American car manufacturers haven’t had the most stellar service record. However, one company pulled off a wicked, tire-screeching “U-turn” with one of its signature vehicles.

Total Car Score, a web resource that calls itself the “Rotten Tomatoes of the car industry,” compiled a list of the most improved car models for 2012.

The site compiled the list by assigning each car a score based on the reviews of several car and automobile reviewers such as Consumer Reports, Edmunds, Consumer Guide and J.D. Power & Associates. Each report converts each review into “a simple percentage” since each review ranks its finding different ways such as numbers or stars.

The 2012 Ford Focus had the highest score increase for the year. It jumped by a whopping 7.95 points from its place in 2011. Its new score also makes it the highest-rated compact car in Total Car Score’s fleet.

The Focus’ score wasn’t a surprise to even the most ardent car critic. Despite some of its flaws, Ford made its affordable compact a sportier ride with tight handling and steering with a more stylish interior. It also has improved gas mileage of 31 miles per gallon for city and highway driving. All of these improvements helped increase its sales by more than 12 percent in April.

Total Car Score’s Most Improved Cars of 2012

[Forbes]