Japanese Brand Dominance Ends in 2013 Consumer Reports Reliability Study

Japanese Brand Dominance Ends in 2013 Consumer Reports Reliability Study

While Japanese brands continue to sit in the top three spots on this year’s Consumer Reports reliability study, companies from Germany, America and Sweden are creeping up the list. 

Lexus, Toyota and Acura still come in as the top three in that respective order, though this year GMC and Volvo cracked the top 10 in ninth and seventh respectively. Audi also climbed the ranks this year to secure an almost-glamorous fourth place position. The top 10 brands are finished by Mazda in fifth, Infiniti in sixth, Honda in eighth and Subaru in tenth. Last year’s top brand, Scion, dropped 10 spots and now sits in 11th thanks to issues with its new sports car, the FR-S.

To come up with the results of this study, about 1.1 million Consumer Reports subscribers are asked a variety of question pertaining to their new car purchase, including questions about the infotainment system and interior electronics, one area in particular that many vehicles were rated poorly.

While GM fared well, Ford did not. Only one of its 31 vehicles gained an above average score, the F-150 3.7-liter V6 model. Ford’s lineup of EcoBoost turbocharged models were also generally given poor scores, along with vehicles fitted with Ford’s MyFordTouch infotainment system. About two-thirds of the 34 Fords and Lincolns involved in the survey received scores that were much worse than average.

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Ford and Lincoln slot in as the third- and second-to last automakers on the list, with Mini coming is as the least reliable brand. Rounding out the bottom five are Cadillac and Dodge.

In terms of individual vehicles, the top predicted-reliability score goes to the 2014 Subaru Forester, while sitting at the bottom of the list is the Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid. This is not the general consensus on hybrids however as the Toyota Prius, Lexus ES 300h, Toyota Prius C and Honda CR-Z all sit near the top of the vehicle list.

Recommendations from Consumer Reports were also changed as a result of this study. The Tesla Model S is now a recommended vehicle, while both the Honda Accord V6 and Nissan Altima four cylinder and V6 are no longer recommended by the organization.

Overall, Cadillac dropped the most, losing 14 spots, while Volvo was the biggest winner, climbing up the ranks by 13 spots.

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