Top of Consumer Reports best cars list belongs to Subaru

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Subaru Impreza

Subaru has topped this year's Consumer Reports survey of the best cars. Photo Credit: Aaron Dominguez/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA

Consumer Reports has just released its annual list of the best cars for the current model year. The 2012 list of best cars was topped by Subaru, as the top four best brands were all voted to be Japanese automakers.

All wheel, all conquering

Every year, Consumer Reports compiles a list of the top cars and car brands from submissions from readers and the general public, which uses notes on current models as well as information on past ones. This year’s list has just been released, according to CBS. From the information they get from the field, they rank individual models and makers by customer satisfaction, reliability and other criteria to derive a list of the best or worst cars to drive.

This year, Subaru topped the list as the best overall car brand, as all of its models are achieving average reliability or better and consistent customer satisfaction. Subaru’s climb to the top of the rankings, according to Consumer Reports, was helped by improved reliability reports for later models of the WRX as well as glowing reviews for the 2012 Impreza, Outback and Legacy.

Civic penalty

The surprise drops this year were for Ford and Honda, which both took heavy tumbles in the rankings. Honda, which had dominated the list for the past four consecutive years, fell to fourth on the back of customers being less than impressed with the quality of the new Civic and Odysssey minivan.

Ford was heavily penalized for issues with the MyFord Touch system and the Power Shift automatic transmissions, according to the Los Angeles Times. The Focus, Fiesta and Explorer were also dinged for unreliability, according to Inside Line.

Toyota took the number three spot. Mazda managed the largest improvement, going from seventh last year to second overall this year, which Consumer Reports attributes to the car maker ending production on the Tribute and the RX-8, which had been deemed troublesome. Chrysler was the worst.

[Find a great Mazda at Kennedy Mazda in Valpariso, In.]

High praise for Japanese makers

Nissan and Toyota had the most models that Consumer Reports recommended buying. CR recommended readers buy 13 out of 20 Nissan models and 22 out of 26 Toyotas, according to Bloomberg. The highest ranking European car maker was Volvo, in sixth place overall, followed by BMW in eighth, Volkswagen in ninth and Mercedes-Benz in eleventh place, between Ford and General Motors.

The car maker with the highest number of top rated cars was Volkswagen, despite lower overall ratings, with the Golf, Golf TDI, GTI and Eos convertible garnering the top spots for Best Fuel-Efficient Hatchback, Small Hatchback or Wagon, Sporty Sports Cars and Four-Seat Convertibles. The domestic automaker with the most “Best” rated cars was General Motors. The Chevrolet Corvette Z06, Avalanche and Silverado 2500 LTZ took top spots for High Performance Sports Car, Full-Sized Pickup and Heavy Duty Diesel.



Los Angeles Times

Consumer Reports


Inside Line:

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