Which automakers rank the highest?
HOUSTON Consumer Reports used extensive testing and first-hand experiences from drivers of 1.5 million trucks and cars. Carol Lombardo says the only kind of new car she wants is a Honda. She's shopping for her fifth one. "It's economical and it's a reliable car. Excellent customer service. I never had any problems," said Lombardo. Honda's record of reliability as well as its high scores at the test track are why Consumer Reports again rates it as one of the top carmakers. But Honda's fuel economy isn't keeping up with the competition. And the director of auto testing says there's another concern. "In tests of some of the redesigned Honda models, we've seen that their performance really isn't as good as the old model that they replaced," said David Champion of Consumer Reports. This year Subaru tied with Honda with an overall score of 77 out of 100. "That was helped by the redesigned Legacy and Outback, which performed very well in our tests," said Champion. Hyundai, which also makes Kia, earned a score of 73, a sign of improvement from last year. "Hyundai and Kia have come a long way recently. Their redesigned models have been excellent in our testing. Their reliability has been very good. And they also offer a long warranty," Champion said. As for American cars, Ford inched up to a 64. They're the only one to improve over last year. General Motors, with a score of 57, is still second from the bottom. Champion said, "Their recently redesigned models have been excellent in our testing, but their reliability needs to improve." Chrysler, with a score of 46, is in last place. Consumer Reports is only recommending its Dodge Ram pickup this year. As for Toyota, the car company with all those recent recalls, it ranks number three in Consumer Reports rating of carmakers.