US: Audi tops Consumer Reports ratings amid emissions scandal image

The premium German automaker was named the top brand in the US by the Consumer Reports magazine, despite Volkswagen’s cheating scandal.

In their annual ranking report of new vehicles, the US magazine Consumer Reports placed Audi on top of the charts, beating rivals such as Toyota’s Lexus brand, Porsche and BMW. However, the four rings brand was followed by Subaru, which managed to squeeze between Audi and Lexus. Volkswagen AG’s division was named best overall brand, based on the magazine’s road testing, reliability, safety and owner satisfaction scores. “We’re seeing consistency over the last several years of Audi getting it right,” Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports director of automotive testing, said. “They’re combining good reliability with good performing vehicles, and that’s why they’re on top.’’ Audi topped the annual rankings even if some its larger diesel models are banned from being sold, because of the ongoing investigation over the cheating software. It could also be a proof of the fact that Audi’s brand image has not suffered as much as that of its parent’s. General Motors’ Buick was the only US brand to enter top 10, ranked seventh, ahead of Mazda. Toyota ended up eighth, ahead of Kia and Honda, while the Volkswagen brand ranked 15th overall.

Consumer Report chose not to give honors for the best overall vehicle this time, an area where Tesla’s Model S triumphed in 2014 and 2015. Fisher said that, because of faltering reliability scores, the Model S is no longer the top ultra-luxury car and ranks behind the BMW 750i xDrive, Lexus LS 460L and Audi A8 L. Tesla’s quality problems including issues with hatches, door handles, electric motors and batteries have increased as the automaker has ramped up production, he said.

Via Reuters