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).
The finalists for the North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year (NACTOY) awards were announced at the Los Angeles Auto Show today, and because the choices are essentially based on choices predicated on design and engineering (after all, as the jurors drive the vehicles, it isn’t an issue of sales or marketing), the selections of the three finalists in each category can be considered among the best in class when it comes to those two functions.
While the whole notion of minivans might provoke an involuntary eye roll among some people, here’s an interesting fact: so far this year, through the end of March, Chrysler delivered 31,616 Town & Country minivans, which makes it, by far, the biggest selling vehicle in the brand’s showroom.
Last August, Sandor Piszar, Chevrolet Trucks marketing director, noted of the full-size SUV segment, “In the past five years, the average transaction price for the segment has climbed fueled by customer appetite for features like heated and cooled seats, adaptive cruise control and a head-up display.