Honda, Toyota Top Latest Reliabilty Study; Domestics Improve, European Brands Faulter

Consumer Reports has released its latest reliability study and while little has changed in respect to the industry-leading Asian brands, domestic automakers are catching up. Toyota and Honda each recorded the highest scores in five vehicle segments in the 2010 Annual Auto Survey, while General Motors posted considerable improvements while Ford is ranked best among domestic automakers.

Toyota brand vehicles took the top reliability spot for the small car segment (Yaris), mid-size SUV (FJ Cruiser), luxury SUV (Lexus LX), minivan (front-wheel drive Sienna) and full-size pickup truck (Tundra V6). Honda took the top spots for upscale sedan (Acura TL), luxury cars (Acura RL), small SUVs (CR-V), upscale compact SUVs (Acura RDX) and compact pickup (Ridgeline).

Ford placed top among domestic automakers with 90 percent of Ford and Lincoln models posting reliability ratings of average or better. This compares to General Motors, where 69 percent of the lineup ranks as average or better. GM still has a ways to go in terms of reliability but it has surpassed Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. As a division, Cadillac improved the most at GM, while Chevy posted the best numbers with 83 percent of models ranked average or better.

Chrysler lists as a big exception, with 12 of 20 vehicles listed below average, while not a single vehicle score above average.

As for the big players from Korea, all six new Hyundai and Kia models (including the Genesis Coupe, Sonata, Tucson, Forte, Sorento and Soul) are listed as average or above.

As for the European automakers, both Porsche and Volvo list all their models as average or better, while the big players (BMW, Mercedes and Audi) build some of the least reliable vehicles. Five of 11 BMW models ranked below average (lead by 1 Series, 3 Series and 5 Series model with the turbocharged six-cylinder engine). Six of the 13 Mercedes models are below average, with the GLK and E-Class Coupe some of the least reliable vehicles in the industry, while the E-Class Sedan was one of the few bright spots. And if those numbers seem bad, almost 75 percent of Audi models tested are ranked below average.

The Consumer Reports reliability survey aims to predict the reliability of 2011 model year cars based on data collected o the reliability of vehicles from the past 10 years. Date from 1.3 million vehicles was used to produce the latest survey numbers.

[Source: Consumer Reports]