Honda has retained its top slot as the motor brand considered the most reliable by US consumers for the third year in a row. A survey by Consumer Reports magazine based on road tests and reliability ratings sees Japanese automakers dominating the 2009 list.
Honda led with a score of 78 out of 100, followed by Subaru with 75, Toyota with 74 and Mazda with 73, the New York-based publication said Thursday in a statement.
It may not surprise most that US motor giants figured at the bottom of the heap among the 15 automakers rated. Chrysler occupied the last spot, General Motors 14th and Ford was the best performer at 12th.
"You have Honda, Subaru and Toyota out there really producing extremely good cars that are very reliable," said David Champion, the magazine's senior director of automotive testing. "For the domestics, Ford probably is setting the pace in terms of producing the most reliable cars."
The Consumer Reports ratings reflect the odds that GM, Ford and Chrysler face in getting US consumers to buy their products even as auto sales continue to slide further from last year's 16-year low.
In a separate report, the magazine named the Touring model of Toyota's Prius gasoline-electric sedan as the best value among 300 cars, based on quality and cost of ownership.
In the total scores, Mercedes-Benz showed the most improvement from a year earlier, the report said. "They have put an incredible amount of effort in to improve the reliability," Champion said. "They've made extremely rapid progress in putting a lot of the issues to bed."
Chrysler had no vehicles on the magazine's recommended list.
The magazine, published by Consumers Union, also added two new models to its Top Picks - GM's Chevrolet Avalanche for pickups and Toyota's Highlander for midsize sports utility vehicles.
The scores are based in part on a survey of Consumer Reports' 7 million subscribers. There were 1.4 million responses, Champion said.