Analysis shows you don’t have to spend luxury money to get quality vehicle
From the April 2017 print edition
Luxury cars from brands like Audi, Porsche, BMW and Lexus are some of the best autos on the road, according to the 2017 Brand Report Card from Consumer Reports.
For the second year in a row, Audi (81) earned the highest overall brand score in Consumer Reports’ annual indicator of which brands make the best cars. Porsche (78), BMW (77), Lexus (77), and Subaru (74) rounded out the top five in the rankings. Though the top five brands are unchanged from last year, there was some shuffling in the standings. Porsche and BMW each rose by two spots, while Lexus fell back one spot and Subaru moved down by three.
Consumer Reports said its analysis also revealed that consumers don’t have to spend luxury car money to get a quality vehicle. Kia finished just outside the lead pack in sixth place and Mazda came in seventh. CR recommends 100 percent of the Mazda models and 71 percent of the Kia models it has tested.
“Our annual analysis reveals that building one or two great vehicles is achievable, but making a whole lineup of excellent ones is much more difficult,” said Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports director of automotive testing.
In total, 31 brands were included in the 2017 Brand Report Card. To determine which brands consistently deliver cars that serve consumers well, the company tabulated the overall score, which is a combination of road test score, predicted reliability, owner satisfaction and safety results for each tested model of a brand. Auto experts then averaged those scores at the brand level. Brands with just one tested model were omitted.
CR’s rankings are based only on vehicles that are currently for sale on the market and that the organization has tested.
Tesla made its debut in CRs rankings in eighth place, though its position is based on just two tested models. Buick’s strong reliability score was enough to balance its middling road test score and secure tenth place, just ahead of Toyota. Lincoln, Chevrolet and Ford finished mid-pack. Chrysler gained seven places and finished just below Cadillac.
Honda also finished in the top 10, in the number nine spot. Toyota (11) fell out of the top 10. CR is currently Recommending 86 percent of the Honda models it has tested, and 78 percent of the Toyotas. Meanwhile, Hyundai landed close behind in the 12th position and Nissan was ranked 22nd.