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Toyota Prius keeps Consumer Reports recommendation

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Toyota Prius keeps Consumer Reports recommendation

Jeff Plungis / Bloomberg News

Toyota Motor Corp.'s Prius retained its title as Consumer Reports top pick for environmentally- friendly vehicles two weeks after the automaker recalled 437,000 hybrids to fix a software glitch.

Consumer Reports also named General Motors Co.'s Chevrolet Traverse as the best sport-utility vehicle and GMs Silverado as the top pick-up.

The carmaker's $76,572 Lexus LS460L was named best overall vehicle among more than 280 autos tested, the magazine said at a news conference in Washington today. The Prius was ranked best green car for the seventh straight year.

The Consumer Reports rankings, which influence U.S. car buyers, may help Toyota weather recalls now totaling more than 8 million vehicles worldwide and widening probes into its handling of the faults. A federal grand jury has asked for documents related to unintended acceleration and braking in the Prius, and three congressional committees are beginning hearings.

Following the recalls, Consumers Union, the Yonkers, N.Y.-based publisher of Consumer Reports, said that U.S. regulators should require simpler controls that allow drivers to turn off car engines in an emergency. Minimum distances between gas pedals and floor mats should be established, it said.

Nissan Motor Co. also had two recommended models, the Altima sedan and Infiniti G37 sports car.

Other honored vehicles included the Mazda Motor Corp. Mazda5, Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd.'s Subaru Forrester, Volkswagen AGs GTI and Hyundai Motor Co.'s Elantra SE.

From The Detroit News: http://detroitnews.com/article/20100223/AUTO01/2230389/1148/auto01/Toyota-Prius-keeps-Consumer-Reports-recommendation#ixzz0gMkCpgSu

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Toyota 3rd in Consumer Reports survey; Detroit 3 lag



Toyota finished third on Consumer Reports’ annual Automaker Report Card even though the magazine suspended ratings for eight of Toyota’s vehicles due to recent recalls.

Japan’s No. 1 automaker achieved its third place score even though the percentage of Toyota vehicles Consumer Reports recommends dropped nearly in half due to the recalls related to unintended acceleration.

While there are bright spots for Ford and General Motors, no domestic automaker finished in the top five and Chrysler’s performance fell.

The magazine said both Honda and Subaru finished first with an overall score of 77 followed by Toyota with 74, Hyundai with 73 and Nissan and Volkswagen tied at 72. The overall score for each automaker is based on the average of its vehicles overall scores from road tests and reliability.

Consumer Reports said the reliability of some Ford models — such as the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan — now rivals Honda and Toyota. However, most models from Ford, Mercury and Lincoln rate only midpack.

Several of GM’s vehicles were star performers this year but Consumer Reports said the automaker’s overall reliability still lags behind the competition.

The magazine singled out the Chevrolet Traverse as its top pick for best family SUV and the Chevrolet Silverado as its top selection in the pickup category.

Chrysler, meanwhile, continues to struggle. Six out of eight models Consumer Reports ranked as “worst value” are built by Chrysler and the Ram 1500 pickup is the only model made by Chrysler that the publication recommends.

“Most models from the manufacturer have noisy, inefficient, unrefined powertrains; subpar interiors and poor visibility,” the magazine said in a statement.



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