CLARK HOWARD: Consumer Reports' Best Cars

ATLANTA,None — With the annual Consumer Reports Auto Issue out, this is an exciting time for Consumer Advisor Clark Howard. One major car company, Toyota, has been sent to the showers, and another company, Volkswagen, is the new Cover Girl.

The Volkswagen GTI was named top pick for Best Sporty Car of the Year.

Consumer Reports said the Best Small Sedan is the Hyundai Electra SE, and the Best Family Sedan went to the Nissan Altima.

Only one Toyota made the top picks list--the Toyota Prius. It was named Best Green Car.

Consumer reports did not consider the Toyota Highlander or the RAV 4 SUV. The magazine said it is because "at the time of publication, sales of certain versions had been halted."

While the Toyota recall was huge news, Consumer Reports said smaller recalls are amazingly common. A recall alone doesn't take a car out of the running for top picks. In fact, Jonathan Linkov of Consumer Reports said six of the magazine's top picks have some sort of recall out for the 2009-2010 models.

"If you really want to get a car without a recall, you're going to pretty much be stuck with public transportation," said Linkov.

Should you go for the zero percent financing or take the cash back offers that dealers are offering right now? Clark Howard said it depends. Clark says the best way to find out is to go to this link at Edmund's Calculator