Consumer Reports named Honda and Subaru as class leaders in its Automaker Report Cards published in its 2010 Annual Auto Issue. Toyota finished third even though the magazine suspended ratings for eight of its vehicles due to recalls.
The Mazda5, Nissan Altima, Subaru Forester, Volkswagen GTI, and Chevrolet's Traverse and Silverado joined the Hyundai Elantra SE, Infiniti G37, Toyota Prius and Lexus LS460L as Consumer Reports' selections for best models of the year in their class based on performance, reliability, and safety.
Ford and General Motors products were singled out as strong contenders or best in class, but no domestic automaker made it in the magazine's top five brands. Chrysler's grades fell to the bottom of the magazine's ranking. It was the only automaker to drop last year in all measures used by Consumer Reports to grade vehicles.
Honda and Subaru were tied with an overall score of 77 out of 100 points. Toyota held a 74, followed by Hyundai with a 73. Nissan and Volkswagen tied with a 72 overall score.
The overall score for each automaker is based on the average of its vehicles' overall scores in road tests and their average predicted-reliability ratings from Consumer Reports' Annual Auto Survey. Manufacturers received a report card only if five or more of their vehicles were tested.
The magazine said while Honda and Acura models "are the most reliable vehicles in CR's predicted-reliability ratings," the most recent models from Honda "have not shown the same dedication to interior quality and fuel economy that earlier models did." Subaru tied Honda on the strength of its redesigned 2010 Legacy sedan and Outback wagon.
The magazine said while the reliability of some Ford models rivals that of Honda and Toyota, "Ford vehicles were not always among the best performers" during testing. The magazine singled out the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan as "excellent overall packages that provide good performance and fuel economy." Consumer Reports recommended 75 percent of the Ford models that were tested, up from 70 percent last year.
Several General Motors vehicles finished among the best in the magazine's testing, "although overall reliability, even among some of the new models, still lags behind most of the competition."
The magazine said most Chrysler models "have noisy, inefficient, unrefined powertrains; subpar interiors; and poor visibility." The Ram 1500 pickup was the only Chrysler model on Consumer Reports' recommended list.