Toyota, Lexus Top Car Quality Survey

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Consumer Reports magazine on Monday released its reliability rankings for 2017, and once again Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) snagged the top two spots in the league table with its Lexus brand once again ranked first and the Toyota brand ranked second.

The big news for U.S. automakers is that General Motors Co.’s (NYSE: GM) Buick brand jumped from sixth to third in the rankings, the highest level for a U.S. automaker’s car in more than 35 years. Volkswagen AG’s Audi brand ranked fourth, followed by Kia, Mazda, Hyundai, and Infiniti. These eight brands were listed as “More Reliable” according to Consumer Reports’ ranking method.

Among brands listed as “Reliable” by Consumer Reports are Honda from Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (NYSE: HMC), and Subaru, both of which dropped out of the “More Reliable” rankings this year. GM’s Chevrolet brand and Ford Motor Co.’s (NYSE: F) brand were both included in the “Reliable” category with scores of 45 and 44, respectively.

Four Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (NYSE: FCAU) brands finished at the bottom of the rankings with Ram dead last (29th) with a score of 16, one point ahead of Fiat. Chrysler scored 26 and Dodge scored 28. The company’s best-selling Jeep brand was ranked 23rd with a score of 30. The full rankings and other links are available at the Consumer Reports website.

Among models newly recommended by Consumer Reports are the BMW i3 and BMW X5; the Cadillac XTS; the Chevrolet Camaro, Corvette, and Cruze; the Chrysler 300; the Ford Escape; the Hyundai Santa Fe; the Mercedes GLC; the Porsche Macan; and the Tesla Model S.

Models with declining reliability and that are no longer recommended include the Audi A3; the Chevy Volt; the Dodge Durango; the Ford F-150; the Honda Civic; the Lincoln MKX; the Mini Cooper; the Subaru WRX/STi; and the VW GTI, Jetta, and Passat.

Consumer Reports is not a big fan of autonomous driving systems, at least as they are being marketed by carmakers. The magazine believes automakers “need to clearly communicate the capabilities — and the limitations — of [semi-autonomous] systems” rather than pitch them with names like Autopilot (Tesla) or Drive Pilot (Mercedes) that overstate the systems’ capabilities.