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I've always loved the Toureg, I still do. I'm just glad i didn't buy one, at least not before they worked all the kinks out. Read the last paragraph, for those of you who are too imaptient :D


Japanese Cars Rule in Consumer Reports Auto Issue
'The Most Reliable Brand Overall Is Now Subaru,' Magazine Says

(March 5) - Japanese automobiles are the true kings of the road, judging by the latest annual "Best Cars" issue of Consumer Reports magazine, which hits newsstands next week.

All but one of the vehicles in the magazine's list of "top picks" in 10 different categories for 2005 are Japanese. The exception is Ford's small-sized Focus sedan.

Japanese vehicles also score a clean sweep on a list of 21 vehicles that Consumer Reports says it can recommend because they earned "very good" or "excellent" scores in all five major ratings areas it tested.

The recommendations are important since the spring auto issue from Consumer Reports, which accepts no paid advertising or free samples of the products its reviews, has long been seen as a trusted shopping guide by many U.S. car buyers.

Anything that could accelerate the rate of defection away from Detroit's mass market automakers is clearly bad news for the likes of General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. as they continue to lose market share to fast-growing foreign rivals.

The Big Three can take solace, however, from a Consumer Reports survey showing for the second consecutive year that the average domestic car is more reliable than its average European counterpart.

That trend, which gives Detroit at least some bragging rights, was reported by Consumer Reports for the first time in 24 years in its previous auto issue, in 2004.

Reliability results this year were based on responses from Consumer Report subscribers about a record 810,000 privately owned or leased cars and trucks.

Japanese and Korean automakers once again produced the most trouble-free models, with an overall problem rate of 12 per 100 for the 2004 model year, the same rate they have had for the last three years, Consumer Reports said.

It said GM, Ford and the Chrysler side of DaimlerChrysler AG inched closer to the Asians with an overall problem rate of 17 per 100, however. That matched the industry average and was down from a combined rate of 18 per 100 last year.

By contrast, the problem rate for European automakers rose slightly to 21 per 100 from 20 last year.

"Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, and Volvo had more than their fair share of problems. Only Audi came out better than average," the magazine said.

"The most reliable brand overall is now Subaru, which averages eight problems per 100," Consumer Reports said. It noted that Honda Motor Co. Ltd., long a reliability leader, now averaged nine problems per 100.

The single most reliable vehicle in the 2004 model year was Hyundai Motor Co, Ltd's low-cost Sonata sedan, with a problem rate of just two per 100.

The showing "further establishes Hyundai's remarkable turnaround from one of the least reliable brands to one of the best," Consumer Reports said of the Korean automaker.

Ford's Lincoln Navigator sport utility vehicle and Nissan's Quest minivan tied for most unreliable vehicle, it said, with problem rates of 49 per 100. Close behind was the pricey Touareg SUV from Volkswagen AG, which had 48 problems for every 100 vehicles.

03-05-05 13:24 EST

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Nissan had a horrible showing though. Boy am I glad the FX is built in Japan and not in the Mississippi plant...;)

Subaru at Top in Quality Survey

Sat Mar 5, 7:55 AM ET

Add to My Yahoo! Top Stories - Los Angeles Times

By John O'Dell Times Staff Writer

Subaru, the Japanese automaker known for its all-wheel-drive vehicles, won the top spot for the highest-quality brand among new cars in Consumer Reports' annual automotive issue.

The magazine's annual survey of product quality and performance, which hits newsstands Tuesday but has already gone to subscribers, ranks Japanese and South Korean automakers tops for quality. U.S. brands are second but fall below the industry average, and Europeans rank a distant third.

Subaru jumped 16 places to become the most reliable automotive brand overall for 2004 models. It's the first time Subaru finished in the top spot in the 26 years Consumer Reports has conducted the survey.

Subaru owners reported eight problems per 100 cars and SUVs sold — an 8% problem rate. Honda was the second-highest-rated brand at 9%, and Toyota took third at 10%. Lexus, last year's leader, fell to fourth with an 11% rate.

In another surprise, the magazine found South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Co.'s mid-size Sonata sedan to be the most reliable car in the U.S. last year, with just two problems reported for every 100 cars sold.

"That's quite dramatic and shows that Hyundai has really made a big effort," said David Champion, Consumer Reports' auto testing director. "It used to be a joke to have Hyundai and reliability in the same sentence."

Last year's reliability champ was Toyota Motor Corp.'s Lexus GS sedan.

"With Subaru and Hyundai doing so well, we have two newcomers pushing the others to do even better," Champion said.

The magazine's quality ratings are based on surveys from 810,000 vehicle owners. Subscribers were asked to report problems in 17 areas, such as engine or bodywork troubles, for vehicles up to 8 years old.

As for the U.S. automakers, they keep drawing closer to their Asian rivals but never quite catch up. The best U.S. brands — Ford, which ranked ninth, and Pontiac, 10th — had 15 problems per 100 vehicles for 2004 models, more than twice Subaru's rate. Audi was the best from Europe, with a 12% problem rate.

The industry average for 2004 model vehicles was a 16% problem rate, compared with 17% a year earlier.

As a group, Asian brands averaged 12 problems per 100 vehicles, a score unchanged for three years. It wasn't all glory, though. Nissan Motor Co., hobbled by glitches with the Titan pickup, the Armada SUV and the Quest minivan built at its new Mississippi plant, fell well below the average with a 19% problem rate.

Several brands were not rated because of insufficient responses, the magazine said.

Domestic brands fell just below the industry mean, averaging 17 problems per 100 vehicles sold, an improvement from 18 last year. "They've been getting a little more reliable year after year," Champion said.

European passenger vehicle brands continued dragging the bottom with a 21% problem rate, slightly worse than the previous survey's 20%.

Of about 160 models surveyed, the worst reliability scores, with 49 problems per 100 vehicles, were tallied by two behemoth vehicles: Ford Motor Co.'s Lincoln Navigator SUV and the Nissan Quest minivan.

This is the second consecutive year U.S. brands outscored European makes. The European automakers, long plagued by problems with complex electrical systems, have been further hurt by quality problems with their SUVs, Champion said.



Volkswagen's Touareg, for instance, had one of the worst results in the survey, with 48 problems reported per 100 vehicles. Porsche's Cayenne, which shares the same vehicle platform, had 41 problems per 100. BMW's X5 and DaimlerChrysler's Mercedes-Benz M-Class SUV, the Mercedes E-Class sedan and Volkswagen's New Beetle also scored far below average in reliability.

In a separate satisfaction survey, Consumer Reports asked subscribers whether they would buy the same car or truck again. The magazine said it received more than 250,000 responses.

In this category, the Toyota Prius gas-electric hybrid topped the list — a first for a hybrid — with 94% of owners saying they would repeat. Last year's leader, the Lexus LS430 sedan, dropped into second place with a 92% positive response.

Of 32 vehicles on the magazine's "most satisfying" list, 25 are Japanese models, six are European, and only one, General Motors Corp.'s Chevrolet Corvette, is a domestic model.

The survey shows that satisfaction and quality don't always mesh: The reliable Hyundai Sonata doesn't appear on the list of most satisfying vehicles, but the Nissan Titan pickup, which received poor reliability scores, does.

In another first for hybrids, Consumer Reports named the 2005 Honda Accord Hybrid as its best pick for a family sedan. The hybrid uses a V-6 engine and an electric drive system to provide enhanced performance with the fuel economy of a four-cylinder car.



Reliability survey

Asian automakers continue to lead the industry in reliability, according to a Consumer Reports survey of 810,000 passenger vehicle owners in the U.S.

Top five

Brand Parent company Problems per 100 vehicles
Model year
2004 2003
Subaru Fuji 8 17
Honda Honda 9 10
Acura Honda 10 13
Toyota Toyota 10 11
Lexus Toyota 11 9

Bottom five

Nissan Nissan 19 14
BMW BMW 21 19
Volkswagen Volkswagen 23 19
Mercedes-Benz DaimlerChrysler 25 22
Lincoln Ford 26 31

Some brands, including Hummer, Isuzu, Jaguar, Kia, Mini, Mitsubishi and Porsche, were not rated because of insufficent owner responses.

Source: Consumers Union
 

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1. Lexus LS

2. Acura RL

3. Infiniti Q

These three year after year show to be nuclear blast-proof reliable. Also worth a mention is the long-term cost of maintenance for all 3 . With Lexus being right up there $$$$$ with choppers, Acura still not letting go of timing belts ( $800), and Infiniti costing the least $$$. BTW, 5 year old LS sitting on a used dealer lot is projected to be more dependable than a brand new BMW 7-series that just rolled off a truck.
 

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DGFX said:
The single most reliable vehicle in the 2004 model year was Hyundai Motor Co, Ltd's low-cost Sonata sedan, with a problem rate of just two per 100.
Wow, who would have thought a vehicle made by Hyundai would be the most reliable of the year. :shock:
 

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05fxguy said:
DGFX said:
The single most reliable vehicle in the 2004 model year was Hyundai Motor Co, Ltd's low-cost Sonata sedan, with a problem rate of just two per 100.
Wow, who would have thought a vehicle made by Hyundai would be the most reliable of the year. :shock:
People said the same thing when Honda and Toyota first came on the scene in the US.
Hyundai quality, along with their market share, has jumped leaps and bounds since they were first introduced here...I never thought I'd be saying that.
 

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AfterFX said:
Hyundai quality, along with their market share, has jumped leaps and bounds since they were first introduced here...I never thought I'd be saying that.
Hyundai has a lot at stake as far as their vehicle reliabilty goes - they are unique in their 10 year / 100K mile basic warranty. They affer a lot of bang-for-the-buck.
 

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pudicus said:
1. Lexus LS, 2. Acura RL, 3. Infiniti Q

These three year after year show to be nuclear blast-proof reliable.
My FX is my first Infiniti, after having owned three straight Acura's (still have an MDX). I suppose I really do concede Lexus the top spot but I have never wanted to pay their prices. For the money I'd take Acura's new RL over an LS430. I really like the SC430 but I can't justify paying that kind of money for a 2-seater. I do not like the truck style SUVs, so I pick the MDX over the GX/LX470's. I for one like the exterior styling of the new RX330, however I think its too underpowered for the money and I'm not wild about the interior styling.

So while conceding Lexus the top spot, you do have to pay for it - and their styling across the brand is not for everyone. As often discussed on this board, Infiniti has a unigue styling (perhaps "edgy") that is certainly not for everyone. I'm here because the FX offers a unique (for now) vehicle that neither Lexus or Acura can do. For me, across the line, Acura offers the most-band-for-the-buck vehicles.
 

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The only thing that killed Acura for my was the crappy transmissions in the TL/CL. My CL type S dropped so much in value. At least I was on the original tranny when I dumped out of that vehicle and didn't have to bend over too far.
MDX didn't like at all, no sport shift, drove just like the Oddy minivan. It has a strange tranny setup as its engine is sideways, lots of gears in that awd system. Also didn't like its fwd bias.

Interesting about the Ford Focus, its reliable but it has extremely bad side impact crash tests! I guess they get flattened before anything breaks on them??
 
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