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Ford named most improved automaker

Ford Motor Co. improved the most since last year in Consumer Reports’ annual automaker rankings, bolstered by reliability for resale value, the magazine said.

Ford received 67 points out of 100, according to results released Monday at the National Press Club in Washington. It didn’t provide a year-earlier comparison. Consumer Reports commended the manufacturer for the amount of room inside its vehicles, and for how they accelerate and ride.

The company’s Mustang was the No. 1 sports-car pick, placing a U.S. manufacturer at the top of that list for the first time in six years. Top picks in other categories include Honda Motor Co.’s Fit for the new category of budget cars, Hyundai Motor Co.’s Elantra for small cars and Nissan Motor Co.’s Altima for family sedans for the second year.

“Ford has really developed Mustang into a well-designed car,” Rik Paul, the magazine’s auto editor, said at a press conference. “It’s not only a good sports car, but it’s a good daily drive.”

Ford, based in Dearborn, Michigan, is the only major U.S. automaker that didn’t receive a government bailout. It ranked fifth overall following Honda, Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd’s Subaru unit, Toyota Motor Corp. and Volvo Cars, the Swedish automaker that Ford sold to China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. last year. 

Toyota, which last week recalled 2.17 million vehicles for floor mats that may jam accelerator pedals, claimed three of the 10 top picks, the most of any automaker. Toyota’s RAV4 is the top small sport-utility vehicle, its Prius is the top environmentally friendly car for the eighth consecutive year, and its Sienna is the top family hauler. Toyota’s Prius scored the best for fuel economy at an average 19.4 kilometers per liter. Five vehicles ― the Cadillac Escalade, the Ford Expedition EL Eddie Bauer, the Lincoln Navigator Ultimate, the Nissan Armada SV and the Nissan Tital SV ― tied for the worst with 13 mpg.

The rankings by Yonkers, New York-based Consumer Reports influence car buyers and are published in the magazine’s annual auto issue.

Consumer Reports, published by Consumers Union, uses vehicle owner reliability surveys from 1.3 million people, government and insurance-industry crash tests and its own evaluations of how vehicles function for its ratings. 

(Bloomberg)
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