Ford saw its midsize sedan sales skyrocket after introducing the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan earlier this year. But to maintain that momentum Ford will have to shake an image of unreliability and poor quality ingrained in the minds of American consumers. New data released today by Consumer Reports may begin to do just that.

In CR's Annual Car Reliability Survey, the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan sedans scored slightly better than the Honda Accord V6 and Toyota Camry V6. The Lincoln Zephyr also did well, scoring second in predicted reliability to the Lexus ES350, the leader in the upscale cars category. Ford has insisted these sedans -- and vehicles like the upcoming Edge and MKX crossovers -- mark the beginning of a new era of quality and reliability at Ford. It's still too early to know for sure, but these early results are encouraging.

And Ford isn't the only domestic automaker making strides in reliability. The Buick Lucerne and Cadillac DTS -- both first-year models -- scored above average in the large cars category, with the Lucerne scoring higher than the Toyota Avalon. However, the new Dodge Charger scored below
average and the Dodge Magnum dropped to below average in predicted reliability.