Consumer Reports Says Toyota, Honda Dominate Top Picks
|Topics: Toyota, Honda
March 2, 2007
Jui Chakravorty, writing for Reuters, reported that the Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. Ltd., Japan's top automakers, are dominating the influential list of the 10 best new vehicles for 2007. According to Consumer Reports magazine, which has released its top picks for new cars based on its own testing, the named Japanese automakers have several models in the lead.
For the second time in the 10-year history of the list, Consumer Reports’ top picks were all Japanese. In addition, 55 of the 59 used car models recommended by the magazine were Japanese. The recommend car models’ list is again dominated by Toyota and Honda units.
Detroit automakers - General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group - are all in the process of recuperation. They are currently implementing their turnaround plan to improve their ailing condition in the auto realm. Their recovery plan include the slashing of jobs, cessation of plant production, factory closures and producing stunning cars to cope with the reported distressing losses and to embrace the industry’s limelight once again. Analysts said GM, Ford and Daimler will report lower monthly sales for February.
Compared to other automakers, Toyota has become a fast-growing competitor in the industry. The fact that it has surpassed Chrysler and Ford made it more promising than ever. As a fact, critics say that Toyota has the potentials to make it as the world’s largest automaker anytime this year. Toyota also led the Consumer Reports top picks for 2007 and the results were actually published in the annual edition of the nonprofit magazine. The magazine did mention that the previously mentioned car maker had four vehicles in the list which were then followed by three more from smaller rival Honda.
Consumer Reports announced that Nissan's Infiniti luxury brand scored with two sedans - the M35 and G35. Mazda Motor Co.'s sporty MX-5 Miata convertible won a mention as most fun to drive. Toyota's RAV4 and Highlander Hybrid were named the best small and mid-sized sport utility vehicles. Consumer Reports also honored the Toyota Sienna as best minivan and Toyota's hybrid Prius as best "green" car for the fourth consecutive year. Honda's Civic and Accord won mention as the best sedans, while Honda's subcompact Fit was named best budget car.
"Today, vehicles have to do everything. The consumer is not willing to put up with crap anymore," said David Champion, the senior director of auto testing for Consumer Reports. "They want to have blistering performance, great fuel economy... They want it all.” Toyota is famed for its quality auto parts and car technology especially its expertise in the hybrid auto production. Excellent parts like Active Brakes Direct, engines, and suspensions are just few of the things that make the automaker stand out.
Among the used cars recommended by Consumer Reports, only four models came from Detroit including three by GM -- the Buick Regal, Chevrolet Prizm and Pontiac Vibe. Ford was represented only by the Lincoln Town Car on the list of recommended used cars.
Toyota also won praise for the "nimble handling" and "comfortable ride" of its redesigned Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan, which made the list of the Consumer Reports' most impressive new models.
The Chrysler Group, on the other hand, was stripped entirely of the top honors, and Consumer Reports put four of its new vehicles - the Jeep Compass, Dodge Caliber, Dodge Nitro and Chrysler Sebring - on its list of most disappointing debuts. The automaker also had the lowest average test score of any of the major auto manufacturers based on the evaluation of the magazine’s editors. Further, Daimler was also stripped with recommendations for its luxury Mercedes-Benz brand. "Most Mercedes vehicles have good ride and handling, and the company is a safety leader. But all have poor reliability," the magazine said.
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