March 4, 2008
Yonkers, New York – Overall, the best cars sold in the U.S. are made by Honda, according to the Automaker Report Cards published by Consumer Reports. Honda also led last year, the first time Consumer Reports issued such information.
With an overall score of 78 out of 100 points, Honda was followed closely by Toyota at 75 and Subaru at 72; BMW, Mazda, Nissan and Volkswagen all tied at 71. Only Honda and Subaru have earned the distinction of having all of their models tested make Consumer Reports’ “Recommended” list, and Honda is the only automaker whose entire model line-up is currently recommended.
Honda earned the top score “because it builds cars that are well-rounded, have excellent reliability and perform very well,” according to the magazine, but not all of Honda’s models lead their class. The CR-V was outranked by the Toyota RAV4, the Accord by the Nissan Altima, and the Honda Odyssey by the Toyota Sienna. The overall score for each automaker is based on the average overall scores of its vehicles in Consumer Reports’ road tests and its average predicted reliability score from the magazine’s Annual Car Reliability Survey; manufacturers receive a report card only if five or more of its vehicles were tested.
Detroit automakers garnered some of the lowest scores, but the magazine noted “significant signs of improvement in Ford and GM vehicles this year.” Of all the Ford vehicles tested, the percentage recommended by Consumer Reports jumped to 64 per cent from 54 per cent last year, due to improve reliability; 93 per cent of Ford models had average or better reliability, up from 63 per cent last year.
Toyota’s reliability has slipped, but it is still one of the most reliable manufacturers overall; the redesigned Camry V6 sedan, Tundra V8 4×4 pickup and Lexus GS with all-wheel drive all had below-average reliability.
GM’s average test score improved four points to 61, but the number of tested vehicles recommended dropped six per cent. Some newer models such as the Buick Enclave, Saturn Outlook, GMC Acadia, Cadillac CTS and Chevrolet Silverado did well in testing, but “many older designs are sub-par.” Chrysler’s percentage dropped from 21 per cent to 14, “due to a number of unimpressive new vehicles,” with the magazine citing “noisy, underpowered engines, poor interior craftsmanship, cramped seating and limited visibility.” Only one-quarter of Consumer Reports’ recommended vehicles are from U.S. companies, and about half are Japanese.