Everyone has a favorite car company. Maybe your family has a certain brand you depend on year after year. For Consumer Reports, though, it’s all about consistency. The experts want to see how well a company’s line of cars rank on the company’s performance tests, then they cross-reference that list with owner satisfaction data.
In other words, how do a variety of cars in a brand measure up compared to just one top-performing vehicle?
Movement In Top Ranking Brands
For 2017, car maker Audi ranked as the top brand by Consumer Reports. This marks the second year in a row for the manufacturer.
However, the rest of the top five brands shifted gears a little for 2017. Rankings move around because of new road tests and changes in reliability, according to Consumer Reports.
Porsche and BMW, ranked second and third in this year’s top five brands. Both companies improved their test performance and moved up in Consumer Reports’ ranks.
Meanwhile, Lexus and Subaru, ranked fourth and fifth, each moved down in position.
Other cars that didn’t make the top five still showed big improvements in Consumer Reports testing.
Chrysler moved up seven ranks in their results. Acura, Infiniti and Cadillac also scored well, moving up six places on the Consumer Reports performance list.
Getting Down To Numbers
Let’s take a look at some actual numbers to see what Consumer Reports thinks about car makes and models.
Experts recommended every single model of only three car makers—Porsche, BMW and Mazda—based on their tests across the board.
In comparison, Audi, Honda and Hyundai earned the next highest results with 86 percent of their cars earning a Consumer Reports recommendation.
In contrast, car manufacturers who slipped in 2017 include:
- Volkswagen fell eight ranks because its overall reliability performance moved from average to below average.
- Subaru slipped from second to fifth place after its reliability was graded “average.”
- Mini tumbled 11 places after its Cooper and Clubman vehicles pulled down the brand’s overall score.
How Consumer Reports Tests Cars
These tests are done at the company’s automobile testing center in Connecticut. Each year, the team of about 30 experts runs about 60 cars through a series of tests. In total, they drive about 900,000 miles.
Consumer Reports buys all their own cars; they do not borrow them from manufacturers. In 2016, the company spent $2.1 million buying cars for its testing.
The experts look at a variety of features for its testing, including braking, emergency handling, headlights, fuel economy, safety features, comfort and more.
Here’s the full list from Consumer Reports, which comprises predicted reliability and owner satisfaction for each brand:
28. Land Rover
How does this list stack up to your expectations?