Audi Leads Pack Of Luxury Brands in Consumer Reports 2017 Annual Brand Report Card

Share Article

Porsche, BMW, Lexus, Subaru round out the top five

CR April 2017 Issue

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.

Luxury cars from brands like Audi, Porsche, BMW and Lexus are some of the best autos on the road, according to the 2017 Brand Report Card from Consumer Reports, the world’s largest and most trusted independent, nonprofit consumer organization.

For the second year in a row, Audi (81) earned the highest overall brand score in Consumer Reports’ annual indicator of which brands make the best cars. Porsche (78), BMW (77), Lexus (77), and Subaru (74) rounded out the top five in CR’s rankings. Though the top five brands are unchanged from last year, there was some shuffling in the standings. Porsche and BMW each rose by two spots, while Lexus fell back one spot and Subaru moved down by three.

Consumer Reports’ analysis also revealed that consumers don’t have to spend luxury car money to get a quality vehicle. Kia finished just outside the lead pack in sixth place and Mazda came in seventh. CR currently recommends 100 percent of the Mazda models and 71 percent of the Kia models it has tested.

“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,” said Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports director of automotive testing.

In total, 31 brands were included in the 2017 Brand Report Card. To determine which brands consistently deliver cars that serve consumers well, CR tabulated the Overall Score, which is a combination of road test score, predicted reliability, owner satisfaction, and safety 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. Brands with just one tested model were omitted.

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. Just as with the organization’s comprehensive auto Ratings, CR’s Brand Report Card is intended to spur lagging automakers to put out safer, better-performing vehicles while equipping consumers with unbiased information to make better choices—leading to a better marketplace.

Scores for all 31 brands included in the Consumer Reports 2017 Brand Report Card are available in the Annual Auto issue or by visiting the Consumer Reports 2017 Autos Spotlight at http://www.ConsumerReports.org/april.

Two domestic brands are in the top 10 this year. Tesla made its debut in CRs rankings in eighth place, though its position is based on just two tested models. Buick’s strong reliability score was enough to balance its middling road test score and secure tenth place, just ahead of Toyota

Other domestic brands didn’t fare as well as Tesla and Buick. Lincoln, Chevrolet, and Ford finished mid-pack and were largely bogged down by their inconsistent reliability scores. In a bright spot, however, 18th-ranked Cadillac was among the biggest risers, moving up six places compared with last year.

Chrysler gained seven places and finished just below Cadillac. The brand has one of the higher average scores in CR’s road tests, but it’s based on just two models, the 300 and Pacifica. Neither of them earned a high enough Overall Score to be Recommended due to their below-average reliability. All other Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) brands finished close to the bottom of the rankings, with Fiat coming in last.

“Chrysler is on the right track with the capable and sophisticated new Pacifica minivan, which is a real standout. 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,” Fisher said.

Honda was the only other Asian brand to finish in the top 10, in the number nine spot. Toyota (11) fell out of the top 10 this year due in part to disappointing reliability from the redesigned Tacoma. CR is currently Recommending 86 percent of the Honda models it has tested, and 78 percent of the Toyotas. Meanwhile, Hyundai landed close behind in the 12th position and Nissan was ranked 22nd.

This year, CR does not have Brand Report Cards for Alfa Romeo, Genesis, Maserati, Ram, and Smart because the organization has fewer than two currently tested models from those makes. Ratings on individual models from those brands are available in Consumer Reports Annual Auto Issue and at http://www.ConsumerReports.org/april.

The complete 2017 Brand Report Card is available in the Annual Auto Issue of Consumer Reports and online at http://www.ConsumerReports.org/april February 28, 2017. Updated daily, CR.org 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 Facebook.com/ConsumerReports and on Twitter: @ConsumerReports and @CRCars. Full coverage of the 2017 Autos Spotlight is available at http://www.ConsumerReports.org/april.

About Consumer Reports
Consumer Reports is an independent, nonprofit organization that works side by side with consumers to create a fairer, safer, and healthier world. For 80 years, CR has provided evidence-based product testing and ratings, rigorous research, hard-hitting investigative journalism, public education, and steadfast policy action on behalf of consumers’ interests. Unconstrained by advertising or other commercial influences, CR has exposed landmark public health and safety issues and strives to be a catalyst for pro-consumer changes in the marketplace. From championing responsible auto safety standards, to winning food and water protections, to enhancing healthcare quality, to fighting back against predatory lenders in the financial markets, Consumer Reports has always been on the front lines, raising the voices of consumers.
__________

FEBRUARY 2017
© 2017 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®, ConsumerReports.org® 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

Douglas Love

James McQueen