America's Worst Car Brand

Among several prominent car ranking studies, the Consumer Reports auto brand car ratings stand out. For its “Which Car Brands Make the Best Vehicles?” report, it looks at 32 brands based on road tests, reliability, safety and satisfaction. (Here are the best- and worst-built cars in America.)

The test looks at 50 aspects of new cars. These include braking, handling and crash test results. “Green cars” receive their own ratings. They are a universe that includes “low-emitting” cars. Marta Tellado, president and CEO of Consumer Reports, commented, “This year, auto brands are offering more choices with fewer emissions. Everybody should have access to safe, affordable vehicles that go further on a gallon of gas, or no gas at all.”

Brands on the list were rated zero through 100. The top brand was the German luxury brand BMW, which routinely holds the luxury car sales market share lead with Mercedes and Toyota’s Lexus. BMW received a grade of 81. Lexus was in fourth place among the 32 brands measured with a rating of 77. One mass-market brand placed second. Subaru had a rating of 79, which tied it with Mini. Subaru routinely shows up at or near the top of car brand lists.

Mass market brands Toyota (rating 76) and Honda (77) were among the top six, showing that luxury cars do not always have an advantage.

There was one significant surprise. Mercedes turned up low on the list with a rating of 56.

Land Rover, among America’s most expensive car brands, was at the bottom of the list with a rating of 45. Jaguar, owned by the same company, Tata Motors, was third from the bottom with a rating of 52.

Land Rover makes high-priced sport utility vehicles. Its highest-priced model, the Range Rover, has a base manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $106,500. Its entry-level Discovery Sport has a base MSRP of $48,200. Land Rover vehicles also get poor ratings from other measuring services, including Car & Driver.

Land Rover and Jaguar have tiny sales in America. Their poor quality may be the reason.

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