The bottom five car brands on Consumer Reports' 2013 Brand Report Card were domestic. Eight of the top 10 brands were Japanese. Before anyone throws their American flag lapel-pin across the room take a look at the five top and bottom car brands on the list. The reasoning behind why the domestics scored so low might surprise you.
1. Lexus 79
2. Mazda 76 (Tie)
3. Subaru 76 (Tie)
4. Toyota 74 (Tie)
5. Acura 74 (Tie)
1. Chrysler 52
2. Ford 51
3. Lincoln 50
4. Jeep 47
5. Dodge 46
The rankings were determined by equally weighted road test and reliability scores, the latter of which were provided by the magazine’s subscribers, meaning they represent real-world consumer experiences versus findings from the CR staff.
Ford and Lincoln took a hit because the MyFord/Lincoln Touch systems have been somewhat of a rubrics cube for a while now, despite attempts to make them more user-friendly. They were also graded down for tests of their EcoBoost engines, which use turbo-charging and smaller displacement to conserve fuel.
“They both have less performance and drink more fuel than the competitors; it hurts their road test scores,” said Jake Fisher, director of automotive testing for CR. (1)
General Motors is said to be making up ground but still suffering from a glut of so-so vehicles. Chrysler and Dodge were reported to share similar woes: Despite their advancements in recent years they have too many old models hanging around that aren’t keeping up with the times.