Best Cars Are Toyota, Honda, Ford, Says Consumer Reports

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Toyota / AP

The 2010 Toytoa Prius was chosen by Consumer Reports as one of the year's most reliable family cars.

For the second straight year, the Ford Motor Co. has scored as the only Detroit automaker with quality and reliability to match that of Toyota and Honda, which between them have locked up nearly 25 percent of the enviable "Most Reliable" car list compiled by Consumer Reports magazine. To compile the list, the magazine surveys its readers about their cars and uses that data to predict reliability for car models currently on sale.

Ninety percent of Ford, Mercury, and Lincoln products were found to have average or better expected reliability, matching and even surpassing the scores posted by Honda and Toyota and their associated brands, such as Acura and Lexus, the magazine said.

"It's rare for Consumer Reports to see family sedans from domestic carmakers continue to beat the reliability scores of such highly regarded Japanese models as the Camry and Accord," says David Champion, senior director of Consumer Reports, Automotive Test Center. The South Korean brands, Hyundai and Kia, also continued to improve, placing more vehicles, such as the Kia Sportage, on the most reliable list than they had in earlier years.

Ford officials, of course, are ecstatic. "These results from such a highly respected and credible source of information for consumers confirms that Ford not only has raised initial quality to industry-leading levels, but also is delivering the excellent long-term reliability that is critical to winning new customers and retaining existing ones," said Bennie Fowler, Ford group vice president of global quality.

General Motors and Chrysler, which were recently bailed out by the Federal Government, didn't do nearly as well as Ford in the survey. Consumer Reports says Chrysler is "continuing to struggle," as none of its models made to the most reliable list. In addition, more than a third of Chrysler models were deemed "much worse than average," in reliability. Only the Dodge Ram 1500 pickup truck scored 'average' in reliability. Chrysler's three brands — Jeep, Chrysler and Dodge — also were among the four "worst' in terms of reliability.

Some of GM's new products, such as the Chevrolet Malibu with a V6 engine and Chevrolet Traverse, did well in the survey. Overall, however, 28 of the 48 GM models included in the survey had below-average rankings, says Consumer Reports Rick Paul.