Japanese Brands Still On Top of Consumer Reports Rankings image

Japanese brands continue to be the leaders in Consumer Reports’ rankings for the best light vehicles on the market.

Brands such as Lexus, Mazda or Subaru managed to take 7 spots out of top 10 product segments and for overall brand reliability and performance. Lexus had a score of 79 out of 100, Subaru reached 76, the same as Mazda, while Toyota, Acura, Honda and Scion managed to round out the top seven.

The Detroit automaker still didn’t manage to reach the top spot in any vehicle segment, and the last 6 places of the ranking were taken by Buick, Chrysler, Ford, Lincoln, Jeep and Dodge. For 2013 Consumer Reports focused on individual brands instead of each automaker.

“Overall, we recommend fewer than half of the domestic models we’ve tested, and most of the [recommended models] come from Chevy and GMC,” the magazine says in its April 2013 auto issue.

The highest Detroit brand was Cadillac, which took the 14th place with a score of 62, followed by Buick which even if its test score was higher it suffered from weak reliability, more exactly with the LaCrosse and Verano.

Honda has three models to take the top honors, the redesigned Accord, which surpassed the Toyota Camry Hybrid in the mid-sized sedan category, the CR-V, which surpassed the Toyota RAV4 in the small SUV category and the Odyssey minivan, which took the first place in its category.

“For the last several years, Honda has let themselves go a little bit, resting on their laurels,” said Jake Fisher, head of automotive testing at Consumer Reports.

The magazine said that Land Rover, Fiat, Ram, Jaguar, Mitsubishi, Smart and Porsche were not included in this year’s study as it lacked sufficient test and reliability data for at least three models from each brand.

Consumer Reports’ rankings are based on two measures: performance during road testing and reliability based on the customers’ feedback.

The winners:
Mid-sized sedan: Honda Accord
Sports car: Scion FR-S and Subaru BR-Z
Budget car: Hyundai Elantra
Green car: Toyota Prius
Compact car: Subaru Impreza
Luxury car: Audi A6
Family SUV: Toyota Highlander
Minivan: Honda Odyssey
Small SUV: Honda CR-V
Sports sedan: BMW 328i