Lexus again tops the Consumer Reports’ Car Brand Report Cards, with a 78-point overall score that combines road-test and predicted reliability scores. Rounding the top five are Mazda (75), Toyota (74), Audi (73), and Subaru (73). To take full measure of how the automakers stack up, our Car Brand Report Cards show which automakers get it right in performance and reliability.
Sitting firmly at seventh place on a list that has been historically dominated by the Japanese brands, Buick takes top honors among all domestics for the second year in a row, leap frogging over Honda and BMW in the rankings for the first time.
“For years, domestic automakers built lower-priced and lower-quality alternatives to imports, but those days are behind us, ” said Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports director of automotive testing. “Today, many domestic models can go toe to toe with the best imports.”
To be included, a brand must have at least two models with test and reliability data. Brands that did not have sufficient data to rate are Jaguar, Land Rover, Maserati, Mitsubishi, Ram, Smart, and Tesla.
- Buick has the highest percentage of tested models being Consumer Reports recommended at 83 percent, followed by Subaru (80 percent), Lexus (78 percent), and Kia (78 percent).
- The Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Fiat brands all scored near or at the bottom, the result of poor reliability and a variety of new or redesigned models with low road-test scores.
- Mercedes-Benz was the biggest loser this year, dropping from 10th to 21st place due to a decline in reliability for several of its models and the low-scoring, unreliable new CLA.
- Infiniti’s score was an example how one low-scoring and unreliable new model can hurt a carmaker with a small lineup. Largely based on the low-scoring and unreliable new Q50, Infiniti fell out of the top 10, landing at 17—just above Nissan.