Start Your Engines: AAA Unveils Top Vehicle Picks for 2013

After a busy year behind the wheel of a variety of cars, trucks and SUVs, AAA’s Car Buying experts are revealing which finished first in its category. The results are announced in the March/April issue of Highroads magazine’s Top Picks list, which aims to help guide consumers shopping for their next ride.

“Our auto reviewers have selected outstanding cars that surpassed contenders in their categories based on AAA criteria for design, engineering, excellence, safety, value, efficiency and overall performance,” said Koroun Butler of AAA Car Buying. “If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, this list is a great place to start.”

The list names the upper echelon of their ranks. The Ford Fusion, for example, is the pick for best Sedan/Coupe in the $15,000-$25,000 category, and is said to easily be “the best car Ford has ever built.”  This year the coveted Cool Car title went to the Tesla Model S, which is an all-electric, plug-in, high-performance luxury sports sedan.

AAA’s Top Picks for 2012 include:

2013 Cool Car: Tesla Model S

  • Cool Car: Tesla Model S (pictured)
  • Sedan/Coupe under $15,000: Chevrolet Spark
  • Sedan/Coupe between $15,000-$25,000: Ford Fusion
  • Sedan/Coupe between $25,000-$35,000: Toyota Avalon
  • Sedan/Coupe between $35,000-$50,000: Audi A6*
  • Sedan/Coupe over $50,000-$75,000: Jaguar XJ**
  • Convertible under $35,000: Mazda MX-5 Miata**
  • Convertible over $35,000: Porsche Boxster**
  • SUV under $25,000: Ford Escape
  • SUV between $25,000-$35,000: Hyundai Santa Fe
  • SUV between $35,000-$50,000: Porsche Cayenne**
  • SUV over $50,000: Mercedes-Benz GL
  • Truck Full-Size: Ram 1500
  • Hybrid/Electric: Ford C-Max
  • Minivan: Toyota Sienna

(* Denotes second consecutive year, ** Denotes third consecutive year)                                                                                                                  

Top Picks are selected based on how well the vehicle performs in relation to what a car of its kind is expected to deliver. A convertible, for example, should deliver superior power with precise handling, whereas a sedan is expected to feature a comfortable, spacious interior and a smooth ride.

To be eligible for list consideration, Top Picks must be available for sale to the public no later than January 2013, and fall under a base-price cap of $75,000. Vehicles selected for the list are reviewed by AAA Arizona auto expert Jim Prueter, who has more than 15 years of experience in test driving and reviewing vehicles.

AAA’s 2013 Top Picks are revealed in the March/April edition of Highroads, the club’s bi-monthly member magazine delivered to about 475,000 households in Arizona. Complete reviews of 2013 Top Picks can be found on the AAA Automotive website.

From trade-in to test drive to financing and warranty, AAA Car Buying can assist with all your car buying needs. Visit for more information.

AAA Arizona, the Arizona affiliate of AAA, provides automotive, insurance and travel services to more than 825,000 Arizona members. Annually, AAA’s Roadside Assistance responds to more than 450,000 calls for help on Arizona roadways. The auto club also provides insurance, travel, auto repair, discounts and financial services to AAA members. Since its founding in 1927, AAA Arizona has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.