Japanese automakers are in 5 top spots

Detroit Three hang near bottom of list
February 29, 2012 12:00 am

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DETROIT -- While Japanese automakers still hold the top five spots in Consumer Reports rankings, their lead is shrinking, said David Champion, senior director, Consumer Reports Automotive Test Center, as the performance of some top-selling nameplates from Asian automakers has slipped.

That said, the Detroit Three all finished toward the bottom of the pack. Ford's overall score dropped in the study because of problems with MyFord Touch and its transmissions, Chrysler remains plagued by issues with some older models and General Motors struggles to achieve consistent reliability scores.

"They've still got a long way to go," Mr. Champion said of the Detroit Three. "The biggest issue both with GM and Chrysler is they still have a lot of old products that they need to work through and get rid of."

Subaru and Mazda received the top scores in Consumer Reports' annual Automaker Report Card released Tuesday.

For Subaru, the test scores of recently redesigned new models including the Legacy, Outback and Impreza helped the company improve its overall score to 75, first in the study.

Mazda showed the most dramatic improvement among the 13 manufacturers, the magazine said. It climbed to second place from seventh last year and increased its overall score by nine points to 74 after eliminating two under-performing models.

Toyota remained among the top three automakers for the fifth straight year. Consumer Reports also named Toyota vehicles as its top pick in five out of 10 categories. The last time that happened was in 2003.

"They continue to build really reliable cars," Mr. Champion said.

Honda fell to fourth with an overall score of 72 after finishing first for four years in a row, while Nissan came in fifth.

First Published 2012-02-28 23:17:57

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