Audi tops Consumer Reports' brand rankings while Tesla leads domestics at eighth

Audi tops the global list, Tesla is eighth overall.

Tesla supplanted General Motors' Buick division as the top-ranked US automaker in Consumer Reports annual brand rankings, though the electric-vehicle maker finished eighth among global automakers. Buick had finished atop CR's domestic car-brand list for three years before Tesla leapfrogged it. Scores were calculated from a combination of performance, owner satisfaction, and reliability. CR noted that Buick scored big on reliability but not so high on performance, while Tesla appeared to present the opposite case.

Volkswagen's Audi division repeated as the best overall brand for the second straight year, beating out VW's Porsche unit, BMW, Toyota's Lexus division, and Subaru. Kia and Mazda followed those brands, while Honda finished ninth, between Tesla and Buick. Consumer Reports took results from 31 brands. Reliability issues related to the Toyota Tacoma helped drop that Japanese automaker out of the top 10. Take a look at CR's results for its Annual Brand Report Card here.

That Tesla, Audi, and Porsche placed so high is topical, given some of the issues plaguing those automakers. Audi, Porsche, and their parent VW have been coping with the effects of the diesel-emissions scandal that broke back in 2015. The scandal has cost Europe's largest automaker billions of dollars, and forced VW to put a stop-sale on diesel-powered cars in the US in late 2015.

And while the Tesla Model S improved from the "worse-than-average" label CR gave it in its 2015 Annual Auto Reliability Survey, the problematic falcon-wing doors on the Tesla Model X SUV pulled that model's reliability scores lower last year. Additionally, the Model X's climate-control system and door locks have also caused issues. Toyota and Lexus finished atop CR's reliability rankings last year.

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