8 best Toyotas to buy in 2013

Yahoo! Autos Canada
2013 Toyota Corolla
2013 Toyota Corolla


TOP PICK: 2013 Toyota Corolla (base, MT)

STARTING PRICE: $16,230

OVERALL SCORE: 70/100

BEST IN CLASS: Fuel economy (small sedan), value.

HIGHS: Fuel economy, ride, quiet interior, turning circle, controls, crash-test results, reliability.

LOWS: Steering feel, fit and finish.

CONSUMER REPORTS SAYS: The Corolla is a good small sedan, although it is rather bland. The 1.8-liter engine is relatively quiet and responsive. By the standards of the small-car class the Corolla has a comfortable ride. Handling is sound and secure. The interior is put together well, although hard plastic panels and trim abound. We got a very impressive 7.35 L/100KM overall in our test of the 1.8-liter equipped with both automatic and manual transmissions, one of the most frugal among nonhybrids or nondiesel sedans.

TOP COMPETITORS
Hyundai Elantra | Kia Forte | Chevrolet Cruze | Mazda3


2013 Toyota Matrix (1.8)
2013 Toyota Matrix (1.8)




TOP PICK: 2013 Toyota Matrix (1.8L, 4-cyl.)

STARTING PRICE: $19,275

OVERALL SCORE: 69/100

BEST IN CLASS: Under $25,000, value, fuel economy (wagon/hatchback)

HIGHS: Fuel economy, access, versatility, controls, rear seat, crash-test results.

LOWS: Noise, fit and finish, driving position, rear visibility.

CONSUMER REPORTS SAYS: The Vibe and its near twin, the Toyota Matrix, are derived from the Toyota Corolla and are built side by side at the same California plant. They are tall hatchbacks with optional all-wheel drive and can serve as substitutes for small SUVs. The long suits here are versatility, efficiency and price. Virtues include easy access, a roomy rear seat, a refined powertrain, and impressive fuel economy. The driving experience is sound, but the Vibe is not exactly engaging to drive. Interior fit and finish and the driving position are middling and the cabin can get noisy.

TOP COMPETITORS
Kia Soul | Honda Fit | Scion xB



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TOP PICK: 2013 Toyota Camry LE (4-cyl)

STARTING PRICE: $22,055

OVERALL SCORE: 88/100

BEST IN CLASS: Ownership costs, fuel economy (family sedan), value

HIGHS: Ride, fuel economy, drivetrain, interior room, reliability.

LOWS: Overly complicated ratio

CONSUMER REPORTS SAYS: All versions of the Camry are now among the top-scoring models in their classes. The Camry is quiet, rides well, gets good fuel economy and is very roomy. With an extensive update for 2012, it feels less utilitarian thanks to a nicer interior and slightly crisper handling. The four-cylinder and V6 engines both have improved fuel economy, putting them at the top of the family sedan class. The more-powerful V6 gives up only one mpg overall to the four-cylinder version. The four-cylinder hybrid gets an amazing 6.19L/100KM overall and is now our top-scoring family sedan.


TOP COMPETITORS
Nissan Altima | Hyundai Sonata | Volkswagen Passat | Kia Optima



2013 Toyota Prius IV
2013 Toyota Prius IV


TOP PICK: 2013 Toyota Prius IV (aka 4)

STARTING PRICE: 23,215

OVERALL SCORE: 80/100

BEST IN CLASS: Fuel economy (hatchback), value

HIGHS: Fuel economy, transmission, rear seat, access, turning circle, crash-test results, reliability.

LOWS: Steering feel, rear visibility.

CONSUMER REPORTS SAYS: The Prius continues on with several small improvements. It's a little wider and heavier, and it feels more substantial than the last version. It averages the same 5.35L/100KM overall as the previous Prius and it remains the most fuel-efficient car you can buy. Highway mileage is slightly improved, but city mileage has dropped a bit. A firm, steady ride; a more versatile driving position; and improved rear seating are pluses. A larger engine compensates for the added weight but doesn't boost performance. A five-door wagon version is new for 2012.


TOP COMPETITORS
Toyota Prius V | Nissan Leaf | Lexus CT 200h



2013 Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE
2013 Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE


TOP PICK: 2013 Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE

STARTING PRICE: $22,055

OVERALL SCORE: 93/100

BEST IN CLASS: Ownership costs, fuel economy (family sedan), overall

HIGHS: Fuel economy, ride, powertrain, interior room, reliability.

LOWS: Overly complicated radio, brake and steering feel.

CONSUMER REPORTS SAYS: The Camry Hybrid gets amazing fuel economy for its size and roomy interior: 6.19 L/100KM in mixed driving, four mpg better than the previous version. It also rides well, is quiet, and should be very reliable. With its extensive update for 2012, the Camry Hybrid also has a nicer interior and slightly more responsive handling. All of these changes add up to the Camry now scoring as our top-rated family sedan.

The four-cylinder and V6 engines in the other Camrys that we also tested also have improved fuel economy. The more-powerful V6 gives up only one mpg overall to the four-cylinder version. Overall, the redesigned Camry feels less utilitarian than the model it replaced, thanks to a nicer interior and slightly crisper handling.

TOP COMPETITORS
Nissan Altima | Hyundai Sonata | Volkswagen Passat | Kia Optima



2013 Toyota RAV4
2013 Toyota RAV4


TOP PICK: 2013 Toyota RAV4 (4-cyl)

STARTING PRICE: $22,650

OVERALL SCORE: 82/100

BEST IN CLASS: Ownership costs, fuel economy (small SUV), value

HIGHS: Agility, transmission, fuel economy, rear-seat room, controls, access, reliability.

LOWS: Thigh support for some drivers, right-hinged rear gate requires lots of room to open

CONSUMER REPORTS SAYS: The RAV4 is a well-rounded package, combining good all-around performance with a comfortable ride, agile handling, and outstanding reliability. It also provides a civilized new engine that gets impressive fuel economy and an optional third-row bench that brings seating to seven in a pinch. Cabin furnishings include straightforward controls, a roomy rear seat, and with the tiny third row folded, generous cargo space. Some people will wish the front seats were more supportive. The right-hinged rear gate requires a good deal of swing-out room.



2013 Toyota Corolla LE
2013 Toyota Corolla LE


TOP PICK: 2013 Toyota Corolla LE

STARTING PRICE: $16,230

OVERALL SCORE: 71/100

BEST IN CLASS: Fuel economy (small sedan), value.

HIGHS: Fuel economy, ride, quiet interior, turning circle, controls, crash-test results, reliability.

LOWS: Steering feel, fit and finish.

CONSUMER REPORTS SAYS: At 7.35 L/100KM overall, the Corolla's fuel economy is among the best we've recently measured in any car with an automatic transmission that isn't a hybrid or a diesel. The manual transmission model gets the same fuel economy as the automatic. The pleasant and refined Corolla provides a comfortable ride, an improved driving position, and a roomier rear seat, compared with the previous model. But the interior fit and finish isn't quite as good. Aided by electronic stability control, handling is responsive and secure if not sporty.

TOP COMPETITORS
Hyundai Elantra | Kia Forte | Chevrolet Cruze | Mazda3



2013 Toyota Matrix S (2.4)
2013 Toyota Matrix S (2.4)


TOP PICK: 2013 Toyota Matrix S (2.4L)

STARTING PRICE: $19,275

OVERALL SCORE: 72/100

BEST IN CLASS: Under $25,000, value, fuel economy (wagon/hatchback)

HIGHS: Fuel economy, access, rear seat, versatility, controls, reliability.

LOWS: Engine noise, driving position, fit and finish, rear visibility.

CONSUMER REPORTS SAYS: A tall hatchback based on the Toyota Corolla sedan, the Matrix has added height that gives it more passenger and cargo space than most competitors and eases entry and exit. The Matrix also gets impressive fuel economy for its size and has good power. But it isn't as polished as some competitors, with an unsettled ride, a boomy engine, and an interior that feels cheap. The discontinued Pontiac Vibe was essentially the same car. Stability control is standard.

TOP COMPETITORS
Kia Soul | Honda Fit | Scion xB



2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser
2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser


WORST PICK
: 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser

STARTING PRICE: $26,880

OVERALL SCORE: 36/100

BEST IN CLASS: Off-road

HIGHS: Off-road ability, powertrain, crash-test results, reliability.

LOWS: Visibility, ride, handling, noise, fuel economy, fit and finish, access.

CONSUMER REPORTS SAYS: The FJ's off-road prowess is superb, but otherwise this SUV is very flawed. Visibility is horrendous, and the rear-hinged rear doors provide poor cabin access and are difficult to close. The FJ has clumsy handling and can be disconcerting at its limits, although the stability control keeps it secure enough. The ride is compliant but jiggly. The V6 powertrain is smooth and punchy but returned just 13.84 L/100KM overall. Reliability is well above average, but the FJ scores too low in our testing to be recommended.


TOP COMPETITORS
Kia Sorento | Chevrolet Equinox | Jeep Grand Cherokee