On Tuesday, Consumer Reports released its annual car brand rankings, and the first placer is no surprise. Lexus, the luxury division of Toyota Motor Corp., was ranked number one. This is the third consecutive year the brand topped the list.
Asian brands continue to dominate the list, taking six spots in the top 10. Mazda was in second place, while Toyota was in the third spot. Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd.’s Subaru rounded out the top five. Meanwhile, Honda and Kia are in the eighth and ninth spots, respectively.
German brands also made the list. Volkswagen AG’s flagship brand Audi was number four. Porsche was in sixth place while BMW rounded out the top 10.
General Motors Co.’s Buick brand is the biggest gainer. It jumped from the 12th spot last year to seventh place this year. This is the first time a domestic car brand has cracked the top 10 list and the second time Buick bested all other US-based car brands in Consumer Reports’ rankings.
Jake Fisher, the consumer magazine’s director of automotive testing, said that Buick has invented itself pretty fast and that it has been making reliable vehicles. Fisher compared the GM brand to Lexus, but called it “sporty to drive.”
While some brands enjoyed higher rankings this year, others experienced a huge drop on the list. Mercedes-Benz was in the top 10 last year, but it plunged 12 spots to 21st place this year. The drop is attributed to the brand’s entry-level CLA sedan, which Fisher said was unreliable. 2014’s second place finisher Acura is now number 11, mainly because its redesigned RLX sedan was unimpressive. Then there is Infiniti—it declined from number 8 to 17 mainly due to the unreliable Q50 sedan.
Consumer Reports ranks car brands based on performance and reliability. The influential consumer publication considers both road test scores and reliability data.
Aside from the car brand rankings, the magazine also revealed their top picks for different categories. The aforementioned Regal is one of them. The best overall pick for the second straight year is the Tesla Model S sedan.
Other top picks were the Subaru Impreza (compact car), Subaru Legacy (mid-size sedan), Chevrolet Impala (large car), Audi A6 (luxury car), Toyota Prius (green car), Honda Odyssey (minivan), Subaru Forester (small SUV) and the Toyota Highlander (mid-size SUV).