Traverse and Silverado join the Hyundai Elantra SE, Infiniti G37, Toyota Prius and Lexus LS460L, based on performance, reliability, and safety.

CONSUMER REPORTS' Top Picks are the best all-around models in their categories and must meet stringent road test, reliability, and safety requirements. Each Top Pick scores at or near the top of its category among the more than 280 vehicles evaluated at the CONSUMER REPORTS' Auto Test Center; has average or better predicted reliability (based on the problems subscribers reported on more than 1.4 million vehicles in CONSUMER REPORTS' Annual Auto Survey), and performed adequately in overall safety if tested by the government or insurance industry. In addition, each model must offer electronic stability control (ESC), a proven lifesaving safety feature as standard equipment or as a readily available option. All of this year's Top Picks provide standard ESC and curtain air bags.

CONSUMER REPORTS's testing procedures are the most comprehensive of any U.S. publication or Web site. More than 50 individual tests are performed on every vehicle, including evaluations of braking, handling, comfort, convenience, safety, and fuel economy. Roughly 6,000 miles of general driving and evaluations are racked up on each test car during the testing process. CR buys all its test cars anonymously from dealers. Other reviewers base their evaluations on press cars that are hand-picked by the automakers.

In recent years, Toyota and Honda models have had their share of spots among CONSUMER REPORTS Top Picks list, but the automotive landscape continues to grow more competitive. For example, this year, the Nissan Altima managed to dethrone the Honda Accord as the Top Pick for Family Sedan, making it the first time since 1998 that a Honda model was not selected. The Toyota Prius retains its position as the Top Pick for Green for the seventh consecutive year, while the Lexus LS460L returns as CONSUMER REPORTS pick for Best Overall vehicle. The Honda Fit and the Toyota Prius topped the list of new-car best values, beating out more than 280 cars in eight categories.

Here are the 2010 Top Picks, by category:
Small Sedan: Hyundai Elantra SE
Family Sedan: Nissan Altima
Sporty Car: Volkswagen GTL
Small SUV: Subaru Forester
Best Car Overall: Lexus LS 460L
Family SUV: Chevrolet Traverse
Sport Sedan: Infiniti G37
Family Hauler: Mazda5
Green Car: Toyota Prius
Pickup Truck: Chevrolet Silverado

Honda and Subaru have earned class leader status for building the best all-around vehicles for American drivers, according to the Automaker Report Cards published in CONSUMER REPORTS' 2010 Annual Auto Issue. This is the fourth consecutive year that Honda has topped the magazine's list. At the opposite end of the annual ranking is Chrysler, which fared even worse than last year, although it did have one recommended vehicle this year, the Ram pickup, compared to no recommended vehicles last year. South Korean carmaker, Hyundai and its subsidiary, Kia, has shown the most dramatic improvement, jumping to fourth place from ninth last year. The overall score for each automaker is based on the average of its vehicles' overall scores in CONSUMER REPORTS' road tests and their average predicted-reliability ratings from the magazine's Annual Auto Survey. Manufacturers received a report card only if five or more of their vehicles were tested.

Not all Asian models are reliable or good performers. Although many models from Honda, Toyota, and Mitsubishi are very reliable, several scored too low in the magazine's tests to be Recommended. Toyota recently issued safety recalls and temporarily stopped sales of eight models because of rare occurences of a sticking accelerator pedal. CONSUMER REPORTS has suspended its recommendations of those models, which caused Toyota's percentage of recommended vehicles to drop off by almost half.

The past year was especially rough for American automakers, but there is some good news; reliability of some Ford models now rivals their competitors from Honda and Toyota. CONSUMER REPORTS recommends 75 percent of the Ford models that were tested, up from 70 percent last year. The best vehicles often set the standard for their competitors to follow or improve upon. In the end, it's the consumer who ends up the ultimate winner.