Consumers Union: 9 of 10 top vehicle picks are imports
Automotive News | February 28, 2008 - 3:16 pm EST
WASHINGTON -- Automotive experts at Consumers Union complimented Ford
Motor Co. and General Motors on the progress their vehicles are making
-- but didnít give them much else.
The organizationís Consumer Reports magazine today unveiled its list of
Top Picks for 2008. Nine of the 10 category winners are import-brand
The lone exception was the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew Cab, which got
top honors in the pickup category.
The news was worse for Chrysler LLC. In remarks at a meeting with
Washington auto writers today, David Champion, Consumers Unionís senior
director of automotive testing, said Chryslerís products lag behind the
rest of the industry.
The automakerís lineup ďis in the dumps,Ē he said.
By contrast, Fordís lineup, while unexciting, is showing steady
improvement in reliability, Champion said.
GM has some attractive new vehicles, such as the redesigned Cadillac CTS
sedan and the Buick Enclave crossover, but reliability ratings still
lag, he said.
The magazine tests and rates vehicles in various categories and gives
overall report cards to automakers. This yearís top three companies are
Honda, Toyota and Subaru. The bottom three are General Motors, Suzuki
For the first time this year, Consumer Reports calculated vehiclesí cost
of ownership over five years.
Rik Paul, the magazineís automotive editor, said the data show that
cheaper vehicles often wind up costing their owners more than pricier
vehicles. The biggest factor is depreciation, which represents 48
percent of the cost of ownership, he said.
Details are in the magazineís annual auto issue, available on newsstands
Tuesday, March 4. Some of the information was to be posted at
www.consumerreports.org today, but only subscribers can get all of the
Consumers Union calls itself an expert, independent nonprofit
organization. It accepts no outside advertising and buys the products
that it tests.
This year, a vehicle had to have electronic stability control to qualify
as a Top Pick.
The winners by category for 2008, besides the Silverado pickup, are:
* Small sedan: Hyundai Elantra SE
* Family sedan: Honda Accord
* Upscale sedan: Infiniti G35
* Luxury sedan: Lexus LS 460 L
* Green car: Toyota Prius
* Fun to drive: Mazda MX-5 Miata
* Small SUV: Toyota RAV4
* Mid-sized SUV: Hyundai Santa Fe
* Minivan: Toyota Sienna