Audi, Porsche top Consumer Reports scorecard; Fiat, Jeep, not so much

March 1, 2017

Consumer Reports has issued its annual Brand Report Card, and as interesting as it is, there aren't many surprises to be found. 

To issue its 2017 rankings, the magazine compiled data on 31 brands. That data came from a variety of sources, including Consumer Reports' own road test scores, predicted reliability scores, safety ratings, and owner satisfaction scores. Data was compiled for each model tested, then averaged to create a brand-wide score.

As Consumer Reports' Jake Fisher explains, "Our annual analysis reveals that building one or two great vehicles is achievable, but making a whole lineup of excellent ones is much more difficult."

To be included in the 2017 Report Card, Consumer Reports had to have tested at least two models from a given brand. That left Alfa Romeo, Genesis, Maserati, Ram, and Smart  out of the running this year.  

The findings

It won't surprise many people to learn that luxury models dominated the top of Consumer Reports' report card. Audi finished at the head of the class, with an overall score of 81. Its sibling brand, Porsche, nabbed second place, with a score of 78. BMW and Lexus were right behind, with 77 points each (though BMW fared far better on Consumer Reports' road test). And Subaru came in fifth, with a score of 74.

The remaining top-ten brands were Kia (74), Mazda (73), Tesla (73), Honda (72), and Buick (72).

As with last week's Dependability Study from J.D. Power, Fiat Chrysler brands littered the bottom of Consumer Reports' rankings. Fiat fared worst of all, with an overall score of just 41 points. Jeep didn't perform too much better, earning 45 points. Dodge did slightly better, coming in 27th place with a score of 56. Between Dodge and Jeep were Mitsubishi (51) and Land Rover (52).

Other brands at the bottom included Jaguar, GMC, MINI, Volkswagen, and Nissan.

As far as U.S. brands are concerned, Tesla was rated the best overall American brand and landed the highest road test rating of all marques included in the study. And though Chrysler ranked only 19th overall, with a score of 66, it took the prize for best road test score from a mainstream brand. However, Consumer Reports notes that Chrysler did so based on scores from just two models, one of which was the highly lauded Pacifica minivan.

You can see how your favorite brands performed on Consumer Reports' interactive 2017 Brand Report Card.

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