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    Which Car Brands Make the Best Vehicles?

    We ranked 32 brands based on the Overall Scores of their models, which include road tests, reliability, satisfaction, and safety

    White SUV on blacks of ratings colors Illustration: Consumer Reports, Getty Images

    The best cars brands have model lineups that excel in our evaluations of road-test performance, reliability, owner satisfaction, and safety. They earn the highest Overall Scores based on the average from all current tested models.

    BMW, Subaru, Lexus, and Honda routinely land in the top ranks by delivering on these virtues, from their base models to their high-end vehicles. BMW claimed the top spot this year thanks to especially strong road-test performances and solid owner survey results.

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    Genesis made the biggest leap in rank this year, rising 12 positions due to improved reliability. Lincoln climbed 10 places on the strength of reliability and added safety systems. But Chrysler dropped a dozen spots, dragged down by the well-below-average reliability of the Pacifica Hybrid minivan. Brands with few models, like Chrysler, are subject to significant year-to-year shifts.

    The rankings can be helpful to shoppers by indicating brands that shine and those that should be approached with more caution. The brands that land at the bottom are those that tend to fall short in our road tests and/or with reliability. They may still offer good cars but not consistently across their model range, and buyers should be wary.

    To be included in the brand ranking, CR must have tested at least two current models from a brand. Fiat, Maserati, Polestar, Ram, and Rivian aren’t included in our rankings this year for that reason.

    How We Rank the Car Brands

    The Overall Score for individual models is based on four key factors: the road test, reliability, owner satisfaction, and safety.

    For the road-test score, we put vehicles through more than 50 tests and evaluations.

    Predicted reliability ratings are based on problems reported by members in 17 trouble areas in CR’s Annual Auto Surveys.

    Owner satisfaction predictions are based on whether CR members said in our surveys that they’d buy the same vehicle again if given the chance.

    Safety includes an assessment of any available crash-test results and extra points assigned to vehicles that come standard with crash-prevention systems.

    Green Choices reflect how many of a brand’s CR-tested vehicles earned the designation for being in the top 20 percent of vehicles with the cleanest emissions, according to the EPA.

    Learn more about how Consumer Reports tests cars.

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    We investigate, research, and test so you can choose with confidence.