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Yonkers, NY – With a current crop of luxury models that are quiet, comfortable, fuel efficient, and among the most reliable, Lexus has earned the best overall score in Consumer Reports’ 2013 annual Car Brand Report Cards. Lexus’ models are rarely sporty, but the brand’s overall score of 79 was earned on a foundation of plush and very reliable vehicles.
For 2013, Consumer Reports took a different approach than in previous years for its annual brand report cards story. For example, Toyota, Lexus, and Scion models were each scored separately this year instead of being incorporated into one overall score for Toyota.
For 2013, Honda delivered a solid, speedy refresh of the Civic that put it back on Consumer Reports Recommended list after the unimpressive 2012 redesign had fallen off.
Nissan brought up the rear among Japanese brands, weighed down by its low scoring and unreliable large trucks and SUVs, but still managed to land midpack among all automakers.
European brands ended up scattered across the middle of the spectrum, distinguished from each other more by reliability than test score. Mercedes-Benz wasn’t far behind Audi and was tied with Acura for having the highest average road-test score.
General Motors is revamping its lineup and building several promising models, but some of its brands still anchor the bottom of Consumer Reports Brand Report Cards. Ford vehicles’ road-test scores have also been handicapped by some models’ unrefined dual-clutch automated manual transmissions and a new lineup of EcoBoost turbocharged engines that don’t deliver the performance and fuel economy of some competitors’ larger engines. Consumer Reports calculates each brand’s overall score using an equally weighted composite of the road-test and reliability scores for each of its tested models. That’s why CR’s 2013 rankings do not include Fiat, Jaguar, Land Rover,  Mitsubishi,  Porsche,  Ram,  or  Smart: Each had too few models for which CR had adequate reliability data. Reach out to the author: contact and available social following information is listed in the top-right of all news releases.

CR graded each automaker’s individual brands rather than calculating a single score for all the brands under one carmaker.
The same was true for Honda, Ford, Nissan, General Motors, Chrysler and other large manufacturers that market several brands. Consumer Reports notes that both brands build solid cars with good handling, fuel economy, and versatility at relatively affordable prices. Testers found the BRZ great fun to drive, and its ratings improved the brand’s overall score. The redesigned four-cylinder Altima delivered impressive fuel economy, though it wasn’t as engaging to drive as the previous model. Volkswagen lost ground with some redesigned sedans that didn’t score as well as their peers.
Cadillac scored three places ahead of Chevrolet and GMC, based largely on the strength of the CTS.  Cadillac’s small and midsized models perform well and their reliability is average. The MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch control interfaces are very difficult to use, and electronic problems in those systems have affected Ford’s reliability scores. Reliability scores are based on information that CR’s subscribers provided during the organization’s Annual Auto Survey.
Updated daily, is the go-to Website for the latest auto reviews, product news, blogs on breaking news and car buying information. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services annually.
The company also moved forward with the sporty new CX-5 SUV and its line of fuel-efficient Skyactiv engines. Honda and Toyota’s scores have been buoyed by the significant strides the automakers made with their respective redesigns of the Accord and Camry.

The company’s luxury Infiniti brand placed four slots higher, thanks to its excellent G and M sports sedans, although the G is due to be replaced this summer.
Several of its niche models, such as the Touareg SUV and the New Beetle, have well-below-average reliability. Recent Volvos, such as the S60 and XC60, are competitive and reliable, but the brand is saddled with older models.
Although the new Dart is an improvement over the car it replaced, it still lags behind the best compact sedans. For a brand to be included, Consumer Reports must have test results and reliability data for at least three models.
Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 8 million subscribers to its magazine, Website and other publications.
Audi separated itself from the pack as the only European brand to achieve very good reliability overall along with an excellent average road-test score.
Jeep doesn’t fare much better; the only model that is CR Recommended is the V6 Grand Cherokee. Overall, Consumer Reports Recommends fewer than half of the domestic models the organization has tested, and most of them come from Chevrolet and GMC.
Neither the Ratings nor the reports may be used in advertising or for any other commercial purpose without our permission. Consumer Reports will take all steps open to it to prevent commercial use of its materials, its name, or the name of Consumer Reports®.

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