Toyota Motor Corporation did a repeat of 2018 when it again accounted for four of the 10 vehicles in Consumer Reports’ annual list of Top Picks best vehicles. But it was another Japanese carmaker, Subaru, which roared-off with the most prestigious honor for 2019 -- best brand.

Subaru was voted first overall among 33 brands in the competition. Eating its dust were luxury brands Genesis, Porsche, Audi and Lexus. Genesis was the top performer in the magazine’s 2018 brand rankings.

Subaru also took away two of the 10 best vehicle awards. The Subaru Forester was named best compact SUV for the sixth straight year. The Subaru Ascent won honors as the best-midsized SUV.

"The big winner really looks like Subaru," said Jake Fisher, senior director of auto testing for Consumer Reports. "In terms of reliability, the ways the cars test and safety, they really are No. 1."

Analysts noted Subaru’s extraordinary sales success in the U.S. Subaru sped by Hyundai in 2018 as the seventh biggest new-vehicle seller among all manufacturers, according to Edmunds.com, an online source of car information.

Toyota won the following categories: large car, subcompact car, hybrid/electric car and midsized car. The Toyota models that won honors were the Avalon hybrid, Yaris, Prius hybrid and Camry hybrid, respectively.

Despite these rankings, Toyota ranked ninth out of 33 brands. Toyota has fallen victim to America’s love affair with SUVs and lack of love for sub-compacts and hybrids. 

"Toyota really excels in terms of reliability" and safety, said Fisher. But "they're not as well-rounded as Subaru" due to some models that didn't test well.

But the most controversial finding to come out of Consumer Reports is its opinion it can no longer recommend the Tesla Model 3 all-electric sedan after discovering noticeable manufacturing defects, including "loose body trim" and "glass defects" on the windows.

Consumer Reports’ annual Top Picks list has traditionally been an influential guide for many American consumers as they search for new vehicles.

Top Picks seeks to measure customer satisfaction through comprehensive surveys. It combines this data with its testing of fuel economy performance and reliability.

The top brands, according to Consumer Reports:

  1. Subaru
  2. Genesis
  3. Porsche
  4. Audi
  5. Lexus
  6. Mazda
  7. BMW
  8. Lincoln
  9. Toyota
  10. Hyundai
  11. Volkswagen
  12. Kia
  13. Honda
  14. Infiniti
  15. Mini
  16. Acura
  17. Mercedes-Benz
  18. Buick
  19. Tesla
  20. Ford
  21. Nissan
  22. Chrysler
  23. Volvo
  24. Chevrolet
  25. Dodge
  26. Cadillac
  27. GMC
  28. Alfa Romeo
  29. Jeep
  30. Mitsubishi
  31. Land Rover
  32. Jaguar
  33. Fiat