We’re often asked, “Who makes the best car?” The reality is, every brand offers models that perform across a spectrum, with some being demonstrably better than others. To further aid water-cooler discussions, we have analyzed our test results to compile a list that chronicles the best and worst models.
The overall test score variation differs from brand to brand, with some brands’ worst model being still doing rather well, while others span a wide range, making any generalities quite misleading.
2014 Buick Regal Premium II
For instance, the Buick and Cadillac line-ups are quite consistent, with just a 14- and 15-point spread, respectively. However, Chevrolet (admittedly with a broader product portfolio) has a 50-point difference separating the lowly Spark from the coveted Corvette.
Some other brands with a significant point spread include Hyundai (25 points), Honda (31 points), Lexus (31 points), Mercedes-Benz (32 points), Toyota (40 points), and Mitsubishi (43 points).
The list below includes all brands for which Consumer Reports has tested at least three different models recently, thereby excluding Maserati, Ram, Smart, and Tesla.
|Audi||A8 L*||A5 Premium Plus (2.0T)*|
|Buick||Regal Premium I||Encore Leather|
|Cadillac||XTS Premium||SRX Luxury|
|Chevrolet||Corvette Stingray 3LT||Spark 1LT|
|Chrysler||300 Limited (V6)||200 Limited (4-cyl.)|
|Dodge||Durango Limited (V6)||Challenger R/T (V8)|
|Fiat||500 Abarth||500L Easy|
|Ford||Fusion SE||Expedition EL Limited|
|GMC||Sierra 1500 SLT (5.3L V8)||Yukon SLT|
|Honda||Accord LX (4-cyl.)||CR-Z EX (MT)|
|Hyundai||Genesis 3.8 (AWD)||Genesis Coupe Grand Touring (V6)|
|Infiniti||Q70 (M37, V6)||Q60 (base)|
|Jeep||Grand Cherokee Limited (V6)||Wrangler Unlimited Sahara|
|Kia||Cadenza||Rio EX hatchback|
|Land Rover||Range Rover HSE (3.0L)||Range Rover EvoquePure*|
|Lexus||LS 460L||IS250 (AWD)|
|Lincoln||MKZ 2.0 EcoBoost||MKS (base, 3.7)|
|Mazda||MX-5 Miata Grand Touring||Mazda3 i Touring (2.0L)|
|Mini||Cooper S||Cooper (base)|
|Mitsubishi||Lancer Evolution GSR||Mirage ES|
|Nissan||370Z Touring coupe||Versa SV sedan|
|Porsche||911 Carrera S||Cayenne (V6)|
|Subaru||Legacy 2.5 Premium||XV Crosstrek Hybrid|
|Toyota||Camry Hybrid XLE||Yaris LE|
|Volkswagen||Passat SE Premium (1.8T) / Golf (1.8T)||Jetta SE (1.8T)|
|Volvo||S60 T5 (2.0T)||XC60 T6|
*Powertrain has changed since last test.
Even if you have models in mind when you’re shopping, it is wise to look at their Ratings. You just might be steered to a better car than you would have otherwise considered, and as we often find, the smart choices often are not necessarily the most expensive.
Source: Consumer Reports