Subaru, a car brand of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., was named top automaker in Consumer Reports magazine’s annual rankings as Honda Motor Co., last year’s leader, fell to fourth.
Subaru received 75 of 100 points based on the scores of its seven U.S. models, Consumer Reports said in results released Tuesday at the National Press Club in Washington. The Tokyo-based company earned its score for building “dependable, all-wheel-drive vehicles with simple interiors,” the magazine said.
“This is great news for Subaru,” said Rebecca Lindland, director of strategic review for IHS Automotive, an industry forecasting firm. “Consumers still trust Consumer Reports and will take these recommendations very seriously.”
Mazda Motor Corp., based in Hiroshima, was second with 74 points, followed by Toyota Motor Corp. Honda’s ranking fell as redesigned models scored lower than those they replaced.
“There’s not a lot of separation among the brands at the top of the list,” Brandy Schaffels, senior editor of TrueCar.com, a Santa Monica, California-based auto buying service, said over the phone.
Ford Motor Co., the most improved automaker last year, slid to 10th place from fifth. The magazine criticized the Dearborn, Michigan-based company’s electronic interfaces and transmissions. General Motors Co. ranked 12th.
Chrysler Group LLC, while finishing last among the 13 companies, scored eight points higher than last year, “which is a really good sign for them because it shows that they’re improving,” Schaffels said.
Toyota has the most models the magazine recommends buying, with 22 out of 26 tested. Nissan was second with 13 of 20 examined.
“There are a lot of good cars out there, and they may not come from the companies with the most advertisements on TV,” said David Champion, Consumer Reports senior director of automotive testing.