For the third year in a row, Japanese automakers Honda, Subaru and Toyota have earned top marks in the Consumer Reports annual auto survey, reports the Associated Press. Over the past year, Ford Motor Co. made the largest gain in the ratings, which are based on road tests and reliability scores. The Consumer Reports auto issue is currently online and on newsstands.
Honda named Consumer Reports’ top brand in 2011
With an overall score of 74 out of 100, Honda Motor Co. leads the pack in Consumer Reports’ top automaker survey. Subaru finished a close second with 73 points, while Toyota more than held its own with 71, despite major recall issues. Volvo came in fourth with 68, and Ford and Hyundai weren’t far behind. Chrysler fared the worst among automakers on the Consumer Reports annual survey with 43 points.
Honda rode to success in the automaker survey on the strength of high ratings across the board. Approximately three quarters of its vehicles received top marks from Consumer Reports, including rave reviews of the budget-conscious Fit model. Subaru fared best in road tests, thanks to highly dependable all-wheel-drive systems that are easy to control. Toyota fared well among 10 different vehicle classes in the survey, from small SUV (the 2011 RAV4) to hybrid (the 2011 Prius).
A diversity of automotive excellence
Consumer Reports auto editor Rik Paul praised the diversity of the vehicles chosen in the annual auto survey.
“This year’s diverse list of Top Picks reflects the fact that the industry is changing,” he said “No one particular manufacturer dominates, as a number of automakers are now producing high-quality, reliable cars that score well in our tests.”
In addition to the big 3 from Japan, Consumer Reports also had positive notes for the Hyundai Elantra in the compact class, Nissan Altima among family sedans, the Kia Sorento SUV, Ford Mustang sports car, Infiniti G37 sporty sedan and Chevy Avalanche as best among pickups.
Auto buyers cannot live on reliability ratings alone
While Consumer Reports’ reliability ratings are very useful, David Champion of the publication’s Auto Test Center advises consumers to do their homework before buying.
“Knowing a brand’s reputation for reliability can aid the used-car shopper, but it’s not foolproof. You’re buying just one model from that brand. So it’s important to check out the specific model’s reliability ratings and learn about other factors like performance and safety,” he said.
Highlights from Consumer Reports’ 2010 survey