AAA issues first-time ranking of cars

Ford Motor Co., General Motors Corp. and four foreign automakers may get a sales boost from an unlikely source: the American Automobile Association.

For the first time in its 90-year history, AAA yesterday released a list of what it considers to be the best cars on the market in their price ranges. The non-profit organization, which has 32.5 million members, is based in Heathrow, Fla.


The list of nine cars will be published in the January/February issue of AAA's bimonthly magazine, AAA World. The magazine has a circulation of 2.8 million and is used by AAA clubs in 17 states.

The test results also will be published with more than 100 others in the AAA's yearly book, AAA Auto Test, which is sold at most large bookstores.


The cars -- Ford Escort, Saturn Sports Coupe, Honda Accord, Oldsmobile 88, Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3, Volvo 960, Lexus SC 400, Acura Legend and Mercedes-Benz 400 E -- range in price from less than $10,000 to more than $40,000.

The list was not compiled with the intention of steering consumers to particular cars, said Tom Schroder, AAA's manager of public affairs for Florida.

But being included may have that effect, regardless.

Automakers frequently tout such endorsements in their advertising.