Japanese Brands Lead CR Reliability Ratings

Bill Hampton

Lexus, Mazda and Toyota captured the top three spots in this year’s Consumer Reports Auto Reliability Survey rankings.

CR announced this year’s results today at an Automotive Press Assn. luncheon in Detroit. The ratings are based on owner reports for more than 400,000 vehicles.

Europe’s Porsche marque captured fourth place, rising five levels from last year. Asian brands occupy four of the remaining top 10 positions: Genesis (5th), Hyundai (6th) and Kia (9th). Fiat Chrysler Automobile’s Dodge brand vaulted 13 steps to a record-high eighth.

As usual, ratings tended to suffer for brands with new models and improve for companies with carryover products. In-car electronics are a leading category of complaints. Audi and BMW, for example, each fell seven spots because of reported flaws in new or redesigned vehicles.

As usual, ratings tend to suffer for brands with new models and improve for companies with carryover products. In-car electronics are a leading category of complaints.

Not all Asian brands did well this year. CR says continuing transmission problems caused Acura to skid nine spots to 28th out of the 30 brands listed. Subaru dropped five spots to 7th with only average ratings for its new Ascent and revamped Forester crossover vehicles.

This year’s ratings were anchored by Cadillac, unchanged in 30th place. FCA’s Alfa Romeo brand, also unchanged, ranks 29th. Volkswagen fell nine positions to 27th on continuing complaints about the Atlas and Tiguan SUV/crossovers.