With the average price of a new car now close to $30,000, it pays to get a winner.

Consumer Reports has just released its annual report card on the 13 major automakers, and it's a great list for consumers looking to find out what companies are producing quality cars.

This year Subaru tops Consumer Reports' list of who makes the best cars, replacing Honda.

"Subaru's Impreza is our Top Pick in small cars," said Rik Paul. "And we now recommend all of the Subarus we've tested."

That includes the Outback, Forester, and Legacy.

Each year, Consumer Reports gives automakers a report card, grading them on reliability and performance.

More than 50 performance tests are performed on each car at its auto track, including braking and emergency handling.

Consumer Reports named Mazda the second best automaker, a dramatic improvement. Its reliability has gotten better, and the Mazda 3 -- along with other Mazdas -- is fun to drive.

Toyota maintains its third place spot, with quality cars like the redesigned Camry.

Honda has slipped to fourth place, with its redesigned Civic and Odyssey rated as disappointments.

"Honda has cut costs on some recently redesigned models, sometimes getting rid of handy features and using cheaper materials," Paul said.

"Sometimes their braking and handling performance has also gone down."

Chrysler is still in last place but scoring higher than before.

"We've seen big improvements in many of Chrysler's redesigned models, including the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Chrysler 300. Chrysler's score could go up even further as it revamps its cars," Paul said.

General Motors and Ford did better in Consumer Reports' auto scorecard than Chrysler, but only slightly. Out of 13 carmakers, Ford came in 10th and General Motors 12th.

The full list of grades is available in the April 2012 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.

Watch CTV News for the full report from Lynda Steele…