cars rule in Consumer Reports auto
- Japanese automobiles are the true
kings of the road judging by the latest
annual "Best Cars" issue
of Consumer Reports magazine, which
hits newsstands next week.
but one of the vehicles in the magazine's
list of "top picks" in 10
different categories for 2005 are
Japanese. The exception is Ford's
small-sized Focus sedan.
vehicles score a clean sweep on the
list of vehicles Consumer Reports
says it can recommend because they
earned "very good" or "excellent"
scores in all five major ratings areas
recommendations are important since
the spring auto issue from Consumer
Reporters, which accepts no paid advertising
or free samples of the products its
reviews, has long been seen as a trusted
shopping guide by many U.S. car buyers.
that could accelerate the rate of
defection away from Detroit's mass
market automakers is clearly bad news
for the likes of General Motors Corp.
and Ford Motor Co. as they continue
to lose market share to fast-growing
Big Three can take solace, however,
from a Consumer Reports survey showing
for the second consecutive year that
the average domestic car is more reliable
than its average European counterpart.
trend, which gives Detroit at least
some bragging rights, was reported
by Consumer Reports for the first
time in 24 years in its previous auto
issue in 2004.
results this year were based on responses
from Consumer Report subscribers about
a record 810,000 privately owned or
leased cars and trucks.
and Korean automakers once again produced
the most trouble-free models, with
an overall problem rate of 12 per
100 for the 2004 model year, the same
rate they have had for the last three
years, Consumer Reports said.
said GM, Ford and the Chrysler side
of DaimlerChrysler AG inched closer
to the Asians with an overall problem
rate of 17 per 100, however. That
matched the industry average and was
down from a combined rate of 18 per
100 last year.
contrast, the problem rate for European
automakers rose slightly to 21 per
100 from 20 last year.
Volkswagen, and Volvo had more than
their fair share of problems. Only
Audi came out better than average,"
the magazine said.
most reliable brand overall is now
Subaru, which averages eight problems
per 100," Consumer Reports said.
It noted that Honda Motor Co. Ltd.
, long a reliability leader, now averaged
nine problems per 100.
single most reliable vehicle in the
2004 model year was Hyundai Motor
Co, Ltd's low-cost Sonata sedan, with
a problem rate of just two per 100.
showing "further establishes
Hyundai's remarkable turnaround from
one of the least reliable brands to
one of the best," Consumer Reports
said of the Korean automaker.
Lincoln Navigator sport utility vehicle
and Nissan's Quest minivan tied for
most unreliable vehicle, it said,
with problem rates of 49 per 100.
Close behind was the pricey Touareg
SUV from Volkswagen AG , which had
48 problems for every 100 vehicles.