Consumer Reports releases 2015 car brand rankings

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 3, 2015

The Consumer Reports has released its 2015 Car Brand Report Cards which ranks the different automobile manufacturers worldwide in terms of various factors. The first is the raid test performance which gets the average of the results from the test conducted by Consumer Reports on the different brands.

Another major factor considered is reliability which shows how each car, on average, is able to hold up. These two main factors, plus a host of other ones, are then combined to come out with an overall score which forms the basis for the ranking.

The results showed that Lexus has retained the top position it got last year too. Rounding out the top 5 list, in order, are Mazda, Toyota, Audi, and Subaru. The bottom 5 included Dodge, Fiat, Ford, Mini, and Jeep. However, some brands were not included in the ranking as according to Consumer Reports there was insufficient data in order for them to be part of the review.

These brands were smart, Tesla, Ram, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mitsubishi, and Maserati. For those who are interested to know more about this ranking, below is the complete list as released by Consumer Reports.

Rank 1. Brand: Lexus

Leading the pack for 2015 is Lexus with the highest overall score of 78. While Lexus scored 76 for the road test, it had the highest rating when it came to reliability. As such, Consumer Reports stated that the brand is indeed known for making luxurious and quiet cars but most importantly, its models are also reliable.

Rank 2. Brand: Mazda

Mazda comes in second with a 75 rating for the overall score and road test score similar to that of the Lexus at 76. While reliability was not as high as the Lexus, Mazda’s rating was better compared to other companies on the list. Consumer Reports said that the advantage of Mazda is that it manages to understand itself and makes sure that this sporty DNA is present in every car that it manufactures.

Rank 3. Brand: Toyota

At third place is Toyota with a high reliability rating and when combined with a 72 road test score, it resulted in a 74 overall score. The brand, according to the report, has always had the reputation of building reliable cars. Not only that, the cars are also comfortable to ride in and pleasant to drive, making it very popular.

Rank 4. Brand: Audi

Audi had a high reliability rating and achieved a road test score higher than the previous ones at 81. However, overall score was at 73 thus, it got the number 4 spot. Despite being a luxury brand, the report says that the good thing about Audi is that in developing its models, it is as focused on technologies in the same way that it values performance, the lavish interiors, and of course the Quattro all-wheel-drive system.

Rank 5. Brand: Subaru

Completing the top 5 list is Subaru with a 73 overall score, similar to Audi. While it does have a rather high predicted reliability rating, road test score was lower compared to the Audi at 80. According to Consumer Reports, Subaru has finally managed to include itself in the list of automakers that are recognized for having competent technology.

Rank 6. Brand: Porsche

Porsche comes in at #6 with an overall score rating of 70. While it did have the highest road test score among the cars on this list at 84, it only carries a middle reliability rating. The report shares that it would be fascinating to know how the Porsche will be able to hold up to the performance standard of this German car manufacturer considering the reliability of the models.

Rank 7. Brand: Buick

Though it did have a high predicted reliability rating and a 76 road test score, Buick only managed to get a 69 overall score. The brand is currently on the way of dropping the rather dull image and it hopes to revive its product line by making the Regal affordable, competitive, refined, and most of all sporty, the report discloses.

Rank 8. Brand: Honda

While its 69 overall score is the same as that of the Buick, it only attained a road test score of 71. Still, with its high predicted reliability rating, Honda’s inclusion in the top 10 is assured. Consumer Reports describes the brand as offering cars that are very reliable, has efficient fuel economy, and best of all, good resale value.

Rank 9. Brand: Kia

Having high predicted reliability rating and a 73 road test score, Kia achieved a 68 overall score. According to the report, Kia’s advantage is due to the fact that it sells competent cars at a less cost compared to the leaders in the comparable classes.

Rank 10. Brand: BMW

Rounding up the top ten is BMW with its overall score of 66, the result of having middle reliability rating and an 82 road test score. The BMW remains to be a brand that comes out with fuel-efficient cars that are comfortable and responsive, the report shares.

Rank 11. Brand: Acura

Acura has always been a brand that markets its products as upscale. Consumer Reports though states that compared to the other luxury brands in the market, the interior of Acura’s model doesn’t have that elegant appearance. In addition, the report adds that driving an Acura fails to provide an actual engaging experience. Rating-wise, the Acura has an overall score of 65 based on a middle predicted reliability rating and a 78 road test score.

Rank 12. Brand: Volvo Volvo’s different models such as sedans, SUVs, and wagons have always been lauded for their sporty handling. Volvo though has a middle predicted reliability rating with a 76 rating for its road test score. This combination leads to Volvo getting a 65 for its overall score. The report adds that what makes Volvo stable is the fact that its models are equipped with the latest in electronic safety and collision-avoidance systems.

Rank 13. Brand: Hyundai

Consumer reports put the Hyundai at a middle predicted reliability rating. Having a road test rating of 73, Hyundai obtained an overall score of just a point below Acura and Volvo at 64. The report shares that it is good that the brand has managed to leave behind its bargain image. Furthermore, even with most of its models having a “fit-and-finish” appearance and new styles, it continues to be affordable compared to the other brands in their particular class.

Rank 14. Brand: GMC

Coming in at number 14 on the list is GMC with its overall score of 61. While it had middle predicted reliability rating, its road test score was still good at 73. According to the report, GMC’s products still don’t have that edge that makes them more notable than their Chevrolet counterparts. This is true even with the implementation of different styles and the use of “professional grade” advertisements.

Rank 15. Brand: Volkswagen

The report says that Volkswagen’s cars continue to have a more premium feel compared to its competitors. This is mainly due to the comfort experienced by anyone occupying or driving its vehicles as well as the very responsive handling that results to a very solid overall feel. Even so Volkswagen only comes in at number 15 with an overall score at 60. It has a middle predicted reliability rating with a good road test score at 76.

Rank 16. Brand: Lincoln

Lincoln is the first of the brands that have overall scores below 60. Lincoln scored 59. Though the road test score is good at 74, it has a middle reliability rating. The brand continues to face reliability issues as the brand is on its way to replacing the MyLincoln Touch electronic control interface. As a result, the report says that Lincoln’s models are only on the middle reliability. Additionally it lacks the luxurious atmosphere and the lively driving experience compared to the other leaders in its class.

Rank 17. Brand: Infiniti

Infiniti has the same overall score as that of the Lincoln with 59. Though its road test score is higher at 76, it also has middle reliability rating. While Infiniti has always been known to have impressive powertrains and good fit and finish, the report reveals that a number of its new releases have not been impressive and reliability is not up to par.

Rank 18. Brand: Nissan

Similar to Lincoln and Infiniti, Nissan also gets a 59 overall score. Its number 18 ranking is due to the middle predicted reliability rating and the 70 road test score. According to Consumer Reports, the brand’s product line remains to be the most inconsistent compared to those on this list. The report adds that quality has been in a decline as evidenced by the Sentra and Versa.

Rank 19. Brand: Chevrolet

Chevrolet remains to be a “mixed bag” as most of its offerings do not have good gas mileage. Reliability is also between average and below average. As such, Consumer Reports gives the brand an overall score of 59 from a middle predicted reliability score and a 71 rating for the road test score.

Rank 20. Brand: Cadillac

With a 58 overall score, Cadillac comes in at rank 20. Though the road test score is high at 77, predicted reliability rating is low.. According to the report, this low rating is due to the shaky reliability of its models. One example of this, Consumer Reports say, is the Cue touch-screen infotainment system which is not only full of bugs but is very difficult to use as well.

Rank 21. Brand: Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz gets a very high road test score at 81. However because of the low reliability rating, it gets a 56 overall score. According to Consumer Reports, the brand continues to fail to show consistency in its offerings. As an example, the report cites the CLA which feels unrefined and tough to drive.

Rank 22. Brand: Scion

While the Scion has a middle predicted reliability rating, it is the first in the list to have a road test score below 70. Road test score for the Scion is at 57, and with middle predicted reliability rating, it resulted in the overall score of 54. Though the cars offered by the brand are small and fuel-efficient, it remains to be a practical choice. Still, Consumer Reports say that it is still edgier than the models being offered by Toyota.

Rank 23. Brand: Chrysler

Chrysler has a high road test score with 73 but has a low reliability rating. Thus overall score is at 54. The report reveals that reliability has always been an issue with Chrysler as it comes out with a model that has good reliability but then its next product goes to the extreme and is very unreliable.

Rank 24. Brand: Ford

Consumer Reports puts Ford at number 24 with overall score at 53. Though road test is high at 72, reliability rating is low. The report reveals that Ford’s new models make it appear as if one is driving European sports sedans especially with the agility, the solid feel, and the absorbent ride. The problem however is that reliability has always been below average.

Rank 25. Brand: Dodge

Despite a 71 road test score, Dodge has a low reliability rating resulting in a 52 overall score. The report says that while Dodge has started to focus on its style, it is hurt by the unrefined power trains. New models being released though are better especially after Fiat took over. The only problem is that the Charger and the Durango are still behind its competitors since reliability continues to be an issue.

Rank 26. Brand: MINI

Consumer Reports puts the Mini as having the lowest reliability among the cars in this list. However due to a 72 road test score, it manages to get a 46 overall score. Though the Mini has its own version of the iDrive system from BMW, connectivity is good but it is confusing to use. Furthermore fuel economy is good but not excellent and reliability is still a problem, the report adds.

Rank 27. Brand: Jeep

Much like the Mini, the Jeep has the lowest reliability rating possible. With a 59 road test score, the Jeep gets an overall score at 39. The Jeep has always marketed itself as a rugged and go-anywhere vehicle for years now. Many of its features continue to be behind other brands in factors like fuel economy, comfort, reliability, and even at times quality. The only positive thing according to Consumer Reports is that the brand continues to have a loyal customer following.

Rank 28. Brand: Fiat

Coming in last is Fiat. Not only does it have the lowest reliability rating, its road test score is the lowest as well at 55. The result is an overall score at 32. Consumer Reports says that while Fiat has an attractive appearance and is fun to drive in, reliability continues to be dismal.

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