The Best and Worst Car Brands According to Consumer Reports

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There are well over 50 automakers worldwide building cars and light vehicles. Some, like Rolls-Royce, build very few and others, like China’s Geely, build vast numbers. Many automakers own several brands and each brand may have several models. With so many to choose from, buyers could use some help.

That’s where Consumer Reports comes in. The nonprofit organization has just released a list of the auto brands that make the best (and worst) vehicles.

The rankings are based on the group’s own road testing and a predicted reliability ranking and owner satisfaction ranking on all of a brand’s tested models. In order to qualify for the list, a brand must have had two current models. That requirement eliminated Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.’s (NYSE: FCAU) Maserati brand and Daimler’s smart brand.

The top-rated brand is the Genesis, from Hyundai. The brand comprises the minimum two models — a G80 and a G90 — and earning an overall score of 81 with a road-test score of 89.

Volkswagen’s Audi brand ranked second with an overall score of 80 and a road-test score of 86. The ranking is based on data for eight models. Audi was last year’s top-ranked brand.

BMW’s eight tested brands posted an overall score of 79 and a road-test score of 88, tied with VW’s Porsche brand and Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) for the best road-test score.

Fiat Chrysler had the dubious distinction of placing two brands at the bottom of the Consumer Reports list. The company’s Fiat brand posted an overall score of 39 with a road-test score of 58 on four models tested. Consumer Reports tested five of the company’s Jeep models and gave them an overall rating of 48 with a road-test score of 55. The company’s Chrysler brand, however, was the top-ranked vehicle from one of the Detroit Three automakers with an overall score of 70 and a road-test score of 85 on the two models tested.

The third-lowest ranked vehicle was Tata’s Land Rover, which posted an overall score of 49 and a road-test score of 72 on the five tested models.

At the other U.S. automakers, Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) and General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM), the highest ranked Ford brand was Lincoln, at number 17 with an overall score of 66 and a road test score of 83 on four models. The highest ranked GM brand was Buick, which posted an overall score of 64 and a road-test score of 72 on five tested models.