Driving Smart: Best cars of 2016, according to Cars.com

Cars.com regularly evaluates vehicles in different segments and pits them against each other in a weeklong test. Kelsey Mays calls out the winners of each multi-car challenge.

If you’re shopping for a new car, you have hundreds of choices, and it can be overwhelming. So which car is the best choice in a given segment? Well, we regularly evaluate the players in a week-long test. In 2016 we tested several such groups. Here are the winners.

• Among midsize family sedans, the 2016 Volkswagen Passat emerged among nine contenders for its spacious seating, tech-friendly features and energetic turbo engine.
• The refreshed 2017 Ford Escape took home the top honors in a close race of compact SUVs. The Escape’s masterful blend of ride and handling earned good marks, as did its intuitive multimedia system.
• We went to Michigan to test several midsize pickup trucks at an off-road park, on a racetrack and on local streets. In the end, the 2016 GMC Canyon came out on top.
• Among midsize SUVs, the 2016 Nissan Murano emerged as the best choice thanks to its posh interior and strong power train.
• The all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica trounced its rivals in our minivan matchup. Chrysler’s reimagined family hauler takes practicality and kid-friendly features to new levels, with refined drivability to boot.
• Looking for a three-row SUV? The 2016 Honda Pilot played up its practicality, which helped it win, despite its quirky transmission.
• Finally, we had some fun with muscle cars, taking the Detroit Three’s popular trio to the racetrack with their big V-8s. The 2016 Chevrolet Camaro edged out the Mustang and Dodge Challenger to claim the title of King of the Track.

We do these kinds of test every year, so stay tuned and see if we can’t help you find the right car, truck or SUV.


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