With superior designs and an influx of cutting-edge technology, new vehicles are safer, faster and more fuel efficient now than they’ve ever been. This can make choosing that new car, truck or SUV tough.
However, AAA now offers a way to make that selection process easier with its all-new AAA Car Guide and the 2020 Volvo S90 sedan took the top honor in the first edition of the publication.
Yes. It’s a “publication,” with 175 pages offering vehicle reviews based on 13 criteria braking, fuel economy, emissions, handling, ride comfort, acceleration and the number of ADAS safety features. The vehicles are given a score and then grouped in one of five categories.
(Asian brands dominate Consumer Reports “Best” rankings.)
The group noted that the majority of the category winners for 2020 are either electric, plug-in electric hybrids or hybrids, signaling that eco-friendly vehicles tend to offer the most cutting-edge vehicle technology.
In fact, to say “most” is an understatement. Not a single gas-powered vehicle took a top spot, and only the diesel-powered GMC Sierra 1500 prevented a clean sweep by either full electrics or hybrids. In fact, the Overall winner, Volvo’s S90 plug-in hybrid captured three categories.
Here are the top finishers in each category:
- Overall: 2020 Volvo S90 T8 E-AWD R-Design (plug-in hybrid)
- Small: 2019 Nissan Leaf SV Plus (electric)
- Midsize: 2019 Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE (hybrid)
- Large: 2020 Volvo S90 T8 E-AWD R-Design (plug-in hybrid)
- Pickup: 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 2WD Crew Cab (diesel)
- SUV: 2019 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Limited (plug-in hybrid)
- Best Under $30K: 2019 Honda Insight 4-soor Touring (hybrid)
- Best $30K–$50K: 2019 Kia Niro EV EX Premium (electric)
- Best Over $50K: 2020 Volvo S90 T8 E-AWD R-Design (plug-in hybrid)
“With an increasing number of vehicles equipped with advanced safety features, we thought consumers would benefit from an in-depth review of how they stack up with other driving criteria,” said Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of Automotive Engineering and Industry Relations.
(Will 2020 be “the year of the electric vehicle”?)
“Previous AAA studies have shown that many drivers don’t understand some of the features in their new vehicles and believe they can do more than is technically possible.”
The AAA Car Guide is an evolution of the popular AAA Green Car Guide, the book that focused on fuel-efficient, low-emitting cars and trucks. The 2020 version has expanded the types of vehicles it reviews and ranks to include vehicles that are all new or completely redesigned and that include the latest automotive safety technology.
“These days, a vehicle buyer may feel overwhelmed or confused not only by the differences of how the vehicle is powered – either by gasoline, hybrid, plug-in hybrid or electric – but by which of the safety features they need and how those work in the real world,” said Megan McKernan, manager of Automotive Research Center.
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“Our evaluations are designed to help drivers select a safe and comfortable vehicle that meets their needs.”