The Toyota Prius C compact hybrid topped Consumer Reports' list of reliable 2012 model-year vehicles, leading a group of Toyota-made cars near the top of the list.
Consumer Reports based its list on subscriber experiences with 1.2 million vehicles, though Consumer Reports allowed that some of the results were affected by the timing of new-vehicle releases. For instance, Ford, whose overall ratings dropped substantially from last year, didn't update a number of models for 2012 because they're being revamped for 2013.
Either way, Japanese automakers reigned supreme, as Toyota and its Lexus and Scion brands topped the brand-reliability list, followed by Mazda, Subaru and Honda and its Acura badge. In all, 86 of the 90 Japanese models tested had at least average reliability. The four-wheel-drive V6 Ford Explorer earned the worst score.
Consumer Reports also said that green cars are reliable, so the fears people have about the first hybrids over a decade ago should not resurface today, saying "Reliability is a high point for most hybrids." The Nissan Leaf had "an excellent showing" and the Chevrolet Volt was "above average."
Since debuting the car in the US in February, the Prius C sold 26,130 vehicles through September. That accounts for about 14 percent of all Prius sales this year. Despite how reliable Consumer Reports and its subscribers think the Prius C is, the magazine is not a fan of the car. At all.