Foreign Automakers Dominate Consumer Reports’ 2013 Car Brand Report Card

Domestic automakers fell behind their foreign competition in the Consumer Reports’ 2013 Car Brand Report Card.

Toyota Motor Corporation’s Lexus luxury brand received the highest marks, and Asian automakers captured eight of the top ten rankings in the survey. The only non-Asian automakers in the top ten list were Audi, which ranked eighth, and Mercedes-Benz which took the #10 position.

Consumer Reports gave Lexus a score of 79 which was the highest score received by any automaker in the survey and gave all Lexus models it tested the highly coveted “recommend” status. Fellow Japanese automakers Mazda and Subaru tied for second place with each receiving a score of 76. Toyota and Honda Motor Company’s Acura brand each received scores of 74, and Honda and Toyota’s Scion brand tied with scores of 72. Volkswagen AG’s Audi brand and Nissan Motor Company’s Infiniti brand each received scores of 70, and Mercedes-Benz scored a 69.

Each brand’s overall score was calculated by combining the reliability and road test results of the individual models tested.

Less than half of the domestic models tested were recommended by Consumer Reports.

Of the 26 domestic brands included in the survey, Chrysler Group LLC’s Cadillac brand was the top-ranked, at number fourteen.

Consumer Reports’ deputy automotive editor Jeff Bartlett said, “GM has proven they can build really good cars. They have great people, great engineering and great ideas,” but added, “Their scores just cover a very wide range.”

Ford Motor Company’s flagship and Lincoln brands were hurt by the low scores they received for the MyFord and MyLincoln Touch entertainment and navigation systems.

In a statement, Consumer Reports’ director of automotive testing Jake Fisher said Ford’s failure to perform better in the survey was “unfortunate.”  He went on to say, “Many of Ford’s new models ride and handle as well as European luxury cars costing much more. And Ford’s latest hybrids, the Fusion Hybrid and C-Max, are impressive,”

Chrysler was apparently hurt by the lack of new models in its product line. Although Dodge and Jeep were received the lowest overall scores of all brands tested, Consumer Reports did recommend the Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee. The publisher also recommended the Chrysler 300.

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