Just Released: Consumer Reports' Top Automakers

With the upheaval in the car industry, which carmakers are the best? Consumer Reports-just out with its Annual Auto issue-names Honda and Subaru as the top carmakers.

Consumer Reports' rankings are calculated from extensive testing at its Auto Center, and on reliability-based on subscribers' experiences with nearly one and a half million trucks and cars.

Carol Lombardo says the only kind of new car she wants is a Honda. She's shopping for her fifth one.

Lombardo says, "It's economical and it's a reliable car. Excellent customer service. I never had any problems."

Honda's record of reliability, as well as its high scores at the test track, are why Consumer Reports again rates it as one of the top carmakers.

But Honda's fuel economy isn't keeping up with the competition. And David Champion, the director of auto testing, says there's another concern.

Champion says, "In tests of some of the redesigned Honda models, we've seen that their performance really isn't as good as the old model that they replaced."

This year Subaru tied with Honda with an overall score of 77 out of 100.

Champion says, "That was helped by the redesigned Legacy and Outback, which performed very well in our tests."

Hyundai, which also make Kias, earned a score of 73, a sign of improvement from last year.

"Hyundai and Kia have come a long way recently. Their redesigned models have been excellent in our testing. Their reliability has been very good. And they also offer a long warranty."

As for American cars, Ford inched up to a 64-the only one to improve over last year.

General Motors, with a score of 57, is still second from the bottom.

Champion says, "Their recently redesigned models have been excellent in our testing, but their reliability needs to improve."

And Chrysler, with a score of 46, is in last place. Consumer Reports is only recommending its Dodge Ram pickup this year.

As for Toyota, it ranks number three in Consumer Reports rating of carmakers.

Toyota has been plagued by recalls recently.


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