Consumer Reports Name Top Brands and Models

Japanese makers dominate again.

by on Feb.24, 2015

The Toyota Highlander was one of the top-ranked models according to Consumer Reports readers.

Consumer Reports’ latest list of top-ranked automotive brands and models contained some big surprises and reinforced some long-standing reputations. Notably, little battery-car start-up Tesla Motors had the top-ranked product overall in the form of its Model S sedan.

Toyota, a manufacturer long associated with high-quality products, managed to place two of its brands in the Top Ten, meanwhile. But Kia, a marque may traditionally associated with lowball pricing, also managed to place among the industry’s best, nudging aside BMW to take the ninth place spot in Consumer Reports’ annual automotive brands report card.


Who led the list and who lagged behind? Here’s a quick look at some of the key findings from the study, which looked at how individual models scored in both road and crash tests, while also looking at what the magazine’s readers reported in terms of real world reliability.

(For the full story on the latest Consumer Report automotive study, Click Here.)

Individual Models by Category:

Best Model Overall: Tesla Model S

Compact Car: Subaru Impreza

Midsize Car: Subaru Legacy

Large Car: Chevrolet Impala

Green Car: Toyota Prius

Luxury Car: Audi A6.

Sport Sedan: Buick Regal

Small SUV: Subaru Forester

Midsize SUV: Toyota Highlander

Minivan: Honda Odyssey

Top 10 Brands:

  1. Lexus
  2. Mazda
  3. Toyota
  4. Audi
  5. Subaru
  6. Porsche
  7. Buick
  8. Honda
  9. Kia
  10. BMW

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5 Responses to “Consumer Reports Name Top Brands and Models”

  1. It’s a darn shame to watch the American Industry that once dominated the planet, disappear. Buick is all we can come up with? I believe my prediction from 3 years ago may be on it’s way to fruition. The “Big 3″ will be reduced to Trucks, and larger SUV’s. The transportation cars will all be imports. I have never owned an import and never will. Everyone seems to be more interested in your car being able to connect to than having curb appeal.

  2. Slim says:

    It appears to me that all the manufactures copy each other’s ideas, because many different makes are so much alike in engine size and style. In the 50′s and 60′s individual models had a genuine appeal. Each year was conspicuously different.

    • Slim says:

      In addition, over the years I was a GM owner, and now I have switched over to Toyota and Subaru.

  3. Jorge says:

    Part of the reason why the current cars are similar in many styling aspects is because the same vendor suppliers supply most of the industry so they know in advance what a new model will use for instance in light pods – if they are the supplier or bidder on the light pod. Same with infotainment systems, brakes, wheels, etc. In addition stylists at the auto makers have no issue with stealing a pleasing feature from the competition, tweaking it and calling it their own design.

    As far as imports go, most people buy cars on styling but with costs skyrocketing in the past couple decades, many consumers are resorting to buying bland, cheap transportation which is typically supplied via Japanese/Korean/Chinese models.

    Consumer’s report has a significant impact on buyer perceptions even when their reports are not necessarily accurate or typical owner experiences. For years CR claimed that Honda and Toyota were top brands even after they had slipped noticeably in quality. Perception however is tough to change be it at CR or in the general public.

    Obviously Toyota’s issues with false claims of unintended acceleration and people crashing their cars to collect insurance money or because the driver did not know enough to shut off the ignition or firmly apply the brakes after they kicked the floor mat under the accelerator pedal, didn’t help Toyota’s rep but most people still believe these are good quality cars.

    European models which are also imported or produced in the U.S. (as our some Japanese models), are fairly expensive compared to similar U.S. models but in many cases the Euro models perform better and may hold their resale value better. They do however cost more to buy and maintain, IME. They certainly offer a lot more driving pleasure IME than any U.S. or Asian model that I have driven over the past 30+ years.

  4. I was fortunate to live during the muscle car era. It would have been an abomination to have classified a 4 door car as “muscle” and a everyone could see through a fake wing on the trunk. Metal Dash boards with a distinct design, wing vent windows and real chrome trim were just some of the standard features that are gone forever. Real Cars smell like gas!