Japanese Autos Lead 'Consumer Reports' Ranking

Japanese automakers hold down the top spots in the annual auto quality rankings by Consumer Reports. Honda lost the top spot to Subaru. A spokesman for Consumer Reports said that while U.S. automakers trailed the pack, the gap had narrowed.

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And now some car news. Japanese firms dominated the Consumer Reports annual automaker rankings. Mazda zoomed into the top five, knocking out Ford.

As NPR's John Ydstie reports, Subaru claimed the top spot.

JOHN YDSTIE, BYLINE: Subaru replaced Honda on top, based on overall performance and reliability. Honda slipped to number four.

Jake Fisher, senior automotive engineer at Consumer Reports, says Honda was hurt by a number of its new entries, including the new Civic.

JAKE FISHER: The Civic was, you know, the quintessential small car, supposed to do everything well, and they redesigned it and it's not even nearly as good as the old model that went out.

YDSTIE: The redesigned Subaru Impreza replaced the Civic as the top-ranked small car. Meanwhile, after recently penetrating the top five, Ford fell back to number 10 because of problems with its touch-screen infotainment system and Power-Shift automatic transmission. Fisher says that left U.S. carmakers well behind the leaders.

FISHER: Because of some of their older product lines, a lot of their new entries, from Ford, from General Motors, especially Chrysler, have been really very impressive.

YDSTIE: The Ford Mustang placed on top as the best sporty car. The Chevy Avalanche was Consumer Reports' choice as top pickup truck.

John Ydstie, NPR News, Washington.

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