Who makes the best cars?

Who makes the best cars? »Play Video
When you start to look for a new vehicle, a good place to start is with automakers that are producing quality cars.

Each year Consumer Reports gives automakers a "report card," grading them on reliability and performance.

Subaru now tops Consumer Reports' list. Consumer Reports recommends all of the Subarus it's tested, including the Impreza, Outback, Forester, and Legacy.

Consumer Reports named Mazda the second-best automaker, a dramatic improvement. Its reliability has gotten better, and the Mazda3, along with other Mazdas, is fun to drive. Toyota maintains its third-place spot, with quality cars such as the redesigned Camry.

Honda has slipped to fourth place. Its redesigned Civic and Odyssey are disappointments. Consumer Reports says that Honda has cut costs on some recently redesigned models, sometimes getting rid of handy features and using cheaper materials. In some cases, braking and handling performance have also gone down. Chrysler is still in last place but is scoring higher than before. Consumer Reports has seen big improvements in many of Chrysler's redesigned models, including the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Chrysler 300.

General Motors and Ford did better in Consumer Reports' auto scorecard than Chrysler, but only slightly. Out of 13 car makers, Ford came in tenth and General Motors twelfth.