While US carmakers are making a comeback with award-winning vehicles, Japanese and luxury brands still boast of having the best lineups of cars and light trucks in the auto industry, editors of Consumer Reports say. In fact, Japanese carmakers have seven of the top 10 ranked brands rated for overall reliability and road-test performance in tests that Consumer Reports conducted.
On the other hand, the best that Detroit can achieve was 12th, held by Buick and GMC. Likewise, lurking on the bottom five are all Detroit brands. Toyota’s Lexus luxury brand once again topped the list, after receiving a score of 79 out of 100.
Consumer Reports said that Lexus’ car and SUV lineup were "quiet, plush, and very reliable," although they are less engaging to drive than models of some rivals. Lexus was followed by Acura (75 points), Audi (74 points), Subaru and Toyota (tied for fourth place) and Mazda. Completing the top 10 were Honda, Infiniti, Mercedes-Benz and BMW and Volvo (tied for 10th place).
Audi was the biggest gainer for this year’s ranking, jumping from eighth in 2013 to third, thanks to a lineup that got the top score on road tests and indicated signs of improved reliability. "Audi has been making very impressive vehicles, but what's really impressive about them is: They're reliable too," said Jake Fisher, director of auto testing for Consumer Reports.
Consumer Reports tests cars in Connecticut and boasts of 8 million magazine subscribers. It released the results of its 2014 "report card" during an event in Washington. Overall brand scores are a combination of the average road-test score for each model tested by Consumer Reports, and each brand's average predicted-reliability score for models tested.