March 7, 2005

Consumer Reports removes Ford Focus from “Top Picks” list

Yonkers, New York – On Friday, Consumer Reports, an independent, non-profit test group, announced its annual “Top Picks”, the Top Ten vehicles recommended by the magazine. But on Sunday, based on new crash test results by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Consumer Reports removed the Ford Focus as its Top Pick for Small Cars.

“Consumer Reports has removed the Ford Focus as its Top Pick for small cars because it performed poorly in insurance industry crash tests that were announced on Sunday,” said a news release. A replacement for the Focus was not announced.

The other nine Top Picks are:

  • Family sedan: Honda Accord

  • Small SUV: Subaru Forester
  • Midsized SUV: Lexus RX330
  • Upscale sedan: Acura TL
  • Luxury sedan: Lexus LS430
  • Three-row SUV: Honda Pilot
  • Minivan: Honda Odyssey
  • Fun-to-drive: Subaru WRX/WRX STi
  • Green car: Toyota Prius

To be considered a “Top Pick”, a vehicle must score at or near the top among competitor vehicles, show average or better reliability according to the company’s subscriber survey, and perform adequately if crash-tested or included in a government rollover test.

Two other small cars that received favourable ratings in Consumer Reports’ April Auto Issue, the Hyundai Elantra and Mazda3, also are no longer recommended by the magazine because of poor performance in the new side-impact crash tests, conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The magazine has also removed four other vehicles from its recommended list because of their performance in IIHS side-impact crash tests. They are the Honda Element, Mitsubishi Outlander, and Suzuki Grand Vitara/XL-7 small SUVs and the Nissan Altima sedan. (The Altima was tested without its optional side- and head-protection air bags.)

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