(Bloomberg) -- Toyota Motor Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. failed to win a coveted "Recommended" rating for revamped 2014 compact luxury sedans from Consumer Reports magazine, which cited lackluster fuel economy, steering, ride comfort and handling in reviewing the Lexus IS 250 and Infiniti Q50.
While the new Infiniti Q50 posted a "very good" score for its overall road test, it gave an "underwhelming driving experience" compared to its predecessor, according to the magazine's review.
The Q50 -- a successor to the G37, Consumer Reports' top pick in the segment -- features mundane handling due in part to its dull steering, the magazine said today.
"Most perplexing, however, is that the class leader -- by a sizeable margin -- is still the Infiniti G37, which the Q50 was designed to replace. What happened?"
The G37 has been the magazine's top pick in the segment for six of the last seven years.
"After its 2014 redesign and transition to Infiniti's new Q designation, this car seems to have lost it way," the magazine said.
Infiniti plans to continue selling the G37 for a limited time at a price lower than the Q50.
Infiniti engineers plan to analyze the magazine's Q50 findings, a spokesman said today.
"Despite scoring well, the Q50 is still too new for their reliability results which is necessary for them to categorize the car as 'Recommended.' We feel strongly that once these reliability results are in, our new luxury sports sedan will be on Consumer Reports' "Recommended" list," Infiniti spokesman Kyle Bazemore said in a statement.
'Worst road test score'
The Lexus IS 250, with pricing that starts at $36,860, including shipping, is "neither sporty nor luxurious" and had the "worst road test score posted by any Lexus sedan in recent memory," Consumer Reports said a statement today.
The handling is "short on finesse" and road noise is elevated, according to the magazine, which tested the 2.5-liter V6 version of the car.
The poor review undermines efforts by Toyota to regain its lead in the U.S. luxury-vehicle market, which it lost in 2011 to BMW and Mercedes-Benz following production disruptions from natural disasters in Japan.
"As the Consumer Reports evaluation includes many factors, Lexus is unclear on the cause for the low rating," said Brian Lyons, a Toyota spokesman. "We look forward to engaging in a discussion with them to get more direct feedback on their experience with the car."
Honda Motor Co. rolled out a new version of the Civic sedan in about 19 months, in the quickest turnaround of a car in the company's history, after failing to win the "Recommended" status from Consumer Reports for the model in 2011.
The magazine's top rated compact luxury sedans, in order, are the Infiniti G37, BMW 328i, Mercedes-Benz C250, Lincoln MKZ, Volvo S60, Audi A4, Cadillac ATS, Infiniti Q50 and Lexus IS 250.
Sean Gagnier and David Phillips of Automotive News contributed to this report.