All car manufacturers have had their issues at various times. For years Toyota V6s had an oil problem caused by very small passages in the head draining back to the block. We got around that by only running Mobil 1 that would not coke up in the small holes and our first Avalon was running strong and burning zero oil at 350,000 miles.I think you guys are missing the bigger picture:
1. Toyota, Honda, etc all suffered from piston ring / consumption issues at one point. Similar to Volvo
2. Our repair stories (and multiple trips to dealer) are anecdotal and not reflective of a large slice of owners
3. I'm sure Lexus, Toyota, and Honda have all had issues to some degree, but repairs on "Mainstream Cars" are far less costly than Volvo, BMW, Mercedes, etc. So I am wondering if Consumer Reports is calculating repair costs in their survey. Clearly, it's going to cost far more to repair a Volvo than a Toyota.
4. Consumer reports should elaborate on their rankings, by posting their survey and an asterisk beside each vehicle on what the most common repairs / complaints were on that given brand. Without knowing the most common failures and the questions asked, it's very hard to judge if Toyota is "more reliable" and Volvo "less reliable"
Having had a variety of Japanese cars and a variety of Euro cars, I can say on average the Euro cars are going to run you 2-4 times the repair costs the Japanese cars will over a long time period. I tend to drive cars until they die in my driveway, so reliability past 200K is important to me. The typical customers that buy or lease high-end cars could not care less about this, the car will be under warranty while they have it.
My V70 would have cost me half as much to repair as to buy it if I paid a shop, it ended up being maybe $400 of parts but the diagnoses was very tricky and the typical shop would have been at it for endless expensive hours. It has actually been reliable as a sledge hammer now I got the various things set right.