Asian automakers still most reliable, US brands gain

Despite a year that has seen Asian automakers issue recalls affecting millions of vehicles, it seems US consumers still believe they're the most reliable.

The results of the annual Consumer Reports Reliability Survey announced October 26 showed that despite a slew of negative headlines, Toyota's vehicles are still seen as among the most reliable by US consumers, earning top scores in five vehicle categories including small cars (Yaris), midsized SUVs (FJ Cruiser) and luxury SUVs (Lexus LX).

Toyota said that the findings were "recognition of the progress Toyota and its dealers have made in addressing recent recalls."

Models from Honda and Acura also performed well, topping five vehicle categories including upscale cars (Acura TL, FWD), luxury cars (Acura RL), small SUVs (CR-V), upscale compact SUVs (Acura RDX) and compact pickups (Ridgeline).

While still some way behind, US domestic automakers have shown some improvement with Ford now outranking both Mazda and Nissan, which Consumer Reports attributed to the success of the Fusion, the hybrid model of which topped the car category.

General Motors was also praised for a significant improvement, with 83 percent of Chevrolets now given average or better scores in reliability, up from 50 percent last year - putting the Detroit giant above some major European competitors such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

This move has been aided by a poor performance from Europe this year, with consumers rating five of BMW's 11 models below average, six of Mercedes-Benz's 13 models below average and nearly three quarters of the Audi models Consumer Reports analyzed coming out below average.

The organization asked the US-based owners or leasers of 1.3 million vehicles (model years 2001 to 2010) for their responses during spring of this year.

http://www.consumerreports.com

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