Earlier today we told you that Consumer Reports’ annual brand study crowned Lexus and Mazda as the first and second best automakers. But US-made cars also made the top ten rankings – with three models in the picks for the first time since 1998.
Tesla Motors Inc.’s $89, 650 Model S luxury electric sedan was – for the second straight year – the top overall pick for the automobile testers of the influential independent magazine. The other two American-made cars that snatched top positions were General Motors Co.’s Buick Regal – topping the best sports sedan category that last year was headed by the BMW 328i – and the Chevrolet Impala that reigned supreme in the luxury sedan segment. “For years, domestic automakers built lower-priced and lower-quality alternatives to imports, but those days are behind us,” said Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports’ director of automotive testing. “Today many domestic models can go toe-to-toe with the best imports.”
Consumer Reports has been for years releasing tests and evaluations of cars based on how well they drive, interior-finish quality, safety and reliability. The rankings for the year, recently revealed, usually have a major influence over car buyers and can be found in the Yonkers, New York-based magazine’s annual automobile issue. For General Motors, battered last year by the massive recalls prompted by the ignition-switch defect scandal, the category wins bring much needed attention towards the Buick and Chevrolet brands. Tesla, on the other hand, has other issues – lift production capacity to profit from the rankings that might bring new customers and introduce the long-delayed Model X crossover to take advantage of the segment’s boom.