Its tough to be a leader w.r.t technology and features. People are resistant to change, especially people who like "beige" cars. Somebody has to break new ground and take the risks.
It sure would be easy to top the reliability charts when you're a late follower, and your mainstream model, ie. Corolla, comes with an ancient (read: we know it works because we've been using it for the last 15 years) 4 speed automatic torque converter transmission
for auto-x: '04 Liquid Grey ZX3
for street: '02 Infrared SVT