QOTD: Did Consumer Reports Get It Right?

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

Venerable consumer-oriented publication Consumer Reports has its 2023 Brand Scorecard out. BMW topped it.

There's a long explainer at Autoblog, but the gist is this: CR ranks 32 brands and 10 vehicles. CR bases its scores on which brands are producing "well-performing, safe, and reliable" cars and trucks. The more consistent a brand is, the better it scores.

BMW takes the top spot, followed by Subaru and Mini. No American make is higher than Buick at 12, and Land Rover brings up the rear.

Eight of the 10 picks are new -- only Kia's Telluride and Subaru's Forester are holdovers. Add the Toyota Corolla Hybrid, Toyota Corolla Cross, Toyota Camry Hybrid, Ford Maverick Hybrid, Nissan Leaf, Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid, Lexus NX350h, and Tesla Model 3.

There's a lot to unpack here. I'm curious as to what you all think: Did CR do a good job ranking brands and models?

Sound off below.

[Image: BMW]

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Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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7 of 45 comments
  • Wayneoh Wayneoh on Feb 18, 2023

    A big part of CR's Scorecard ratings come from surveys sent to THEIR subscribers rating their experiences. IIRC, seems I read that only about 30% of their surveys are actually returned. Personally, I don't know of a single person in my circle that subscribes to CR. How many of you "car" people are CR subscribers ? I'll stick with my trouble free Rav4 and F150 and read TTAC & Car & Driver for my automotive "news".

    • See 1 previous
    • IBx1 IBx1 on Feb 21, 2023

      Danddd you absolutely cannot comment to the reliability of a car at 50k miles, especially if you've had 8 years to spread that out.

  • Doug Dye Doug Dye on Feb 20, 2023

    I've owned seven BMW 3 series and currently a 4 series. All have been quite reliable. All German cars require a regular maintenance schedule that must be adhered to. If you do that, they aren't cheap, but they are reliable. The difference is BMW's are fun to drive and perform well, as opposed to just being driveable appliances that many other brands offer.

  • Darex Darex on Feb 21, 2023

    CR worships Subaru, and those that swear by CR will be highly drawn to Subaru as a result. Consequently, their members who respond to their surveys will further vernerate Subaru, and the cycle continues. Too bad Subaru is so mediocre and unreliable according everyone else's rankings. If you drink the CR, what other choice is there, really?


    • Bullnuke Bullnuke on Feb 21, 2023

      Ahh, the old JDPower scoresheet. JDPower - the best survey that money will buy. I wonder, Darex, if you could show us on the doll exactly where the Subaru hurt you. You might even share your personal experiences regarding "unreliable" Subaru vehicles. "everyone else's rankings" is also painting with a rather broad brush...

  • Mark Mark on Feb 22, 2023

    I've grown suspicious of CR's reviews. Case in point, CR speaks highly of Kia and its engines. CR's website does not reference the ongoing class-action lawsuit against Hyundai/Kia for their terrible Theta engines. Hyundai/Kia needed to write off $2Billion in 2022 to cover claims. My 2015 Kia Soul and 2017 Optima SXL both required new engines. CR is one data point when researching a vehicle. Other websites such as TTAC, Edmunds, True Car, and others should be referenced. My CR subscription expires in March. It's time to move on.