Friday, March 2, 2007

Japanese Models Shut Out Rivals on Consumer Reports' 2007 Top Picks List

YONKERS, N.Y. — All of the vehicles in the 2007 Consumer Reports Top Picks List for 2007 are Japanese nameplates, as vehicles from the Motor City continue to be shut out of the prestigious lineup. The Toyota Prius remains the top pick in the "green" car category for the fourth year in a row.

07 toyotaprius
The Honda Fit was singled out as the best overall in a new class of fuel-efficient subcompact cars.

2007 honda fitThe Honda Civic was named the best small sedan and the Honda Accord was praised as the best family sedan. The Infiniti G35 was picked as best upscale sedan, while the Infiniti M35 earned honors as best luxury sedan.

The Mazda MX-5 Miata was named most "fun to drive."

2007 mazda mx5 miataThe redesigned Toyota RAV4 was chosen as best small SUV. The Toyota Highlander Hybrid snagged the honors as best midsize SUV, while the Toyota Sienna earned the best minivan rating.

Detroit automakers were shut out of the list, in part, because the magazine decided not to name a pickup truck winner, "pending upcoming testing of newly released full-size pickup trucks." It also did not select a winner in the best full-size SUV category, another category in which Detroit would have been expected to perform well.

The top picks came from a list of more than 250 vehicles recently tested by the magazine. The candidates must have at least average reliability and must have performed adequately in overall crash protection if tested by the government or insurance industry, the magazine said. The list was released ahead of the magazine's annual April auto issue.

The news wasn't all good for Toyota, however. The Japanese automaker's upscale Lexus brand slipped to 5th place from last year's number-one ranking in new-car predicted reliability, based on Consumer Reports' annual Car Reliability Survey. The magazine explained that the drop "can be attributed to its GS models receiving only an average rating."

The publication acknowledged that, overall, "Most models with the best predicted reliability are again from Asia." Ford's Mercury brand was the only domestic brand to land in the top 10, while most domestic brands slipped in the rankings. According to the list, Toyota is predicted to have the most reliable cars, moving up to 1st from 3rd place last year. Honda remained unchanged in 2nd place and Scion, Toyota's youth brand, leapfrogged up to 3rd place from the seventh spot. The top five most reliable brands of vehicles are all made by Toyota or Honda, according to the Consumer Reports survey.

In an extensive "auto report cards for 2007" segment, the magazine found that Volkswagen and Audi lead the pack in overall test performance, but Honda, Subaru and Toyota are best when it comes to reliability. However, it leveled criticism at the Toyota FJ Cruiser and the Toyota Yaris for scoring near the bottom of their classes in tests.

Chrysler had the lowest average test score. Consumer Reports castigated several new Chrysler products, including the Sebring and the Dodge Caliber, slamming them for having "noisy engines, bad visibility and cheap interiors."

2007 dodge caliberConsumer Reports noted that some recent models from Ford and GM are "competitive with the better Japanese or European models." It singled out the Cadillac CTS, Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan, noting that those three vehicles scored well in testing. But the Motor City got a dressing-down. Consumer Reports said: "U.S. automakers build some good models. But many vehicles are mediocre, and even the best seldom rise to the top of their categories against stiff competition."

Source: article on insideline
Feel free to leave your comments below >>

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...