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Japanese Dominate Consumer Reports Industry Score Card

Europeans take heat, but Ford keeps gaining ground on Asians.

by on Mar.01, 2011

Honda's worldwide recall of the Fit hatchback impacts 140,000 cars in the U.S.

The Honda Fit delivers the best value of any model on the market, declares Consumer Reports.

Influential Consumers Reports magazine takes a bite out of European carmakers hide with its 2011 “Automakers Report Card,” while Ford Motor Co. continues to close the gap with Asian rivals, posting the largest year-over-year gain in the annual survey.

European cars generally perform well in Consumer Reports road tests, but many have confusing controls and inconsistent reliability, the magazine bluntly states in its yearly assessment of carmakers.

If front-seat comfort, fit and finish, and driving dynamics were all that counted, European cars would rule the roost. But Volvo is the only European make with an above-average reliability score, the magazine says.

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The Volkswagen brand’s reliability has improved of late, but Audi’s spotty reliability brings the combined automaker’s score down.

If the new Jetta sedan, with its low-grade interior and mediocre fuel economy, is an indication of where Volkswagen is headed, it’s going in the wrong direction, with Consumer Reports recommending just 53% of the Volkswagen and Audi models tested.