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Auto Purchasers Consider Needs Before Country of Origin

Consumer Reports magazine earlier issued its periodic survey of what it and its readers consider the best cars on the market. And the results of the survey may not appear very surprising.

In the American territory, Detroit-based vehicles are expected to sell. Nonetheless, the blatant truth these days is detrimental to American car manufacturers.

In its 2007 report, Consumer Reports published that cars and trucks made by Japan-based manufacturers took top honors in 10 categories of the magazine's 20 categories. The Japanese winners were the Honda Fit for budget car category, the Toyota RAV4 for small sport utility vehicle, the Honda Civic for small sedan, the Honda Accord for family sedan, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid for midsize SUV, the Toyota Prius for green car, the Mazda MX-5 Miata for fun to drive, the Infiniti G35 for upscale sedan, the Toyota Sienna for minivan and the Infiniti M35 for luxury sedan segment.

Despite the presence of powerful Detroit cars, what made these vehicles standout? Could it be the technology of Toyota, the reliability of Honda, or the efficiency of an Infiniti cold air intake? The "who-won-who-lost" bellow leaves behind one important advice to automakers. Reflecting on the annual rankings, the magazine wrote: "We think consumers should focus on buying the best car for their needs, no matter who builds it or where it is built."

The results of the periodic survey of the magazine mirror the fact that customers today use auto rankings from authorities as guidelines before they actually do go ahead and make a purchase. They are now putting emphasis on the vehicle's price, size, fuel economy and a buyer's personal needs, rather than making a decision which is based solely on where a vehicle ranks. The origin of the vehicle is now of lesser importance.

However, not all Japanese cars are ideal. Notwithstanding the fact that it has two of the best vehicles from its Infiniti division, Nissan also had three vehicles rated subpar by Consumer Reports. These vehicles cover the Armada, Titan and the Infiniti QX56. In addition, the domineering Toyota clan also received a thumbs-down rating for its Yaris despite the overall high marks for its product lines.

Moreover, Detroit-based manufacturers are also noted for building some excellent vehicles, even if they did not make it to the Top 10. The Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan and the Cadillac CTS all got affirmative appreciation.

Mercedes-Benz, which was once treated as the benchmark for auto value, dropped toward the bottom of Consumer Reports' quality ratings. Much of the blame for the overall low rating of the automaker could be burdened on the high-volume, entry-level C-Class cars, the ML SUV and the outgoing S-Class.

The periodic survey of the magazine also revealed that some savvy auto purchasers find more satisfaction buying an older car with high quality ratings than a new vehicle that is not rated at the top of its category and a solid example of which is the 1998 Lexus LS sedan. The latter was ranked fairly higher than a 2006 Mercedes-Benz ML500.

About The Author Given her background on cars as an auto insurance director, Lauren Woods finds the world of cars to be constantly changing.
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