Consumer Reports released its annual "automaker report cards" today, which factors in the publication's review scores for recent models into an overall rating for each automaker.
The best overall score went to Subaru, which improved two points compared to last year thanks to successful redesigns like the Impreza and Outback. Last year's winner, Honda, slipped two points mainly because of the poor reviews for the new Honda Civic. Honda fell behind Mazda and Toyota, which took second and third, respectively.
Although Japan dominated the top five spots, Consumer Reports noted that other automakers were making progress. Ford was in the top five last year but complaints about its MyFord Touch infotainment dragged the score down. General Motors and Chrysler have had stellar reviews for their recent vehicles, but the old cars that they still sell hurt their average.
"While Japanese automakers still hold the top five spots, their lead is shrinking. In some of Honda's and Toyota's recently redesigned models, cost-cutting has become more noticeable," said David Champion, senior director, Consumer Reports Automotive Test Center.
One of the more important factors Consumer Reports looks at is reliability. Drivers who choose a reliable vehicle can avoid car repairs, although they should still keep up with their auto maintenance.