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Japanese brands dominate list of top cars in U.S.
Waterbury Republican-American ^ | March 2, 2006 | Dee-Ann Durbin (A.P.)

Posted on 03/02/2006 6:09:12 AM PST by Graybeard58

DETROIT -- For the first time in nine years, all of the top picks in Consumer Reports' annual vehicle guide are made by Japanese automakers.

The Honda Civic is the magazine's top small sedan, while the Toyota Highlander Hybrid is the top mid-sized sport utility vehicle, according to results released Wednesday. Vehicles from Nissan Motor Co. and Subaru, a division of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., round out the top picks in 10 categories.

Asian brands also fared best in the magazine's survey of vehicle reliability. Toyota Motor Corp.'s Lexus brand was first, while Honda was second and the Toyota brand was third. Ford Motor Co.'s Mercury brand was the only domestic nameplate to crack the top 10.

Consumer Reports' rankings are important to automakers, even though companies can't use the ratings in their advertising. Consumer Reports spokeswoman Lauren Hackett said the April auto issue is consistently the magazine's most popular, selling more than 300,000 copies at newsstands. That's twice as many copies as its second-most popular issue, the November electronics issue.

Consumer Reports named its top picks based on road and track tests, evaluations of comfort, convenience and fuel economy, crash protection ratings from the government and insurance industry and readers' reliability rankings. The magazine said it recently tested more than 200 vehicles to come up with its top picks.

Honda had the most winners, snagging top picks in five of the 10 categories. Besides the redesigned Civic, the Honda Accord was the top family sedan between $20,000 and $30,000 and the Acura TL was the top upscale sedan between $30,000 and $40,000. The Honda Odyssey was the top minivan and the Honda Ridgeline, which is Honda's first entry in the pickup market, was the top pickup.

Toyota and Subaru each had two winners, including the Subaru Forester for small SUV and the Toyota Prius for "green car." Nissan had one, the M35 luxury sedan, which the magazine called "an excellent balance of performance, comfort and handling."

Reliability rankings are based on a survey of Consumer Reports subscribers who are asked if they have had serious problems with their vehicles in the past 12 months. The survey questions readers about 17 different trouble spots. For this year's survey, readers rated their experience with 810,000 vehicles from the 1998 through 2005 model years.

Consumer Reports said Japanese and Korean brands had 12 problems per 100 vehicles, while U.S. automakers had 18 problems and European makers had 21 problems. Asian and U.S. automakers have been improving their scores but appeared to stall in 2005, the magazine said. European automakers' ratings haven't changed substantially in the last four years, the magazine said.

After Lexus, Honda and Toyota, the brands rounding out the top ten for reliability were Mitsubishi, Subaru, Acura, Scion, Mercury, Mazda and Suzuki. The ten lowest-rated brands were Audi, Infiniti, Saturn, Lincoln, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, Land Rover, Hummer and Porsche.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Extended News
KEYWORDS: acura; audi; auto; automobile; car; cars; ford; gm; honda; hummer; infiniti; jaguar; landrover; lexus; lincoln; mazda; mercedesbenz; mercury; mitsubishi; porsche; saab; saturn; scion; subaru; suv; suzuki; toyota; truck; trucks; uaw; volkswagen; volvo
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1 posted on 03/02/2006 6:09:13 AM PST by Graybeard58
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To: Graybeard58

That's strange because I would take a Porsche or Audi over a Nissan any day of the week.


2 posted on 03/02/2006 6:11:18 AM PST by soccer_maniac (Do some good while browsing FR --> Join our Folding@Home Team# 36120: keyword: folding@home)
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To: Graybeard58
It's a conspiracy! They produce good products, at a fair price, in a nefarious plot to sell more cars than Ford and General Motors.
3 posted on 03/02/2006 6:14:12 AM PST by .cnI redruM (Spreading liberal beliefs is as wrong as spreading AIDS.)
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To: .cnI redruM

"I would take"


There is the key


4 posted on 03/02/2006 6:16:31 AM PST by DAC22
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To: soccer_maniac
That's strange because I would take a Porsche or Audi over a Nissan any day of the week.

What's stranger is that most real-world human beings can't affort the double-the-price...

5 posted on 03/02/2006 6:17:12 AM PST by Publius6961 (Multiculturalism is the white flag of a dying country)
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To: Graybeard58
This report is a bunch of crap because it is well known that consumer reports is notoriously bigoted against the big three.
The same minivan with a asain badge off the same assembly line when badged as a Mercury got much lower rankings.

They are a bunch of asain car fanatics, and these findings are worthless.
6 posted on 03/02/2006 6:25:16 AM PST by brainstem223
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To: Publius6961

Exactly.


7 posted on 03/02/2006 6:25:42 AM PST by maxter
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To: soccer_maniac

I would definitely take a Lamborghini Murcielago over a Honda Civic. Any day.


8 posted on 03/02/2006 6:26:44 AM PST by MatD
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To: Graybeard58

Mercury in the top ten? LOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!

I owned one and it was horrible. My friend's was even worse. Never again.


9 posted on 03/02/2006 6:28:52 AM PST by Hoodlum91 (pcottraux says I'm special!)
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To: soccer_maniac
I would take a Porsche or Audi

Those are enthusiast cars, not transportation.

CR is all about pedestrian functionality, economy, safety and reliability.

What's sad is that Detroit's consumer staple sedans, SUVs and minivans didn't fare better.

10 posted on 03/02/2006 6:29:33 AM PST by xsrdx (Diligentia, Vis, Celeritas)
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To: brainstem223
It's funny you should mention that. I'm currently driving an SUV with nearly 300,000 miles on it. It was made by Ford in Kentucky, but it's actually called a Mazda. The Mazda was slightly less expensive than the Ford with identical options (I think this was because they offered the Mazda with only a few specific option packages), and was a much better deal because the standard Mazda warranty was better than Ford's.

But as far as reliability is concerned, I can't imagine that the Mazda would be any better than the Ford.

11 posted on 03/02/2006 6:29:36 AM PST by Alberta's Child
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To: Graybeard58

ping


12 posted on 03/02/2006 6:29:38 AM PST by Tribune7
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To: Temple Owl

The ping was to you.


13 posted on 03/02/2006 6:30:04 AM PST by Tribune7
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To: Publius6961

We just purchased a used Suzuki Side Kick 4x4 and love it. Its the perfect the local run around town vehicle. We're looking for another one. It was cheap but who cares as long as its fun to drive and is good on gas.


14 posted on 03/02/2006 6:30:47 AM PST by Bringbackthedraft (If we do not learn from history we are doomed to repeat it. But then again, it repeats regardless.)
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To: Graybeard58

Rating reliability based on something like "problems per 100 vehicles) may not be the best way to measure this. I would suspect that a more accurate indicator of a vehicle's reliability is its resale value at 1-year, 3-year, and 5-year intervals after purchase.


15 posted on 03/02/2006 6:32:35 AM PST by Alberta's Child
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To: brainstem223

"They are a bunch of asain car fanatics, and these findings are worthless."

You're 100% correct. What's even more interesting is that Freepers will revel in this report and not stop to consider that it was compiled by a group of tree hugging leftists.


16 posted on 03/02/2006 6:32:54 AM PST by brownsfan (It's not a war on terror... it's a war with islam.)
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To: Graybeard58
Fast shift needed to save U.S. autos (260 replies · 2,938+ views)
17 posted on 03/02/2006 6:34:39 AM PST by Willie Green (Go Pat Go!!!)
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To: Graybeard58

I don't look at the things they look at.

And you simply can't get a deal on a Honda or Toyota.

Ford will win this war by cutting their labor costs by a third and then putting out road-worthy, but very cheap, automobiles.

Where I live in middle america, a 30,000 dollar car is half the price of a decent house and a third of the price of really nice house.

They should team with Hyundai/Kia in the way that GM did with the Geo.

Go with the 10 year 100,000 mile warranty and small buyers won't care that a Toyota will get 50,000+ more lifetime miles. They will care about a monthly payment they can afford attached to a 4 or 5 year loan.


18 posted on 03/02/2006 6:34:55 AM PST by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It. Pray for Our Troops!)
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To: brownsfan

Fanatics, indeed. You will notice that any non-asian car is treated very harshly in their "reliability" (color dot) ratings. It is normal for them to rate a model with one or two trouble areas, and all the other areas average or better as "much worse than average".

The fact that Consumer Reports has a "green" category tells you all you need to know.

They should stick to testing washing machines, toasters, and granola bars.


19 posted on 03/02/2006 6:36:36 AM PST by Fresh Wind (Democrats are guilty of whatever they scream the loudest about.)
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To: Graybeard58
Ping to the GM/Ford Protectionist "we like our 70's quality American car" types out there.


Quality products attract buyers. Another lesson in ECO 101 for the Buchannites here on FR.
20 posted on 03/02/2006 6:36:57 AM PST by The South Texan (The Democrat Party and the leftist (ABCCBSNBCCNN NYLATIMES)media are a criminal enterprise!)
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To: Graybeard58

Japanese brands?

You mean the Japanese company that designs cars in California, engineers them in Michigan and builds them in Ohio?

Or the American company that builds their cars on a Toyota Camry frame and builds them in Mexico?


21 posted on 03/02/2006 6:37:28 AM PST by kidd
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To: Alberta's Child
If the reports were scientifically accurate, the Ford and Mazda version would be rated dead even.

Its not trendy to believe US brands are as good as asian; and they succumb to this at consumer reports.
22 posted on 03/02/2006 6:39:04 AM PST by brainstem223
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To: Alberta's Child
If the reports were scientifically accurate, the Ford and Mazda version would be rated dead even.

Its not trendy to believe US brands are as good as asian; and they succumb to this at consumer reports.
23 posted on 03/02/2006 6:39:17 AM PST by brainstem223
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To: MatD
Bah. You peasant.
Aston Martin DB9 Volante for me.
24 posted on 03/02/2006 6:40:10 AM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: 1rudeboy

Nice car, but the cup holders suck. You can have mine!


25 posted on 03/02/2006 6:41:33 AM PST by Fresh Wind (Democrats are guilty of whatever they scream the loudest about.)
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To: Fresh Wind

That's my problem with them too. Well, and the ashtray. Do you have trouble driving yours with a beer between your legs and smoking a cigarette?


26 posted on 03/02/2006 6:43:23 AM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: Graybeard58; brainstem223; brownsfan
Reliability rankings are based on a survey of Consumer Reports subscribers who are asked if they have had serious problems with their vehicles in the past 12 months.

I guess all Consumer Reports subscribers could be tree-hugging leftists too...

What I really don't understand is how the Ford Fusion was the runner-up in the small car class. Since it first went on sale in September of last year (6 months ago) I wonder if they doubled the number of complaints to get a 12 month number.

27 posted on 03/02/2006 6:44:33 AM PST by green iguana
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To: kidd

That new Titan I want will be made right down the road from me in Jackson Mississippi.


28 posted on 03/02/2006 6:45:53 AM PST by Sybeck1
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To: soccer_maniac

We just bought the Honda Odyssey with all the frills, and we LOVE it.

Big 6 cylinder, that automatically goes down to 3 (economy) when you're maintaining a steady speed.

Also, my brother just bought the Toyota Highlander Hybrid, (SUV) and likes it very much. But it's nowhere near as comfortable as my minivan.


29 posted on 03/02/2006 6:46:01 AM PST by Collier
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To: 1rudeboy

Cigarette? Hrumpf. I only smoke Cuban cigars.


30 posted on 03/02/2006 6:46:25 AM PST by Fresh Wind (Democrats are guilty of whatever they scream the loudest about.)
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To: Graybeard58

PT Cruiser didn't make the list. Made in Mexico.

Mine has 115,000 miles on it. Five speed stick. First year car.

One wheel bearing, two water pumps and a tie rod end are my total repairs. Changed the spark plugs one time.

Pretty good car, all in all. Second water pump must have been defective, only lasted 30,000 miles. Factory Chrysler replacement part.


31 posted on 03/02/2006 6:47:13 AM PST by Supernatural (Lay me doon in the caul caul groon, whaur afore monie mair huv gaun)
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To: .cnI redruM

"They produce good products, at a fair price, in a nefarious plot to sell more cars than Ford and General Motors."

And they do it without overpaid union workers!


32 posted on 03/02/2006 6:47:32 AM PST by JLGALT (Get ready - Lock and Load!)
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To: xzins
Ford will win this war by cutting their labor costs by a third

How do you think they are going to pull that off? And even if they do, I don't think a third will be enough.

33 posted on 03/02/2006 6:49:09 AM PST by green iguana
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To: Graybeard58

Foreign cars are not only better than American cars, but polls of similar sample groups show that Alf Landon should have been president in 1936, and Al Gore should be president today.

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/aboutus/test.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halo_effect
http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5168


34 posted on 03/02/2006 6:49:20 AM PST by tumblindice (Drive a Chevy? Are you crazy? They'd laugh me out of the faculty lounge . . . .)
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To: brainstem223

This is a survey of the READERSHIP of Consumer Reports, I hope I don't disparage anyone on this forum, but that means this is a survey of people who BUY A MAGAZINE to help them evaluate products. I would do that for which I had NO BASIS whatsoever to evaluate for myself, but I believe that as concerns automobiles most people simply don't fall into that category. I am saying that these responders might possibly be people who HAD NO CLUE about automobiles to begin with.

I have purchased asian imports over the years, but recently I've been very successful with domestics of all stripes. The quality the big three is putting out is far better than it use to be. Is it better than the Japanese? I don't know, but I would bet readers of Consumer Reports don't either.


35 posted on 03/02/2006 6:49:32 AM PST by wayoverontheright
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To: 1rudeboy

Don't waste your money, if you want an English muscle car, you want a TVR!

http://www.tvr.co.uk/index.php


36 posted on 03/02/2006 6:49:36 AM PST by albionvectis
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To: green iguana

My family, and my father before me, are CR subscribers.

We're not all tree hugging leftists.

We check out CR before we buy anything.

Family tradition. :)


37 posted on 03/02/2006 6:51:05 AM PST by Collier
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To: Graybeard58
Consumers Unions who publishes Consumers Reports is a 502(c) charity and exempt from income tax. Their total revenue for 2005 was about $192,000,000. Their total assets are about $258,000,000.

They paid James A. Guest who is the President about $400,000 last year plus $95,000 in benefits.

I'm not 100% positive but I'm pretty sure that when they mail out Consumers Reports the taxpayer pays part of the postage.

Why is this a "charity"?

38 posted on 03/02/2006 6:52:46 AM PST by isthisnickcool (Jack Bauer: "By the time I'm finished with you you're going to wish you felt this good again".)
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To: brainstem223

It will continue in this fashion until the hippies die off.


39 posted on 03/02/2006 6:54:34 AM PST by ecomcon
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To: soccer_maniac
I would take a Porsche or Audi over a Nissan

And pay the comensurate increase in insurance and maintenance fees. I know who a guy who bought a Porsche in a momement of insanity and sold it 9 mos later to get the Nissan he should have purchased in the first place.

40 posted on 03/02/2006 6:55:14 AM PST by lemura
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To: Graybeard58
I'm not surprised that the Honda Civic took best honors for small car given the fact that the new 2006 model got a Gold Star crash rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Thanks to Honda's ultra-modern crash research facility in Japan, today's Honda cars are safe enough that if you drive a Civic and get broadsided by a full-sized SUV like a Ford Explorer or Cadillac Escalade chances are good you will survive the accident.
41 posted on 03/02/2006 6:55:26 AM PST by RayChuang88
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To: brainstem223
They are a bunch of asain car fanatics, and these findings are worthless.

I'm sure that the bosses at GM and Ford have similarly dismissed Consumer Reports and are happily producing cars as before.

I think the Big 2 will have to improve quality and then, like the Korean manufacturers breaking into the market, give impressive warranties. Maybe 5 years/60000 miles or even 7 years/84000 miles would show that they are confident in their quality.

Without Japanese competition, American cars now would be like Pintos and Vegas "improved" by an additional 25 years of cost cutting.

42 posted on 03/02/2006 6:55:35 AM PST by KarlInOhio (Next Olympics I want wide track bobsledding. Four sleds on the track at once - like Ben Hur on ice.)
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To: green iguana

"I guess all Consumer Reports subscribers could be tree-hugging leftists too..."

I don't have any data, but my guess is that the majority of subscribers are leftists. Just a guess.

I don't know the subscriber base, but I think the slant of the editors is obvious. And we all know that polls and statistics can be manipulated any way you choose.

BTW, I think Ford and GM make cars that aren't as good as the Japanese, but I also think they are close on some models. This is like throwing an anchor to a drowning man.


43 posted on 03/02/2006 6:56:41 AM PST by brownsfan (It's not a war on terror... it's a war with islam.)
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To: JLGALT
"The Horror!" Kurtz gasped as he expired.
44 posted on 03/02/2006 6:56:42 AM PST by .cnI redruM (Spreading liberal beliefs is as wrong as spreading AIDS.)
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To: Fresh Wind

I use Cuban cigars to light my KOOLs.


45 posted on 03/02/2006 6:56:53 AM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: Sybeck1

I'm sure the Titan is an OK vehicle, but it only comes in one wheelbase, and there's no diesel engine available, as far as I know.

The domestics still have the Japanese beat in the full-size pickup category, IMO.


46 posted on 03/02/2006 6:58:16 AM PST by B Knotts
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To: xzins

"Where I live in middle america, a 30,000 dollar car is half the price of a decent house and a third of the price of really nice house."

For 30K here in NYC, you get two shingles and a doorstop...


47 posted on 03/02/2006 6:58:17 AM PST by Dr. Luv (The cranky oncologist)
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To: Collier

you too 'eh

my dad lives by that mag


he even extols the CR virtues of the top pick peanut butter...ugh!


48 posted on 03/02/2006 7:00:45 AM PST by wallcrawlr (http://www.bionicear.com)
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To: Graybeard58

I have a Mitsibishi Galant. I love it. Every bit as reliable and enjoyable as a Camry or Accord and cost a couple grand less.


49 posted on 03/02/2006 7:01:28 AM PST by RockinRight (Attention RNC...we're the party of Reagan, not FDR...)
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Comment #50 Removed by Moderator


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