Consumer Reports Names The Best And Worst Car Brands
Japanese brands dominated the list this year, while the American brands slid toward the bottom. Lexus took the top spot for the second year in a row, while Ford and Jeep were relegated to the cellar, tying for last place with poor scores brought on by issues with reliability and driving dynamics.
The publication did not score Fiat, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mini, Mitsubishi, Porsche, Ram, Scion, Smart and Tesla because it had too few tested models and/or lacked sufficient reliability data.
Head through to see the top five and bottom five brands, according to Consumer Reports.
Best - Toyota
Toyota took the number five spot on this year's list, thanks to its practice of building, as Consumer Reports puts it, "solid, reliable cars, and most are pleasant, comfortable, and quiet." Toyota was docked points for its driving dynamics. Most of its cars simply aren't very fun to drive.
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Best - Subaru
Subaru tied with Toyota for a spot in the top-five best brands. The Japanese automaker sells at a lower volume than much of its competition, but its vehicles are top-notch, sporting a fantastic all-wheel drivetrain, achieving solid fuel economy and reliability ratings and scoring well on safety tests.
Consumer Reports noted that Subaru models tend to lack modern connectivity features and are somewhat noisy inside.
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Best - Audi
Audi scored highest overall on the road test portion of the Consumer Reports study, meaning the publication found the German luxury brand to be extremely enjoyable to drive. It also loved the brand's luxurious interior and fuel economy. The exterior design of almost every Audi is great, too.
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Best - AcuraScore: 75
Acura, which is Honda's luxury arm, was the second-best brand in the study. Though these are far from the most exciting cars on the road, the Japanese luxury brand still puts out some very solid vehicles that Consumer Reports found to be "reliable, well-finished, and somewhat sporty."
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No. 1 Best - LexusScore: 79
Lexus took the top spot in the study for the second straight year, in large part because its the only brand that received an "excellent" reliability score. Everything else in the entire industry earned a "good" score or worse. Consumer Reports said about Lexus: "Its models are usually quiet, comfortable, and fuel efficient, and they’re among the most reliable cars made."
The publication was disappointed with the new Lexus IS sedan, but likes other models such as the GS 350.
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Worst - ChevroletScore: 56
Consumer Reports noted that Chevrolet has done a good job in giving its models great handling, stylish exteriors and smooth powertrains. However, the brand's relatively poor fuel economy and inconsistent reliability dragged its score down toward the bottom of the pack.
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Worst - Cadillac
Cadillac, which is the luxury arm of American automaker General Motors, was the fourth-worst brand according to the Consumer Reports study. While Cadillac has made loads of progress with its vehicles' exterior design and driving dynamics, its CUE infotainment system, which is laggy and unintuitive, brought the whole brand down.
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Worst - DodgeScore: 53
Consumer Reports said, simply, that almost every Dodge model is "uncompetitive," with the exception of the Durango SUV and Dart small sedan. Still, the Durango has unproven reliability and only the Dart with its base engine configuration is considered a reliable car.
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Worst - FordScore: 50
Ford has hit a new low, mostly because of the poor reliability brought on by its MyFord Touch infotainment system. The American automaker is rumored to be swapping out Microsoft for Blackberry to power the next generation of the lackluster infotainment system.
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Worst - Jeep
Jeep, another Chrysler brand, tied with Ford for the worst spot on the list. According to Consumer Reports, a big part of the low ranking had to do with the poor driving dynamics of several Jeep models, including the Wrangler, Patriot and Compass. Reliability was also an issue. Fortunately for the iconic American brand, there's nowhere to go but up.
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