Honda earned Consumer Reports top rating for the third straight year, extending Japanese automakers' dominance of the annual report card, while Chrysler LLC finished at the bottom.
The magazine said Honda builds the best all-around vehicles for American drivers. No Chrysler, Dodge or Jeep vehicles made the recommended list. Consumer Reports labeled them poor performing products with sinking reliability results.
Honda was followed by Subaru, Toyota and Mazda. Four brands tied for fifth place: Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Volkswagen and BMW.
Japanese clout was also reflected in the magazine's 10 awards for individual vehicles. Japanese brands claimed eight "best" slots, including Toyota's Lexus LS 460, the "best overall vehicle." South Korea's Hyundai and General Motors' Chevrolet grabbed the others. (See list below.)
Consumer Reports noted that not all Japanese cars were rated as reliable. The Honda Element crossover and Toyota Yaris small car failed to win the magazines recommended rating, which reflects excellence in safety, comfort, performance, reliability and interior craftsmanship.
The findings will appear in Consumer Reports annual auto issue that goes on sale Tuesday.
Ford Motor Co. and GM improved from the previous years performance but continue to rank with Chrysler at the back of the class. The CEOs of the Detroit 3 were grilled in last years Congressional bailout hearings for failing to deliver quality on par with their overseas rivals.
Less than a quarter of Consumer Reports recommended vehicles are from U.S. companies, a result of inconsistent reliability and performance, the publication said in a release.
The Ford Flex crossover and F-150 pickup, as well as GMs Chevrolet Malibu and Cadillac CTS cars have done well in CRs tests and rank near the top of their classes, the magazine said.
Among the European brands, Mercedes-Benz showed the most significant improvement and moved up in ratings. Consumer Reports says: Reliability was greatly improved across most of the Mercedes-Benz model line, with 67 percent of tested vehicles now recommended compared to none in the prior year.