Lexus, Acura and Audi Top 2014 Consumer Reports Brand Report Card

Craig Cole
by Craig Cole

Consumer Reports’ 2014 Car Brand Report Card has been published and not surprisingly luxury automakers dominate the top of this list.

Per usual, Lexus was the highest-rated brand in this report for the second consecutive year. While its vehicles are generally comfortable and quiet, quality is what really stands out. It was the only brand to achieve an “excellent” overall reliability score.

But Acura and Audi were hot on Lexus’ heels. Honda’s luxury division finished just one point ahead of its German rival. Acura was praised for its reliable, well-built products while Audi earned points for excellent interior design and good driving dynamics.

Luxury brands generally performed well in this study but not in every instance. GM’s Cadillac division was the company’s worst-performing brand, falling behind more mainstream divisions like Chevrolet, GMC and Buick. Its poor showing was due largely to the XTS sedan’s cantankerous CUE infotainment system.

Not surprisingly Japanese brands performed very well, landing in seven of the top eight spots. Subaru, Toyota, Mazda, Honda and Infiniti were right near the top. Of the major Japanese brands only Nissan had a poor showing, coming in 18th place out of 23 makes evaluated.

Rounding out this list Jeep and Ford were tied with the lowest score. Chrysler’s off-road division was hampered by questionable quality and mediocre road-test scores. The Blue Oval on the other hand was once again savage by its endlessly troublesome MyFord Touch infotainment system. Will they ever get this thing sorted out?

Other Detroit brands including Dodge and Chevrolet rounded out the bottom five spots. South Korean companies Hyundai and Kia finished in the bottom third.

A few brands were not rated due to a lack of data. Fiat, Jaguar, Lincoln and Smart are a handful of the un-scored companies.

Craig Cole
Craig Cole

Born and raised in metro Detroit, Craig was steeped in mechanics from childhood. He feels as much at home with a wrench or welding gun in his hand as he does behind the wheel or in front of a camera. Putting his Bachelor's Degree in Journalism to good use, he's always pumping out videos, reviews, and features for AutoGuide.com. When the workday is over, he can be found out driving his fully restored 1936 Ford V8 sedan. Craig has covered the automotive industry full time for more than 10 years and is a member of the Automotive Press Association (APA) and Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).

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