Emergency Auto Assistance Name Game

Hopefully you won’t find yourself broken down on the side of the road at any point during the family road trip, but if you should find yourself waiting for emergency auto assistance with a van full of kids, you can resort to playing the old “Spot this car first”, game.

To give the old name game a contemporary spin, whoever spots the most cars from Consumer Reports’ ‘Most Impressive’ and ‘Most Disappointing’ Lists wins the prize.

Here are the cars to look for:

Most Impressive

  • Ford Fusion/Mercury Milan
    As expected, these replacements for the Taurus and Sable are practical and roomy. But we were unexpectedly impressed with their nimble handling and comfortable ride, which make them feel more like expensive European cars. Unlike many new cars in their first year, their reliability has been excellent.
  • Hyundai Santa Fe
    With much better ride and handling than its predecessor, the new Santa Fe might be the best Hyundai we’ve tested. It also has a smooth powertrain, quiet interior, and impressive fit and finish, giving it a No. 2 ranking among small SUVs, behind the Toyota RAV4 V6
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  • Infiniti G35
    With its 2007 update, the G35 has been transformed into a very capable sports sedan. Quick and agile, with well-balanced handling and a controlled ride, it is a joy to drive. Handling, interior fit and finish, and controls are all markedly improved over the previous model.
  • Hyundai Entourage/Kia Sedona
    The redesigned Sedona and new Entourage–minivan twins–are a big improvement over the small, clumsy, and fuel-thirsty first-generation Sedona. They are quiet, roomy, comfortable, and powerful, and offer a wide array of features at a competitive price.


Most Disappointing

  • Dodge Caliber/Jeep Compass
    These new wagon-like models scored worse in our testing than the Chrysler PT Cruiser, which hasn’t been redesigned in five years. They share a platform, engine, and transmission, as well as multiple faults. Both have sluggish acceleration, lots of engine and road noise, and hampered visibility. Their poorly finished interiors reflect an unfortunate trend we’ve seen in other recent Chrysler vehicles.
  • Toyota Yaris
    The Yaris offers excellent fuel economy and reliability. But the good news ends there. Emergency handling is sloppy, there’s a lot of noise, the driving position is uncomfortable, and stops are very long without the optional (but hard to find) antilock brakes.
  • Dodge Nitro
    Based on the Jeep Liberty, the bold, distinctive styling of this SUV will undoubtedly win over some buyers. But with vague steering, ungainly handling, unsettled ride, limited visibility, and a cheap-looking interior, the Nitro falls short of the Liberty. Both lack the refinement of most carbased SUVs.
  • Chrysler Sebring
    While improved somewhat over the old Sebring, the all-new version still trails the competition. Conspiring against it are noisy engines, unimpressive braking and handling, uncomfortable seats, a cheap-looking interior, and only adequate performance and fuel economy.


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