Buick’s rise to No. 7, from 12th in 2014, made it the top domestic brand for the second year in a row. In addition, the Buick Regal bested the BMW 328i to earn Top Pick honors among sports sedans, a “very un-Buick category,” said Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports’ director of automotive testing.
“Buick has a reputation for large, cushy cars, and they’ve really invented themselves pretty quickly. They’re making reliable vehicles, and they’re making cars that score very well,” Fisher said in an interview. “In many ways, they’re like the new Lexus, but also sporty to drive.”
Still, Asian brands accounted for six of the top 10 spots after grabbing seven last year.
Mazda jumped four places in finishing second, with an overall index score of 75, three behind Lexus.
Consumer Reports called Mazda’s lineup “reliable” and “fun-to-drive” while delivering “impressive fuel economy.”
Toyota took third place, with Audi and Subaru rounding out the top five. Porsche, Buick, Honda, Kia and BMW completed the top 10.
In addition to Buick, Kia and Porsche were also new to that group this year.
This is the fourth edition of the Consumer Reports Annual Car Brands Report Cards. To calculate scores, the magazine says it looks at the road test scores for each model it tested, and for which its subscribers have provided reliability data in its Annual Auto Reliability Survey. Brands must have test and reliability data for at least two models.