Ford Falls in Consumer Reports’ Annual Auto Survey, Mazda Posts Big Gains

#Ford, #Ford

It’s that time of the year again, and Consumer Reports has gathered data from 1.3 million subscribers to predict reliability on new models. Japanese brands still continue to dominate, while Ford has taken a nosedive with the worst results from the domestics.

The new 2012 Ford Explorer, Fiesta, and Focus have all hindered Ford’s overall reliability, as they were rated below average. The blue oval slipped from the 10th to 20th spot out of 28 major car makes, which Consumer Reports says is the biggest drop for a major nameplate in this year’s survey. New technologies like MyFord Touch and the PowerShift dual-clutch transmission in the Focus and Fiesta may be partly to blame, considering all-new and significantly redesigned models are more prone to experiencing problems.  The star of the Blue Oval was the Ford Fusion Hybrid, with other Fusion versions scoring above average.

With Ford falling, Jeep is now the most reliable domestic brand, moving up seven spots to number 13 with all models scoring average. Other winners within the Chrysler Group include the Chrysler 200, Dodge Durango, and Jeep Grand Cherokee. However, theTown & Country minivan bombed, and the 300 was too new to draw sufficient data.

GM, slipped after moving up in the rankings last year. Although the Cadillac CTS improved and scored average, the Buick Lacrosse and Cadillac SRX are no longer recommended because of low scores. Chevrolet, however, has not fallen in the rankings despite the below-par Cruze. The Volt ranks as the most reliable GM vehicle, though, it should be noted that the sample size barely passed CR’s minimum threshold of 100 cars, and most respondents were new Volt owners.  Overall, 64 percent of all domestics scored average or better.

The true stars were the Asian brands: Scion, Lexus, Mazda, Honda, and Toyota took top honors according to CR. Mazda had the biggest jump, up eight spots from last year, thanks in part to all of its models rating above average. Lexus also moved up seven spots, while Toyota remained at the number six spot with the Sienna minivan being the only model to be rated below average. Honda’s Odyssey minivan also scored below average. Overall, 96 percent of Japanese models scored average or above. As for the Koreans, Hyundai and Kia took the 11th and 12th spots, with the V-6 Santa Fe and V-6 Sorento the only models to score below average.

Volvo’s S60 helped rank it the highest among the European brands at the 10th spot, while Volkswagen stayed steady at number 16. Both Mercedes-Benz and BMW yielded mixed results -- the BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLK did well, while the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes S-Class tanked. But the worst among the bunch were Porsche and Jaguar, with Jaguar’s XF and XJ rated as the two least reliable in the survey.

Calls to representatives from Ford Motor Company for comment were not returned as of the time of this writing.

Source: Consumer Reports

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