The Best Scoring Car Brands of 2012, according to Total Car Score, are top-billed by Infiniti – stealing the spotlight from Lexus. In the list, the brands that improved the most this year are Buick, Chrysler and Kia. Total Car Score gets a ratings composite from nine automotive review and ratings sites such as MSN Autos, U.S. News & World Report and Consumer Guide. The list has 32 brands with each having a minimum of four nameplates that are available widely in the U.S. For comparisons, Total Car Score tabulated the brand ratings for 2011. A spokeswoman said that the list was launched last February so that car shoppers and enthusiasts could have a simple research tool to determine the best models.
Infiniti is at the top with 82.09 points while Hyundai is at No. 12 with just 3.02 points between them. The top performing luxury brands are Infiniti, Mercedes-Benz with a score of 81.82 and Audi rated at 80.93. The leaders for the volume brands are Buick at 81.3, Volkswagen at 80.4 and Chrysler at 79.78. The close rankings indicate the competitiveness among automakers, according to Total Car Score CEO Karl Brauer.
He said that the industry has been producing compelling vehicles that appeal to consumers. Brauer said that the industry has been successful at creating more enjoyable and emotional cars. He specifically mentioned the Hyundai Sonata or the Ford Flex or the [Kia] Optima as “fun, cool cars.” Buick is No. 3 on the list, trailing Infiniti and Mercedes, with a 3.19-point hike compared to 2011. It was listed at No. 9 on the 2011 list. Meanwhile, Chrysler had a 3.71-point improvement from being ranked 18th in 2011 to No. 8 in 2012. With a score of 79.31, Kia got the highest jump, increasing by 3.76 points from 20th in 2011 to No. 10 in 2012. In 2011, Lexus was at the top with a score of 80.51. It fell to No. 5 in 2012.