Consumer Reports 2016 Annual brand Report Card Finds Subaru & Mazda Keeping Pace with Luxury Brands

Share Article

Audi, Subaru, Lexus, Porsche, BMW lead the pack

News Image
It's not enough to make cars that drive and handle well. Consumers are best served when those vehicles are also highly reliable and safe.

Consumers don’t always have to spend top dollar to get a great car. The Consumer Reports 2016 Brand Report Card reveals mainstream brands like Subaru and Mazda can often deliver as much quality as more opulent luxury brands.

The highest overall brand scores in Consumer Reports’ annual indicator of which brands make the best cars went to Audi (80) and Subaru (78). Consumer Reports currently Recommends 100 percent of each brand's models that it has tested. Luxury brands Lexus (76), Porsche (76), and BMW (76) rounded out the top five in CR’s rankings.

Mazda finished just outside the lead pack in sixth place, with GM’s premium brand Buick in seventh place. Consumer Reports is currently Recommending 100 percent of the Mazda models and 80 percent of the Buick models it has tested.

“It's not enough to make cars that drive and handle well. Consumers are best served when those vehicles are also highly reliable and safe,” said Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports director of automotive testing.

In total, 30 brands were included in CR’s 2016 Brand Report Card. To determine which marques consistently deliver cars that serve consumers well, Consumer Reports tabulated the overall score, road test score, and predicted reliability results for each tested model of a brand. Then CR’s auto experts averaged those scores at the brand level as an indicator of which brands make the best cars.

CR’s rankings are based only on vehicles that are currently for sale on the market and that the organization has tested at its 327-acre Automotive Test Center in Connecticut. Audi and VW diesel vehicles that have been pulled from dealerships—following their recall and stop-sale last year for cheating on EPA emissions tests—are not included in the scoring. The rankings do not account for corporate practices or brand perceptions, and despite Audi’s score, Consumer Reports strongly believes that Volkswagen AG, the maker of VW and Audi vehicles, should be held accountable for manipulating emissions testing with its vehicles.

Scores for all 30 brands included in the Consumer Reports 2016 Brand Report Cards are available in the Annual Auto issue of Consumer Reports or by visiting the Consumer Reports 2016 Autos Spotlight on

Along with the Korean brand Kia (9th place), the largest Japanese brands rounded out the top 10. Toyota’s strong reliability score was enough to balance its middling road test score and secure eighth place. Honda finished in the 10th spot with Consumer Reports Recommending 88 percent of its tested models.

Other domestic brands didn’t fare as well as Buick. Ford, Lincoln, and Chevrolet finished mid-pack and were largely bogged down by their inconsistent reliability scores. All Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) brands finished in the bottom third of the rankings, with Fiat coming in last.

This is the ninth consecutive year Consumer Reports has compiled and published its Car Brand Report Card. However, changes in the scoring methodology preclude comparing results from the 2016 report to information from any of the previous years.

This year, Consumer Reports does not have Brand Report Cards for Alfa Romeo, Jaguar, Maserati, Ram, Smart, and Tesla, because the organization has fewer than two currently tested models from those makes. Ratings on individual models from those brands are available at

The complete 2016 Brand Report Card is available in the Annual Auto Issue of Consumer Reports and online at starting February 23, 2016. Updated daily, is the go-to website for the latest auto reviews, product news, blogs on breaking news and car buying information.

Connect with us for live coverage of the Autos Spotlight, on and on Twitter: @ConsumerReports and @CRCars. Full coverage of the 2016 Autos Spotlight is available at

About Consumer Reports
Consumer Reports is the world’s largest and most trusted nonprofit, consumer organization working to improve the lives of consumers by driving marketplace change. Founded in 1936 Consumer Reports has achieved substantial gains for consumers on health reform, food and product safety, financial reform, and other issues. The organization has advanced important policies to cut hospital-acquired infections, prohibit predatory lending practices and combat dangerous toxins in food. Consumer Reports tests and rates thousands of products and services in its 50 plus labs, state-of-the-art auto test center and consumer research center. Consumers Union, a division of Consumer Reports, works for pro-consumer laws and regulations in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace. With more than eight million subscribers to its flagship magazine, website and other publications, Consumer Reports accepts no advertising, payment or other support from the companies whose products it evaluates.

© 2016 Consumer Reports. The material above is intended for legitimate news entities only; it may not be used for advertising or promotional purposes. Consumer Reports® is an expert, independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to work for a fair, just, and safe marketplace for all consumers and to empower consumers to protect themselves. We accept no advertising and pay for all the products we test. We are not beholden to any commercial interest. Our income is derived from the sale of Consumer Reports®,® and our other publications and information products, services, fees, and noncommercial contributions and grants. Our Ratings and reports are intended solely for the use of our readers. Neither the Ratings nor the reports may be used in advertising or for any other commercial purpose without our permission. Consumer Reports will take all steps open to it to prevent commercial use of its materials, its name, or the name of Consumer Reports®.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

C. Matt Fields

Douglas Love