On Tuesday, Consumer Reports released the latest edition of its annual automotive brand report card. Once again German and Japanese brands dominate the top 10 of the study that examines which nameplates make the best cars on sale in the US.
“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,” Consumer Reports director of automotive testing Jake Fisher said in a statement.
For a second consecutive year, Audi finished a top of the list followed by Porsche, Lexus, and BMW. Even though the top of the list consists mainly of luxury brands, mainstream car shoppers also have gone far down to the tally to find a great car. Subaru finished fifth, followed by Kia and Mazda.
Consumer Reports, an independent, non-profit consumer organisation, currently recommends every single Mazda model and 71% of the Kia models it has tested.
Then there’s Tesla in eighth place. The electric automaker is the first US brand to appear on the list and two spots ahead of Buick, the only other American brand to crack the top 10.
Other US automakers didn’t fare so well. Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles saw three of their brands finish in the bottom five. Fiat finished dead last in 31st place, while Jeep finished in 30th position, and Dodge in 27th.
In a statement to Business Insider, FCA wrote:
“We value all feedback from our customers and third-party evaluators, including Consumer Reports, as it helps guide our product improvements. We respect Consumer Reports’ opinion, as they’re one of the many third-party evaluators we receive comments from. At the same time, we continue to encourage customers to experience our vehicles for themselves. We’re aggressively pursuing both product and launch-quality improvements as they are top priorities for the Company and our internal measurements continue to show sustainable progress.”
With that said, the company’s Chrysler brand moved up seven spots to 19th position on the strength of its Pacifica minivan and 300 Sedan.
“Chrysler is on the right track with the capable and sophisticated new Pacifica minivan, which is a real standout,” Fisher said. “If the company can spread that quality throughout its fleet, and improve its uneven reliability, its ranking in our annual analysis could continue to rise.”
Cadillac also made a big six-position jump to the 18th position on the strength of improved performance across its lineup.
Lincoln, Chevrolet, and Ford finished in 15th, 17th, and 21st respectively. According to Consumer Reports, the brands were “bogged down” by inconsistent reliability across their lineups.
Toyota fell out of the top 10 from eighth to 11th due to the poor reliability of its redesigned Tacoma pickup.
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