Deciding which auto manufacturer makes the best new vehicles is a topic that many car buffs have no doubt spent hours debating. However, each year, Consumer Reports produces a list of its own, ranking car brands across the world by using a specific score system to assess a range of automotive factors.
If you’re interested in pursuing an automotive career, read on for more information on how Consumer Reports comes up with its rankings, as well as some of the best brands from this year’s list!
How Consumer Reports Ranks Automakers
Established in 1938, Consumer Reports is an organization that tests and rates products to ensure that they’re safe, reliable, effective and affordable for consumers. Each year, the company tests thousands of products in its 50 test labs. It keeps consumers informed through several media channels, including its website Consumer Reports.org as well as its namesake magazine, which is published monthly.
To produce its annual ranking of auto brands, Consumer Reports has devised a report card system that scores cars based on factors like road-test performance and reliability. The company tests new models as well as standard models from within a brand’s line-up in order to give them an overall score, a road test score, and a reliability rating.
Automotive Brands That Did Not Qualify For This Year’s List
Students hoping to become car technical experts should note that in order for a car company to be included on the Consumer Reports list, it must have at least two models with test and reliability data. Some of the brands that did not have enough data to qualify for this year’s list include Jaguar, Land Rover, Maserati, Mitsubishi, Smart, and Tesla.
Consumer Reports holds no bias when it comes to foreign versus domestic car companies. “For years, domestic automakers built lower-priced and lower-quality alternatives to imports, but those days are behind us,” stated Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports director of automotive testing. “Today, many domestic models can go toe to toe with the best imports.”
Automotive Rankings on the 2015 “Best Brands” List
Anyone pursuing an auto career might be interested in learning more about the automotive brands that received the best overall test scores. Here are the three best automakers according to Consumer Reports, as well as their overall test scores:
Toyota ranked third on the list, with an overall score of 74, a road test score of 72 and a high predicted reliability rating. “Toyota focuses on building solid, reliable cars that are pleasant, comfortable, and very popular,” said Consumer Reports.
Mazda placed second and was given an overall score of 75. Consumer Reports said that Mazda is a brand that “understands itself and replicates its sporty DNA in every new car it makes.” Mazda got a road test score of 76 and was one of the highest rated companies when it comes to reliability.
Lexus is the leader in this year’s best brands list. Consumer Reports stated that Lexus is a company “known for making quiet, plush, and very reliable cars.” The automaker also received the highest reliability ranking and a road test score of 76.
Here’s a look at Consumer Reports’ top picks for 2015 car models: