The embattled U.S. auto industry — part of it, anyway — got a welcome attaboy last week from Consumer Reports, a frequent critic whose harsh reviews in past years have bumped many U.S. models from many shopping lists.
In its February issue, the magazine singled out six Ford Motor vehicles and two General Motors cars as good buys. Chrysler products earned only a stinging rebuke.
The magazine normally recommends cars in April. But it singled out the eight Detroit 3 vehicles early because shoppers may be concerned about reliability in light of the companies' financial problems, said David Champion, the magazine's chief car tester.
"We're only about halfway through our testing, so it's not a complete list," he said. "But because of the public interest, we thought it would be useful."
Consumer Reports named the V-6 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ its top-rated Detroit 3 vehicle and also hailed the Cadillac DTS. The six Fords to win recommendations were the Ford Fusion SEL, Taurus and Taurus X; Mercury Milan Premier and Sable; and Lincoln MKZ.
The magazine said Chrysler's model lineup "is very disappointing, with little promise on the horizon."