Toyota Prius the Big Winner in Consumer Reports' Annual Auto Issue

The 2009 Consumer Reports (CR) Annual Auto Issue hit my mailbox this evening. Some highlights:

  • For the 6th year in a row, the Prius is the top Green Car for CR. Until recently, this category was a given for Toyota, but the competition is getting tougher.
  • The Prius is also ranked as having the best used-car reliability history of all vehicle types between 1999-2008
  • In a survey of 425,000 car owners, the car rated as the most satisfying, and the one they most often said they would buy again if they had to was, again, the Prius (the Jeep Commander was the least satisfying).
  • Of the 11 vehicles CR gave the highest overall scores, 7 are from Japan, 2 are from Germany, 1 is from South Korea, and 1 is from America.
  • Of the 10 vehicles CR gave the lowest overall scores, 8 are from America (GM=4, Chrysler=3, Ford=1), 1 is from Japan and 1 is from Germany
  • CR issued report cards to 15 automakers: Honda, Subaru, Toyota and Mazda scored the highest in that order. The lowest? Ford, Suzuki, GM and the honor of last place went to Chrysler.
  • CR trashed the Smart ForTwo, saying the ride was "harsh", the handling was "clumsy", and the "manual transmission has the worst shift quality” they’ve experienced, and "the wind blows it around on the highway."

In sum, the Prius kicked ass across the board, including being named the 'best bang for your buck' among family cars and of course having the highest mpg of any vehicle (44 mpg).

Detroit, meanwhile, took it on the chin, page after page, until there was almost no chin left.

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