Toyota Down, Subaru Up, Go Figure

In a stunning upset, Toyota reliability fell below both Honda and Subaru in the Consumer Reports reliability report just out.

In fact the Toyota quality is such a problem right now that Consumer Reports director of auto testing bluntly said that Toyota and Lexus, the brand's luxury vehicle line, "don't get a 'pass' anymore."

CR's results are based on actual consumer owner surveys done last March and even Toyota that the CR reliability report "is the best there is. When they say there's a problem, there's a problem." The report is so devastating to Toyota that they quickly put out a staged "interview" to downplay and blunt the effect of the bad news, which you can watch by clicking here.

Another surprise was that Ford's quality left GM and Chrysler in the dust, as it continued its 5 year run up in improvement. Ford saw 93% of its models score at least average or better reliability, while GM only hit 49% and Chrysler came in at 67%.

Toyota was dragged down by known problems with its Camry line, including the V-6 transmission where customers are complaining about harsh and slow shifting. TheToyota Tundra's four wheel drive system has seen its share of owner complaints too. But Lexus, that's supposed to be Toyota's gold plated luxury brand. What's going on?

The Lexus GS all wheel drive sedan's audio system and power accessories are apparently irritating Lexus owners to the max. After all, they are used to years of experience of reliable and trouble free operation. They may be a picky lot, but they pay for the right to be that way too and many of them think that Lexus is getting sloppy.

Meanwhile, over at Ford, the blue oval is smiling big.

It's Fusion and Mercury Milan were among the top reliable family cars according to CR. And you can bet that Ford won't waste any time getting reprints of the CR report into its dealer showrooms either. Consumers are widely aware of the inherent honesty and integrity in whatever Consumer Report surveys say, and this one won't be an exception.

According to the survey, the most (and least) reliable cars are:

1. For small cars, Toyota Yaris is tops (Dodge Caliber is bottom)
2. The best family car is the Toyota Prius (while the Chevrolet Impala bottoms out)
3. For upscale luxury, it's the hybrid Lexus GS 450h (the V8 Cadillac STS is at the opposite end)
4. In the small SUV category, the Honda Element squares off at the top end (the Dodge Nitro blows up at the bottom)
5. For mid size SUV, the Toyota Highlander rises holds the crown (kicking the Land Rover Ranger Rover in the grill)
6. The best large SUV award goes to the Toyota Land Cruiser (the behemoth Chevrolet Suburban 2500 lugs along)
7. The wagon-minivan category award goes to the Pontiac Vibe and finally an American brand shows up on the list (while the Chevy Uplander is way down there)
8. And last but not least, in the pickup category the V8 2 wheel drive Toyota Tundra wins (while the Cadillac Escalade EXT loses)

Did you notice it? In spite of its fall from grace, Toyota still manages to claim 6 out of 8 categories.

And in the loser column? GM grabs 5 shameful titles while Chrysler gets two last place awards and Ford's Land Rover brand gets shafted with one "loser" award.

If you've got a lemon car or truck, a lemon SUV or minivan, call us. We can help you get back on the winning list again.

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