SUBARU LEADS AS JAPANESE CARMAKERS TAKE TOP 4 RANKINGS:
For the first time Subaru has earned the top score in Consumer Reports automaker report cards for 2012 with a score of 75, two points higher than last year, reflecting better test scores for such redesigned models as the Impreza, Legacy, and Outback over the last few years. The 2012 Impreza, which Consumer Reports just tested, now tops the small-sedan class and is the Consumer Reports Top Pick in that category. Subaru's average road-test score of 82 is the highest in Consumer Reports analysis.
Mazda showed the most dramatic improvement among the 13 manufacturers rated by Consumer Reports climbing to second place from last year's seventh and increasing its overall score by nine points. It was helped by an improved Mazda3 and the shedding of two models that dragged down its score, the Tribute SUV and RX-8 sports car.
Toyota remains among the top three automakers for the fifth straight year, buoyed by consistently above-average reliability and most vehicles have high test scores.
Honda, which had been the perennial winner for the past four years, slipped two points to fourth place among 13 major automakers, behind Mazda and Toyota. Honda has been hurt by several redesigned models, including the Civic and Odyssey that didn't measure up to their predecessors. Honda models, however, are still among the most reliable on the road overall.
Although Chrysler remains in last place, its overall score jumped eight points, making it the second most improved automaker. Chrysler's average road-test score also increased by eight points, the most of any automaker, and its overall reliability improved to average. The turnaround can be credited mostly to Chrysler's extensively freshened and redesigned vehicles.
Ford dropped the farthest, from fifth place last year to 10th. Ford's road-test score improved by two points over last year's, but subpar reliability of some new vehicles, due largely to the troublesome MyFord Touch infotainment system and Power-Shift automatic transmission, hurt its report-card grade.
Consumer Reports automaker report cards reflect the performance, comfort, utility, and reliability of more than 275 vehicles that CR recently rated, providing a perspective on which manufacturers are building the best all-around models. Each automaker's overall score is based on the average road test scores and reliability ratings for all of its models that CR has tested. Some manufacturers were not included in Consumer Reports automaker report cards for 2012. The complete report and scores for all 13 automakers in Consumer Reports automaker report cards for 2012 is available in the April issue of Consumer Reports on newsstands March 6th or at ConsumerReports.org.