WASHINGTON Feb 28 German automakers dominated
Consumer Reports' annual ranking of automotive brands released
on Tuesday, with Volkswagen AG's Audi
leading the pack, while U.S. brands continued to lag despite
gains for many.
Jake Fisher, director of auto testing at the magazine, said
German automakers rose largely due to improvements in
reliability. "Building one or two great vehicles is achievable,
but making a whole lineup of excellent ones is much more
difficult,” Fisher said.
Volkswagen's Porsche unit and rival BMW AG came in
second and third. General Motors Co's Buick brand was the
highest-ranked U.S. brand in 10th, down from seventh in 2016,
while Ford Motor Co's Lincoln brand was 15th, up from
17th. The Ford brand fell from 16th to 21th.
GM's Chevrolet brand moved up to 17th from 20th and its
Cadillac brand moved up to 18th from 24th.
Toyota Motor Corp's flagship brand fell from eighth
to 11th place, falling out of the top 10 for the first time in
recent years, after the magazine said its Tacoma pickup had
reliability issues. Toyota's luxury Lexus unit fell from third
Fuji Heavy Industries' Subaru unit fell from second
to fifth, while Korean auto brand Kia jumped to sixth, up five
spots, followed by Mazda Motor Corp in seventh.
Tesla Inc was ranked eighth among auto brands after
previously not having enough models to be ranked. The California
automaker was followed by Honda Motor Co's namesake
brand in ninth.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' Chrysler brand jumped
from 26th to 19th.
GM's Chevrolet Cruze was named best compact car, while its
Impala won best large sedan.
Other top picks included the Honda Ridgeline as best compact
pickup, Kia Optima best midsized sedan and Audi Q7 best luxury
Nissan Motor Co's luxury Infiniti brand moved up
six spots to 16, while its Nissan brand fell one spot to 22.
Some German automakers struggled. The Volkswagen brand fell
eight spots to 23rd and Daimler's Mercedes-Benz fell
six spots to 20th.
The Fiat brand remained last again among all brands rated,
and FCA's Jeep brand remained second-lowest overall. Consumer
Reports does not recommend any Fiat Chrysler vehicles, while it
recommends all Porsche, Mazda and BMW vehicles.
Fisher said Fiat Chrysler models suffered from serious
reliability problems and are "not competitive" in most segments.
The non-profit magazine has more than 8 million subscribers
and surveys hundreds of thousands of car owners. Many shoppers
consult the ratings, and automakers routinely tout favorable
ratings in advertising.
(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)