With the current state of the automotive market, it is critical that you do your homework before buying a new car. One of my first stops with new car research is Consumer Reports.
They just released the 2022 automotive brand report card, which ranks the brands by their overall score determined by Consumer Reports.
A number of brands saw significant movement from last year. Big moves can usually be attributed to changes in predicted reliability for individual models within a brand’s lineup.
Consumer Reports determines reliability by asking their members in surveys to report on problems they’ve experienced with their vehicles.
Understanding the Chart
The chart below ranks each brand by their overall score, which is determined by the following factors:
- Road test results (CR conducts 50 tests and evaluations)
- Predicted reliability (determined from owner feedback on 17 trouble areas)
- Owner satisfaction (based on member response if they would buy the same vehicle again)
- Safety (crash test results plus bonus points if safety equipment is standard)
The chart also shows the change in the ranking from 2021. This is where you will see the significant changes with certain brands.
By Consumer Reports’ grading and testing criteria, a brand must have at least two models tested by CR in order to be ranked. For this year, they did not include any Fiat, Maserati, Polestar, or Ram models. Hence, those brands are not represented here.
- Subaru claimed the top spot, up two positions from last year. Many of the issues noted last year centered on the new infotainment system installed in the Outback. Clearly, that has been addressed.
- Those brands ranked 2-5 had Overall Scores that are very close. This was a minor jockeying for position, and I feel you can treat these four brands equally in terms of Consumer Reports’ evaluation.
- Both Audi and Acura made big gains from last year. I can’t pin it on any single product change, but luxury brands get tough scrutiny by their owners. Take this change as very positive news for those brands.
- Tesla took a pretty good hit, falling seven spots. The “yoke style” steering whel installed in the Model S and Model X poorly affected the road test scores. Even though that steering wheel worked well for Batman in the 1966 Batmobile, real world use is questionable.
- Jeep’s tumble is due to the poor reliability of the Gladiator pickup.
An element of the report comes from Consumer Reports members. Individual perception contributes to the rating, so be guided appropriately.
For that reason, seek a second opinion form other trusted sources before deciding on your next car. I have a handful of YouTube car review channels that are really helpful. My write-up can be found HERE.
Good luck in your car search. Let me know if you have any questions.