|
Preview: To see full article and/or Ratings, Subscribe Now!

Who makes the best cars?

Lexus tops our brand report cards with overall excellence

Consumer Reports magazine: April 2013
Photo: Tim Andrew

When it comes to making cars, Lexus pushes all of the right buttons: Its lux­ury models are quiet, comfortable, and fuel efficient, and they’re among the most reliable. That’s quite a feat for a brand whose cars are brimming with technology, such as hybrid drivetrains and complicated infotainment systems. All of that earned Lexus the highest overall score, 79, in our 2013 brand report cards.

Just off Lexus’ pace are two smaller makes, Subaru and Mazda, with scores of 76. They don’t usually get much attention, but both build solid cars with good handling, fuel economy, and versatility at relatively affordable prices. Toyota and Acura round out the top five, with scores of 74.

This year we took a different look at who makes the best cars by grading each automaker’s individual brands. Rather than calculating a single score for Toyota, for ­example, our analysis looked at Toyota, Lexus, and Scion models separately. We think that brings our scores more in line with the way people shop for cars.

We calculate each brand’s overall score using an equally weighted composite of our road-test and reliability scores for each of its models that we’ve tested and for which our subscribers provided reliability data in our Annual Auto Survey. To be included, each brand needs at least three models for which we have test and reliability data. That’s why we didn’t include Fiat, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mitsubishi, Porsche, Ram, or Smart: Each had too few models for which we had adequate reliability data. Several sell fewer than three models.

Sign In or Subscribe to see full article and/or Ratings.

E-mail Newsletters

FREE e-mail Newsletters!
Choose from cars, safety, health, and more!
Already signed-up?
Manage your newsletters here too.

Latest From Consumer Reports

REFRIGERATOR REVIEWS
Four built-in refrigerators that are worth the moneyVideo These coolers start at $7,600 but fared very good in our performance tests.
CAR SEAT REVIEWS
Evenflo car seat uses tech to fight child heatstroke risk The Advanced Embrace DLX warns if a child unbuckles the harness, too.
AIR CONDITIONER REVIEWS
Save big: 5 products on deep discount in AugustVideo Look for seasonal deals air conditioners, dehumidifiers, and more.
AMERICA'S ANTIBIOTIC CRISIS
Special report: How your hospital can make you sickVideo Find out which hospitals avoid MRSA, C.diff, and other infections.
Car insurance
CAR INSURANCE REVIEWS
Investigation: The truth about car insurance revealed We studied 2 billion price quotes to understand the factors that raise rates.
TELECOM SERVICE REVIEWS
You're paying too much on cable-box rental fees Pay-TV companies rake in nearly $20 billion annually on the boxes.
Consumer Reports
ABOUT CONSUMER REPORTS
Interested in joining the Consumer Reports Board Get details on applying for service on our board of directors.

Connect

and safety with
subscribers and fans

Follow us on:

Cars

Cars Build & Buy Car Buying Service
Save thousands off MSRP with upfront dealer pricing information and a transparent car buying experience.

See your savings

Mobile

Mobile Get Ratings on the go and compare
while you shop

Learn more