Carol Lombardo says the only kind of new car she wants is a Honda. She is shopping for her fifth one.
"It's economical and it's a reliable car," she says. "Excellent customer service. I never had any problems."
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 car makers. But Honda's fuel economy is not keeping up with the competition. David Champion, the director of auto testing for Consumer Reports, says there is 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," he says.
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," says Champion.
Hyundai, which also makes KIAs, earned a score of 73; a sign of improvement from last year.
"Hyundai and KIA have come a long way recently," he says. "Their redesigned models have been excellent in our testing. Their reliability has been very good, and they also offer a long warranty."
As for American cars, Ford inched up to a 64, the only one to improve over last year. General Motors, with a score of 57, is still second from the bottom.
"Their recently redesigned models have been excellent in our testing, but their reliability needs to improve," says Champion.
Chrysler, with a score of 46, is in last place. Consumer Reports is only recommending its Dodge Ram pickup this year.
As for Toyota, it ranks No. 3 in Consumer Reports' rating of car makers, despite the recent recalls.
Consumer Reports is published by Consumers Union. Both Consumer Reports and Consumers Union are not-for-profit organizations that accept no advertising. Neither has any commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site.
(All Consumer Reports Material Copyright 2010. Consumers Union of U.S. Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)