Porsche Jumps to Top of CR Best-Car Ratings
America’s overall top car brands in terms of reliability, performance and owner satisfaction in this year’s Consumer Reports ratings are Porsche, Genesis, Subaru, Mazda and Lexus.
Weighing in at the bottom of the ratings, in descending order, are Cadillac, Land Rover, Jeep, Mitsubishi and Fiat. Porsche and Subaru swapped places this year.
CR calculates its overall ratings by integrating data on road tests, reliability, safety and owner satisfaction. This year’s results for 33 brands produced scores ranging from 86 for Porsche at the top to 43 for Fiat at the bottom.
Tesla is this year’s most-improved brand. It jumped eight spots to 11th with a score of 73, thanks to very high owner satisfaction results (matched only by Genesis).
Those findings were enough to offset Tesla’s persistent below-average reliability rating, due mainly to problems with the balky second-row gullwing doors on the Model X crossover. CR notes the reliability has improved this year for the company’s Model S and Model 3 sedans.
It all went wrong for Acura in the 2020 overall ratings. The brand earned below-average results for reliability and owner satisfaction, plunging eight positions to 24th with a score of 66.
Fourth-place Mazda is the only entry this year to earn much-better-than-average reliability. Three brands near the bottom of the list—Cadillac (ranked 29th overall), Land Rover (30th) and Fiat (33rd)—are undoubtedly embarrassed by their much-worse-than-average reliability scores.
CR notes that new models can cause a brand to move slight up or down on the ratings from one year to the next. That’s why some marques with a lackluster overall score also may offer some models that rate highly.
The magazine recommends all models offered in the U.S. by only three brands: Porsche, Genesis and Mazda. Subaru fell short of belonging to that rarified club this year because of a below-average reliability score for one model: its WRX sport sedan.
Not surprisingly, three brands known for their sporty vehicles earned the highest road-test scores: Porsche (89), BMW (88) and Audi (87).
But what is startling is who comes next in terms of road-test results: Subaru, with a score of 86. Right behind are Chrysler and Tesla (tied at 85) and Genesis and Volkswagen (tied at 84).
There is a growing concern among automakers that young people just aren’t as keen on driving as those automakers—as in people who are generally north of 45—find that even their own children, kids who have grown up with a highly satisfactory lifestyle thanks to the existence of cars and trucks, are largely indifferent to driving or, in some cases, even getting a license.
As Sunday will be the Super Bowl, there will undoubtedly be plenty of automotive commercials before, during and after the game, many of which focus on pickup trucks, because the ad agencies who work for the various OEMs have done deep demographic research that indicates that people who like football like trucks and vice versa. (We’ve always been a fan of the 1998 Nissan Frontier commercial that told us “Dogs like trucks.”) Anyway. . .there is one tough pickup truck that won’t be part of the festival of ads on Sunday because it is for a product that isn’t available in the U.S., the Volkswagen Amarok.
With 11 million educated citizens, Cuba is a huge, untapped automotive market.