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Lexus, Subaru, Mazda get top car scores

By Tara Baukus Mello · Bankrate.com
Saturday, March 9, 2013
Posted: 6 am ET

Lexus, Subaru and Mazda had the highest scores for their cars on the 2013 Annual Car Brand Report Card from Consumer Reports, which was released last week.

This year, the nonprofit, independent product-testing organization took a different approach to its annual report card ratings, assessing each car brand individually versus combining brands into one score for the parent auto manufacturer. For example, each of General Motors' brands were assessed individually this year as were the other automakers that own multiple brands, including Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen.

Lexus performed the best, with a report card score of 79 out of 100, followed by Mazda and Subaru, which tied with a score of 76. Japanese brands overall scored the highest, with eight of the top 10 brands. European automakers were generally in the middle of the pack, though Audi and Mercedes-Benz were both in the top 10, and Mini was ranked dead last among all European brands.

Consumer Reports said that domestic brands struggled in the scores. Even though Ford and General Motors have many promising new models, these automakers have been plagued by low scores because of technology issues or new engines that don’t perform as well as competitors. Chrysler continues to struggle because of reliability issues and many older models that are not as strong as its competitors.

The nonprofit calculated its report card scores based on its road-test and reliability scores for each individual model, assessing both areas equally. Consumer Reports methodology requires data for at least three models for a brand. As a result, its 2013 Car Brand Report Card does not include Fiat, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mitsubishi, Porsche, Ram or smart.

Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.

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208 Comments
Ollie
November 05, 2013 at 10:56 am

Gee consumer reports rate the Lincoln poorly but JD power rates it highly, can't just go by the numbers have to do research and number one is to test drive vehicles at a dealership that is highly rated, good service etc.

DK
November 05, 2013 at 9:57 am

KJ good job looking out online for the consumer......maybe someone should read the reviews of your dealership. You are a carsalesman for sure

KJ
April 11, 2013 at 12:51 am

I'm a car salesman and have been in and out of the business for about 15 years. I know all about the business and if anybody wants any advice, you can call me from 9a-7p M-F. It free advice and "no" you do not have to pay the Document Fee. It is a tactic the owner has in place the he prosper on only. Not the sales rep.

KJ
April 11, 2013 at 12:39 am

IF YOU NEED A VEHICLES, CALL KJ AT CARITE. ALL YOU NEED IS VERIFIABLE INCOME AND A SMALL DOWN PAYMENT AS LOW AS $99.00 AND YOU WILL BE DRIVING THE SAME DAY. WITH A FREE LIFETIME ENGINE WARRANTY.

CALL ME AT (734)946-0011

KJ
April 11, 2013 at 12:35 am

IF YOU NEED ONE OF VEHICLES OR SOME OTHER VEHICLE, CALL KJ AT CARITE. ALL YOU NEED IS VERIFIABLE INCOME AND A SMALL DOWN PAYMENT AS LOW AS $50.00 AND YOU WILL BE DRIVING THE SAME DAY. WITH A FREE LIFETIME ENGINE WARRANTY.

CALL ME AT (734)946-0011

michelle
April 11, 2013 at 12:33 am

IF YOU NEED ONE OF VEHICLES OR SOME OTHER VEHICLE, CALL KJ AT CARITE. ALL YOU NEED IS VERIFIABLE INCOME AND A SMALL DOWN PAYMENT AS LOW AS $50.00 AND YOU WILL BE DRIVING THE SAME DAY. WITH A FREE LIFETIME ENGINE WARRANTY.

CALL ME AT (734)946-0011

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Mike
March 24, 2013 at 4:12 pm

Marg

I am buying a 2004 Lexus sc430 and the dealership is charging 695.00 for documentation fee and wants 399.00 for a theft protection package. Are these 2 things high and is theft protection necessary?

STOP SHOPPING! You are the kind of person THEY LOOOOOOOVE! Uneducated and CLUELESS!!!! STOP NOW!!!!!! Doc fees are an ADDED CON BY THE DEALER! THEY ARE AN ADD ON! NOT NEEDED! Car, tax, title, tags. THATS IT! Thats all you pay! And the theft protection? PLEASE STOP!!!!! RUN!!!!!! They will sell you a bridge any second now too! EDUCATE YOURSELF! RESEARCH ONLINE!! STOP NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!