At the opposite end there's a surprise as well – Toyota and Lexus remain the most reliable brands on the market, but Buick cracked the top three. That's up from seventh last year, and the first time for an American brand to stand on the Consumer Reports podium. Mazda's entire lineup earned Recommended checks as well.
Consumer Reports dinged the Civic for its "infuriating" touch-screen radio, lack of driver lumbar adjustability, the limited selection of cars on dealer lots fitted with Honda's popular Sensing system, and the company's decision to offer LaneWatch instead of a full-tilt blind-spot monitoring system. Its score? A lowly 58.
The Civic isn't the only surprise drop from CR's Recommended ranks. The Audi A3, Ford F-150, Subaru WRX/STI, and Volkswagen Jetta, GTI, and Passat all lost the Consumer Reports' checkmark. On the flipside, a number of popular vehicles graduated to the Recommended ranks, including the BMW X5, Chevrolet Camaro, Corvette, and Cruze, Hyundai Santa Fe, Porsche Macan, and Tesla Model S. Perhaps the biggest surprise is the hilariously recall-prone Ford Escape getting a Recommended check – considering the popularity of Ford's small crossover, this is likely a coup for the brand, as it puts the Escape on a level playing field with the Recommended Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, and Nissan Rogue.
While Ford is probably happy to see CR promote the Escape, the list wasn't as kind for every brand. For example, of the entire Fiat Chrysler Automobiles catalog, the ancient Chrysler 300 was the only car to score a check – there wasn't a single Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, Maserati, or Ram on the list. That hurts. FCA isn't alone at the low end, either. GMC, Jaguar Land Rover, Mini, and Mitsubishi don't have a vehicle on CR's list between them, while brands like Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, Nissan, Lincoln, Infiniti, and Cadillac only have a few models each.
You can check out Consumer Reports entire reliability roundup, even without a subscription, here.