Toyota on top in latest Consumer Reports survey

And the winner is ... Japan.
Sarah Weber
Oct 30, 2012


Japanese brands took the top seven spots in Consumer Reports' annual reliability rankings, pushing aside their U.S. and European rivals. Toyota Motor Corp.'s Scion, Lexus and Toyota brands took the top three spots and the Toyota Prius C, a subcompact hybrid, got the best overall score. Mazda, Subaru, Honda and Acura were close behind.

The rankings, released Monday, predict the reliability of 2013 model-year vehicles based on surveys of Consumer Reports' readers. This year, 800,000 people submitted information on 1.2 million vehicles from the 2010 to 2012 model years. The rankings are critical for auto companies, since Americans frequently cite Consumer Reports as a main source of car-buying advice.

Ford and Lincoln, once top performers, plummeted to the bottom of this year's rankings because of persistent problems with glitchy touch screens and bumpy transmissions. Ford was also hurt because three normally reliable models — the Ford Escape, Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ — are all new for 2013, so Consumer Reports couldn't predict their reliability.

Also near the bottom were Chrysler Group's Chrysler, Dodge and Ram brands, which have been getting a fast makeover since partnering with Italy's Fiat three years ago. Consumer Reports says models with more features and more powerful engines, like the V-8 versions of the Chrysler 300 and Jeep Grand Cherokee — had the most issues.

The best-performing U.S. brand was Cadillac, from General Motors Co.

Volkswagen AG's luxury Audi brand made the biggest strides in this year's survey, climbing 18 spots to No. 8. It was the best-performing European brand. Glitch-free new models like the A7 sedan got high marks from Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports' director of automotive testing.

"They're out-BMWing BMW, easily, in terms of the driving dynamics," he said.

Electric cars also got impressive results. The all-electric Nissan Leaf was Nissan's best performer, partly because its electric motor has fewer parts than a gasoline engine, Fisher said. But the Chevrolet Volt — an extended-range electric car that has both an electric system and a conventional engine and transmission — also got the highest score of any GM vehicle.

"GM took a lot of painstaking time to develop that car," Fisher said.

The Volt was recalled earlier this year because vehicles crash-tested by the government showed a risk of fire when coolant leaked from the battery. But Consumer Reports' rankings don't reflect that, since the magazine only asks respondents to note issues that have happened on their own vehicles. Only vehicles with 100 or more responses are included. Among 2012 models, the magazine got the most responses for the Honda CR-V, with nearly 3,000.

Fisher said the magazine is getting about the same number of complaints as it did five years ago. But issues with electronics, audio and touch-screen systems have increased while complaints about mechanical problems are down.




And for 2012, Chrysler and Jeep sit at the bottom of the JD Power dependability scale:

Oops! Fiat said that they may move Jeep production to Italy.

Nice "save" Mr. President.


how can this be?????? all of the quality work that the union thugs put into the gm and chrysler vehicles owned by the us gov't is at the bottom?? like i have said before: anything that our gov't gets involved in goes to he!!.

my oh my

I am a proud owner of a Toyota and love it and will be nothing else..The quality is just not there in domestic vehicles...


Wanna see Jeep sales drop to record lows, build them in Italy and ship them here.

I have been to Italy. Two classes of people (where we are headed), and the transportation choice for the majority of people is a scooter.


The word at the time was that Chrysler only bought AMC for Jeep.

Maybe Fiat only bought Chrysler for similar reasons?

During the bankruptcy, potential private investors who looked at Chrysler production plants said that they were outdated and that they would scrap 'em.


@ Kimo:

Two classes?

The wealthy thieving bureaucrats and the rest. Sounds about right.

Why do 10 of the 15 richest counties in the U.S. surround DC?

In the Soviet Union they were called the nomenklatura. We have our own U.S. version.


Toyota is a great car but nothing like a Honda. There both built very well but Honda pulls ahead on resale cause they dont fleet sale the autos.


Toyota is a great car but nothing like a Honda. There both built very well but Honda pulls ahead on resale cause they dont fleet sale the autos.


Will buy a Ford with my next car purchase. They didn't take any government money to save their company. They did it the old fashion way. Cut the fat and came out leaner and meaner.

GM and Chrysler took the easy way out. Government entitlement.


Only the rich should own cars anyway.
Let the rest use bicycles.



It's gettin' that way. The rules and regs that the Feds are puttin' on vehicles is very costly.

Most of the ads I see give the monthly leasing amount.

A good financial planner will tell you that leasing is the most expensive way to own a car.

The national fleet is about 11 yrs. old. A record. People are keeping their cars longer.

Travel on AmTrak was up last yr. I wonder why?


Many "rules and regs" make sense. The industry complained bitterly about seat belts but they have saved hundreds of thousands of lives. The National Highway Transportation Administration says they save 75,000 lives in the five-year period from 2004 through 2008 alone.

Safety rules level the playing field so that businesses can make safe products and still compete.

Environmental rules level the playing field so business can operate without polluting and still compete.

The safety and environmental rules that reduce illness, injuries and death reduce costs overall and make a huge contibution to the economy.

Greedy selfish people, who don't care who they hurt to make a buck, hate rules. Good citizen want good rules, so that they don't need to hurt others to compete.

Economic variations aside, people are keeping their cars longer because they last longer, because Detroit was forced to make betters cars, because (1) the Feds said the they must run clean for a long time, and (2) Consumer Reports made available excellent information on which cars were more reliable and thus better buys. (Thanks, Consumer Reports! Thanks, Ralph Nader!)

Japan has gained market share through better management generally and better design, manufacturing practices and labor relations in particular. For decades Detroit managemant blamed labor for their problems, but they treated labor with hostility, distain and disrespect, while their Japan rivals did the opposite. The more Detoit management takes responsibility, the better things get.

We have many good rules that benefit the greater good. Corruption through politicians for sale with bribes disguised as "campaign contributions" leads to bad rules.

The best way to have good rules is to get the money out of politics, but conservatives don't like that; they want Money in charge, not people.


@ Factitious:

The point was that eventually only the rich will be able to own cars.

Maybe Mr. Obama should make car owning a "right" and subsidize it?

Getting money outa politics? Good luck with that. It's been tried for over 100 yrs.

Both parties are fat from eating from the same hog trough.


You are correct. It was Franklin Delano Roosevelt who made possible a car in every garage and conservatives have been trying to take that away ever since, and sometime it seems they're winning. They hated and still hate FDR for putting the "good life" within reach of ordinary people.


gov't already subsidizing the purchase of "green" cars which are a massive failure!!

maybe prezo should bring back the loser "cash for clunkers" with all of the damaged cars from the hurricane! oops, maybe i shouldn't give prezo any ideas.


@ Factitious:

So massive govt. deficit spending creates the "good life" for the ordinary folk?

Actually, under FDR, all auto manufacturing was shifted to war production. No new cars.

Why not get out your credit cards and charge your way to prosperity?


Re:Oops! Fiat said that they may move Jeep production to Italy.

Another lie from the Romney camp.

Chrysler chief Marchionne refutes Romney ad on Jeep production ...


Fiat OWNS Chrysler I wonder who will have the last word on this, The OWNER or the EMPLOYEE? My bet is on the actual owners of Chrysler which in this case would be Fiat.