It’s a ranking automakers look forward to or dread, depending on the results they think they'll get: Every year, Consumer Reports magazine puts together a ranking of the companies that are on their game, in other words putting out the best products. Of course, that also means pointing the finger at those companies that have work to do.
Among the criteria Consumer Reports uses to determine its rankings are two important elements: vehicle reliability and driver satisfaction levels. The magazine also takes into account a crucial element often overlooked in such endeavours, that of the quality of the overall product offering a manufacturer offers. While every company is perfectly capable of designing and building an excellent vehicle, the challenge is to ensure that quality is maintained across the vehicle roster.
A look at the top of the list shows luxury automaker Genesis besting all others in 2018, somewhat surprising given that it wasn’t even on the list at all in 2017. It’s clear that the company’s small portfolio gives it a certain advantage, but the feat is still an impressive one, especially for a new brand.
Right behind it sits Audi, which loses the top position that it had held for the previous two years. We can’t help but think back to the days when the German company’s reputation for reliability left a little to be desired. The progress Audi has made over the past few years has certainly borne fruit.
Genesis and Audi, by the way, are the only companies that saw all its vehicles earn the recommendation of Consumer Reports.
The top five of 2018’s best brands is rounded out by BMW, Lexus and Porsche. In the case of Lexus, it earns its position largely on the strength of its ranking for reliability and safety features and not so much for the driving experience its models offers. For the two German brands bookending it, the opposite applies.
Consumer Reports rounds out its top 10 best brands list for 2018 with Kia, Subaru, Tesla, Honda and Toyota.
Stay tuned for our report on the bottom end of Consumer Reports’ 2018 ranking!
Want to know which models came out on top in each category in the view of the magazine? Here you go:
Compact car: Toyota Corolla
Compact green car: Chevrolet Bolt
Compact luxury car: Audi A4
Mid-sized car: Toyota Camry
Full-sized car: Chevrolet Impala
Compact SUV: Subaru Forester
Compact luxury SUV: BMW X3
Mid-sized SUV: Toyota Highlander
Minivan: Toyota Sienna
Full-sized pickup: Ford F-150