Consumer Reports names the best and worst cars by brand

Don't judge a car by its brand—all makes have highs and lows

Last updated: April 06, 2015 04:45 PM

We’re often asked, “Who makes the best car?” The reality is, every brand offers models that perform across a spectrum, with some being demonstrably better than others. To further aid water-cooler discussions, we have analyzed our test results to compile a list that chronicles the best and worst models.

The overall test score variation differs from brand to brand, with some brands' worst model being still doing rather well, while others span a wide range, making any generalities quite misleading.

For instance, the Buick and Cadillac line-ups are quite consistent, with just a 14- and 15-point spread, respectively. However, Chevrolet (admittedly with a broader product portfolio) has a 50-point difference separating the lowly Spark from the coveted Corvette.

Some other brands with a significant point spread include Hyundai (25 points), Honda (31 points), Lexus (31 points), Mercedes-Benz (32 points), Toyota (40 points), and Mitsubishi (43 points).

The list below includes all brands for which Consumer Reports has tested at least three different models recently, thereby excluding Maserati, Ram, Smart, and Tesla.

Click the names below to access the complete road tests, reliability, owner satisfaction, owner costs, pricing, and other key data.

Make Best Worst
Acura MDX
RLX Tech
Audi A8 L* A5 Premium Plus (2.0T)*
BMW M235i Z4 sDrive28i
Buick Regal Premium I Encore Leather
Cadillac XTS Premium SRX Luxury
Chevrolet Corvette Stingray 3LT Spark 1LT
Chrysler 300 Limited (V6) 200 Limited (4-cyl.)
Dodge Durango Limited (V6) Challenger R/T (V8)
Fiat 500 Abarth 500L Easy
Ford Fusion SE Expedition EL Limited
GMC Sierra 1500 SLT (5.3L V8) Yukon SLT
Honda Accord LX (4-cyl.) CR-Z EX (MT)
Hyundai Genesis 3.8 (AWD) Genesis Coupe Grand Touring (V6)
Infiniti Q70 (M37, V6) Q60 (base)
Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited (V6) Wrangler Unlimited Sahara
Kia Cadenza Rio EX hatchback
Land Rover Range Rover HSE (3.0L) Range Rover Evoque Pure*
Lexus LS 460L IS250 (AWD)
Lincoln MKZ 2.0 EcoBoost MKS (base, 3.7)
Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring Mazda3 i Touring (2.0L)
Mercedes-Benz S550 (AWD) CLA250
Mini Cooper S Cooper (base)
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR Mirage ES
Nissan 370Z Touring coupe Versa SV sedan
Porsche 911 Carrera S Cayenne (V6)
Scion FR-S tC
Subaru Legacy 2.5 Premium XV Crosstrek Hybrid
Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE Yaris LE
Volkswagen Passat SE Premium (1.8T) / Golf (1.8T) Jetta SE (1.8T)
Volvo S60 T5 (2.0T) XC60 T6

*Powertrain has changed since last test.

Even if you have models in mind when you're shopping, it is wise to look at their Ratings. You just might be steered to a better car than you would have otherwise considered, and as we often find, the smart choices often are not necessarily the most expensive.

For detailed ratings and road test on any model featured here, just click on the name to visit the appropriate model page.

Jeff Bartlett


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