Japanese Brands Top Consumer Reports’ Annual Brand Report Card

For the second consecutive year, Lexus tops Consumer Reports’ Brand Report Card scores.

It’s report card day for the automotive world. Consumer Reports released its annual Brand Report Card, which scores the industry’s major car brands based on testing and reliability surveys completed by more than 1 million auto owners. This year, the best overall scores went to Japanese brands while rides made here in the Good Ol’ USA have some work to do before next year’s report.

Here’s how the brands stacked up:

  1. Lexus – 79 points: This one’s a repeat for Toyota Motor Co.’s top selling brand. Lexus won last year’s points race, too. And this year, it was the only brand to receive an “excellent” reliability score. Says Consumer Reports, “Its models are usually quiet, comfortable, and fuel efficient, and they’re among the most reliable cars made.”
  2. Acura – 75 points: Honda’s luxury arm took the first runner-up spot for churning out rides deemed “reliable, well-finished and somewhat sporty.”
  3. Audi – 74 points: Germany’s luxury brand nabbed the top score on the road test portion of the study. Survey respondents found it extremely enjoyable to drive, loved its luxe interior and its fuel economy, too.
  4. Subaru – 72 points: Subaru and Toyota actually tied in points, but Consumer Reports listed Subaru first, citing a top-notch all-wheel drivetrain, great fuel economy and solid reliability and safety scores.
  5. Toyota – 72 points: Toyota rounded out the top five with a line of vehicles known for reliability and considered “pleasant, comfortable and quiet.” But the brand lost points in the driving dynamics category. Most just aren’t very fun to drive, surveys show.

The bottom five scorers were Chevrolet (56) for poor fuel economy and inconsistent reliability; Cadillac (54), whose score was tanked by it’s slow and unintuitive CUE infotainment system; Dodge (53), considered largely uncompetitive and unreliable with only two models, the Durango SUV and Dart sedan deemed decent rides; Ford (50), tanked by its unreliable MyFord Touch infotainment system and rumored to be jettisoning Microsoft for Blackberry; and Jeep (50) for poor driving dynamics and reliability.

What do you think, E3 Spark Plugs fans? Do you agree with this year’s report? Post your thoughts on the E3 Spark Plugs Facebook Fan Page.

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