Ford tumbles to second worst in Consumer Reports reliability survey, list dominated by Japanese [w/video]Mon, 29 Oct 2012 15:59:00 EST
It's no secret that MyFord Touch has had its share of problems since being introduced, but the most recent reliability survey from Consumer Reports shows just how much this infotainment system has affected Ford. Just two years ago, the automaker was in the top 10 for the institute's reliability rankings, but since then, it has tumbled to the second-lowest rung just above dead-last Jaguar. In addition to MyFord Touch, CR also attributes a handful of new products that have had issues right out of the gate.
Compiled from 1.2 million subscriber surveys, this year's auto reliability survey heavily favors Japanese automakers, with eight of the 10 spots hailing from Japan. Toyota brands grabbed the top three spots (Scion, Toyota and Lexus - in that order) with Mazda, Subaru, Honda and Acura filling the next four spots. The only non-Asian automaker cracking the top 10 was Audi at number eight.
Audi climbed a total of 18 spots from last year, and Cadillac and GMC round out this year's top gainers breaking into the top 15. Helping Cadillac's upward movement, the CTS Coupe was named the most reliable domestic car. Lincoln, Volvo and Chrysler join Ford on this year's biggest loser list.
Auto Express is reporting that Honda is set to unveil the production version of its upcoming Acura NSX at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show. The news comes courtesy of an unnamed "top exec" for Honda Brazil speaking at the Sao Paulo Motor Show. The concept version of the Japanese supercar is currently on display there. Interestingly enough, the same unnamed source claims the production iteration will remain aesthetically identical to the show car. You won't hear any qualms from us on that front.
Of course, the timing of the production debut is a little confusing. For starters, when Acura unveiled the concept last year, the company told the world it would be at least three years before production began. That would give the street-worthy model a 2014 or 2015 designation, the latter being cited more often in media accounts. Thus, we'll keep an eye out for the hybrid supercar in Motown, but we're going to stop short of holding our breath... it might be a while.
While the often misunderstood (and infrequently purchased) Acura ZDX may be going the way of the dinosaur, the company's far more conventional and successful MDX SUV is evolving. In fact, the 2014 MDX seems to be coming along rather nicely, if this latest set of spy images is any indication.
In the camouflaged prototype we see here, it is evident that Acura designers are going for a beefier look for the MDX front end. The current car's pointed and beaked nose are nowhere in evidence on this tester, though some version of Acura's prominent shield grille does seem to remain.
It's a bit difficult to tell if the shape of the glasshouse is much revised on this new car, as the camo is applied in such a fashion as to obscure the post C-pillar design. But it does seem as though, when we look hard at the full-profile shots of the MDX, that the wheel-arch bulges and side character lines of the current vehicle have been replaced with much simpler surfacing.
The Acura ZDX hasn't exactly lived a conventional existence, so perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that its death announcement isn't going according to standard industry protocol, either. Parent company Honda has taken the unusual step of trumpeting a refreshed-for-2013 model while simultaneously announcing that this will be the model's last year. According to Acura, the model's cancellation comes as the brand "sharpens its focus on new models and core products" like the forthcoming RLX sedan.
The audaciously styled crossover has been, to be charitable, a very reluctant seller since its 2009 introduction, but for 2013, Acura is jazzing up its concept car for the street with new kit. The changes include a lightly reworked front shield grille along with new power folding side mirrors and new tech features including lane departure and forward collision warning systems.
We'd say that announcing the model's discontinuation at the same time one is presenting a freshened model could hurt sales, but we're not sure there's anyone paying attention. Last year, Acura managed to shift just 1,564 units of the ZDX, giving it the No. 4 spot on our Worst Sellers of 2011 list. Through September, Automotive News reports that only 642 examples have been sold in 2012, making it one of the rarest new cars on the market.