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Lexus, Subaru, Mazda get top car scores

By Tara Baukus Mello ·
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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March 17, 2013 at 4:28 pm

I don't understand how a manufacturer can have paid so many lawsuit's as a result of many major problems on top of 6-8 recalls in the last few years, and still be in business let alone to be considered a quality product and out sell GM for the top spot. Yes I am talking about Toyota. I wouldn't buy anything they made even if someone else was paying for it. How does anyone with a brain consider a Toyota with all the problems they have?

George Kempf
March 17, 2013 at 4:28 pm

Had a Chevy Silverado and wouldn't have another one if they gave it to me for free.Have a Toyota Camry and love it .Just bought a new Rav4 and really enjoy this vehicle.

Myke Britt
March 17, 2013 at 4:21 pm

DennyB. How much pollution was created by coal fired electric plants in order to provide your OBAMAMOBILE with enough power to forgo using the same fossil fuel as the electric plant?

March 17, 2013 at 4:21 pm

Joe C
I don`t care, only american , I support american industry

People like this make me sick

Larry Polatis
March 17, 2013 at 3:47 pm

CR always supportd foreign made cars. I will NEVER listen to anything they say! Support America or drive your foreign car in the country in which it was built.

March 17, 2013 at 3:42 pm

Consumer Reports is ignoring the fact that most Toyota's failed the very common IIHS slight offset crash test. These accidents are responsible for taking many lives. Consumer Reports has a reliability survey that is exclusive with paying members of the biased magazine. Reputable organizations such as J. D. Powers sends their surveys to a random audience as it should be. CR is not legit, they cater to the demographic of their customers to sell more magazines.

March 17, 2013 at 3:06 pm

This report may be from a non-profit organization, but the facts
aren't in line. It appears that donations from the purported top 3 are being used to move their product. I own an F-150 and a

Joe C
March 17, 2013 at 2:49 pm

I don`t care, only american , I support american industry

Marion haller
March 17, 2013 at 2:08 pm

Just found out 1966 vette sold for 3,800 new now 12,000 and up best resale over Toyotas too.100,000 miles too.Consumer reprts says vettes poor buy.LIARS.Daughter drove a Vega over 100,000 and then her dauyghter drove it to school, wish she had it its worth twice what she paid,not a Toyota.Liars at consumers reports.

Denny B
March 15, 2013 at 4:44 pm

PS - Drivin a Chevy Volt with zero problems and zero gas. Lovin the msg BP is getting from me!