David Shepardson / Detroit News Washington BureauConsumer Reports says Ford Motor Co. is this year's most improved automaker, hot on the heels of Japanese automakers that finished 1-2-3 in the magazine's annual rankings.
Toyota Motor Corp., which suffered in last year's assessment due to ongoing quality problems and recalls, was the 2011 comeback story, finishing third behind Honda Motor Co. and Subaru.
Dearborn-based Ford leapfrogged from 11th overall last year to fifth among the 13 companies ranked by the influential magazine.
"Ford's been doing extremely well," said David Champion, senior director of Consumer Reports Auto Test Center, noting its reliability has steadily improved during the last five-plus years. "That's really bringing them up to getting close to Toyota."
Ford cracked the list of Consumer Reports' top picks, winning best sporty car with the Mustang. The magazine recommended 10 of the 15 Ford vehicles it tested.
Consumer Reports named the Ford Mustang best sporty car. Ford was ranked fifth-best overall in the rankings, up from 11th last year. (Ford)
Ford spokeswoman Kristen Kinley said the "results from a reputable organization like Consumer Reports is further validation of the continued progress we're making on the quality of our products."
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