Scion lead the dominance of nine Japanese car manufacturers among the top 10, while Ford dramatically stumbled in the annual most reliable survey conducted by Consumer Reports magazine.
The best and worst-performing brands is based on feedback from 1.3 million subscribers to the United States-based publication.
The Scion xD was identified as the best model, followed by Lexus (CT 200h) as the next highest-rated model. Acura came in third place, followed by Mazda, Honda, Toyota, Infiniti, Subaru and Nissan.
Volvo was the best-performing non-Japanese brand in 10th place. Hyundai and Kia, both of South Korea, took the next two spots, with Jeep in 13th place, was the top U.S. brand. Ford fell from 10th to 20th place.
Among 27 brands identified in the study, Audi, Porsche and Jaguar were list respectively in the bottom three positions.
"The biggest improvement was from Mazda, which moved up eight spots from last year," the magazine editors wrote. "All its models were rated above average."
Scion remained the top brand in Consumer Reports' survey, but only two of its three models the xB and xD, had sufficient data to be included.
Ford's poor performance was a result of the new Explorer, Fiesta and Focus models all suffering below-average reliability in their first year. Similarly, the company suffered problems with new technologies, including with the MyFord Touch infotainment system and the automated-manual transmission used in the Fiesta and Focus.
Article Last Updated: October 28, 2011.
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A sports, travel and business journalist for more than 45 years, James has written the new car review column The Weekly Driver since 2004.
In addition to this site, James writes a Sunday automotive column for The San Jose Mercury and East Bay Times in Walnut Creek, Calif., and a monthly auto review column for Gulfshore Business, a magazine in Southwest Florida.
An author and contributor to many newspapers, magazines and online publications, James has co-hosted The Weekly Driver Podcast since 2017.