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Rankings Update: The Buick Regal and Honda Fit Retake the Top Spots

The Honda Fit beat the Ford Fiesta to be the number-one ranked affordable small car.

We just completed our monthly rankings update, and the addition of some new reliability data shook things up.

In the affordable small car class, the Honda Fit ousted the Ford Fiesta from the number one spot for the first time since the Fiesta debuted. Perhaps more interesting to anyone who’s been watching Hyundai’s market share grow is that the Hyundai Elantra is tied for runner-up with the Fiesta, and both are just a tenth of a point off the Fit’s score.

The Nissan Leaf edged from second place to first over in upscale small cars, while strong reliability scores helped the Acura TSX edge into the top three. But the biggest news in upscale cars is in the upscale midsize car class. The Buick Regal took back the number one spot after ceding it to the BMW 3-Series a few months ago.

The added reliability data wasn’t good news for all GM cars in the class, though. Based on its reliability score, the Chevrolet Volt fell three spots to sixth place, even though it has a strong safety score. The change in the Volt’s score was reflected in the hybrid and electric car rankings, where the Volt dropped from first place to third, allowing the Ford Fusion Hybrid and the Toyota Prius to move into a tie for first place.

The tight race in hybrid and electric cars is also playing out in the affordable midsize car class. While the Ford Fusion is still at number one, the Hyundai Sonata dropped from the top spot and is now in a three-way tie for second with the Ford Fusion Hybrid and the Toyota Prius. The space between the number one- and number two-ranked cars in the class is also just a tenth of a point, and it's interesting that two of the top four cars in the class are hybrids.

There wasn’t a lot of movement in the compact SUV classes. With an improved reliability score, the Toyota RAV4 squeaked into the number three spot in affordable compact SUVs, while the Infiniti EX dropped to number three from number two in luxury compact SUVs. The midsize SUV class had more changes. The Buick Enclave dropped from first place to third, leaving the Mazda CX-9 alone in the top spot. The new-for-2011 Ford Explorer moved from fourth place to second.

We’ll run the rankings again in about a month, but in the meantime, what do you think? Which ranking lists do you agree with and which ones do you think are off?

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