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Consumer Reports: Most dependable cars

While Asian automakers dominate the influential magazine's reliability survey, there's some good news in there for Ford too.

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Kudos for Ford
Asian cars still dominate Consumer Reports' latest report on predicted reliability. They, along with one German model, topped 10 different vehicle categories.

Of U.S. carmakers, only Ford was able to put itself into the ranks of the world's most dependable, while Chrysler and General Motors still struggled.

Overall, 90% of Ford Motor Co. products earned average or better predicted reliability, placing them well above their domestic rivals. Fewer than half of GM and Chrysler models were above average.

More importantly, said Consumer Reports auto tester Jake Fisher, Ford has maintained that 90% or better percentage for several years running.

"They have figured out how to make reliable cars and they have sustained that," he said. "It's not a fluke."

Good reliability alone doesn't mean Consumer Reports recommends a given model, though. To earn a recommendation, a vehicle also needs to do well in the magazine's performance tests and earn good scores in government and insurance industry crash tests.

Many Ford models including the Fusion sedan and Escape SUV earned the magazine's recommendation.

To gauge predicted reliability the magazine surveys its subscribers about their experience with the cars they own. That data is used to predict the reliability of models that are currently on sale. That means that, for substantially redesigned or newly introduced models, the magazine may not have sufficient data to predict reliability. The magazine looked at survey results from over 1 million cars.

NEXT: Small car: Honda Insight
Last updated November 03 2009: 3:53 PM ET
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