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March 2, 2012 1:00 AM

Consumer Reports releases annual list of top autos


(The Associated Press)

Japan tops Consumer Reports' rankings
Subaru and Mazda received the top scores in Consumer Reports' annual Automaker Report Card, and Japanese automakers claimed the five top spots, the magazine announced this week. For Subaru, the test scores of recently redesigned new models, including the Legacy, Outback and Impreza, helped the company improve its overall score to 75 out of 100. Toyota remained among the top three automakers for the fifth straight year. Consumer Reports also named Toyota vehicles as its top pick in five out of 10 categories. The last time that happened was in 2003.

The top models by category:
Small car: Subaru Impreza
Family sedan: Toyota Camry Hybrid
Affordable family sedan: Hyundai Sonata
Sports sedan: Infiniti G
Sporty car: Ford Mustang
Green car: Toyota Prius
Small SUV: Toyota RAV4
SUV: Toyota Highlander
Minivan: Toyota Sienna
Pickup: Chevrolet Avalanche

The top 10 brands and scores (last year's ranking in parentheses):
1. Subaru, 75 (2)
2. Mazda, 74 (7)
3. Toyota, 73 (3)
4. Honda, 72 (1)
5. Nissan, 67 (8)
6. Volvo, 64 (4)
7. (tie) Hyundai, 63 (6)
7. (tie) BMW, 63 (10)
9. Volkswagen, 62 (9)
10. Ford, 60 (5)
Detroit Free Press