Earlier this year, Consumer Reports released its annual ranking of 33 car brands, which assigns a composite score to each based on road-test performance, predicted reliability, owner-satisfaction ratings and safety features.
Subaru topped this year’s ranking for the very first time, moving up six spots from last year. The Ascent, the newest and largest vehicle in Subaru’s current lineup, helped boost the automaker’s overall score.
Genesis got nudged into second place, a year after claiming the crown from Audi. Other notable showings included Mini, which moved up 10 spots from last year, and Lincoln, which rose by nine spots to break into the top 10. Chrysler and Tesla, on the other hand, each dropped 11 places, despite scoring well in road tests.
In addition to Subaru’s stellar performance, this year’s Consumer Reports ranking was significant for mass-market brands because they accounted for 11 out of the 16 that improved their score from last year. This just goes to show that the gap in quality between premium and mass-market vehicles is steadily diminishing thanks to rapid advancements in automotive technology and manufacturing.
Here are Consumer Reports' top ten brands this year along with their overall composite scores:
- Subaru (81 points)
- Genesis (80 points)
- Porsche (79 points)
- Audi (77 points)
- Lexus (76 points)
- Mazda (76 points)
- BMW (76 points)
- Lincoln (73 points)
- Toyota (73 points)
- Hyundai (73 points)
We’ve featured some of our favourite offers this week from Consumer Reports’ top-ranked car brands. If you don’t find an offer that suits you, be sure to check out the Globe Drive Build and Price Tool to see the latest incentives and discounts on any new car, truck or SUV.
Subaru (81 points)
Not only did Subaru top Consumer Reports’ overall ranking of auto brands, its all-new Ascent and newly redesigned Forester models were chosen as the top mid-size SUV and top compact SUV, respectively.
The 2019 Subaru Ascent is powered by a turbocharged 2.4-litre Boxer engine, which produces 260 horsepower and 277 lb.-ft. of torque, and symmetrical all-wheel drive. The Limited trim’s interior features include an eight-inch infotainment display, built-in navigation, a 792-watt, 14-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, tri-zone automatic climate control, leather seating surfaces and a 6.3-inch vehicle information display. Although this three-row SUV can accommodate up to eight passengers, the second-row bench seat can be swapped out for captain’s chairs on select trims – including the Limited. Standard safety features on the Limited trim include precollision braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, lead-vehicle-start alert and steering-responsive LED headlights with automatic high-beam functionality.
2019 Subaru Ascent Limited
- MSRP: $46,495
- Manufacturer cash incentive: $1,500 (as compared to $1,000 in February)
- Estimated dealer discount: $1,500
- Freight, PDI, government fees: $1,940
- Cash purchase price before tax: $45,435
- Finance for 60 months at 2.99 per cent interest for $943 per month including tax, which includes a $500 manufacturer incentive and assumes zero down payment
- Lease for 48 months at 2.99 per cent interest for $705 per month including tax, which includes a $500 manufacturer incentive and assumes a 20,000 annual kilometre allowance with zero down payment
Genesis (80 points)
Genesis emerged as Consumer Reports’ top-ranked brand in its very first showing last year. Although it has slipped into second place by just a single point this year, it still ranked among the highest in owner satisfaction. Genesis made waves when it launched as the first automaker ever to offer an end-to-end car-buying experience entirely online through their Genesis at Home platform, through which a customer can complete their purchase, from the initial test drive to the trade-in evaluation and final paperwork, from any device of their choice. Their new vehicle is then delivered to their doorstep in a giant transparent box.
The 2019 Genesis G80 Sport outputs 365 horsepower and 376 lb.-ft. of torque through a 3.3-litre, twin-turbocharged V-6 engine. Notable interior features include a 9.2-inch touchscreen display with built-in navigation, a 17-speaker, 900-watt Lexicon surround-sound audio system, heads-up display, heated leather sport seats and genuine carbon-fibre interior trim. On the outside, the G80 Sport is equipped with automatic LED headlights with high-beam assist and adaptive cornering, LED daytime running lights, taillights and turn-signal indicators, and rain-sensing wipers. Standard active safety features on this sport sedan include autonomous emergency-braking with pedestrian-detection, blind-spot detection, lane-departure warning and lane-keep assist.
2019 Genesis G80 3.3T Sport
- Vehicle price: $62,000 (all-inclusive)
- Manufacturer cash incentive: $2,000 (as compared to no incentive in February)
- Government fees: $131
- Cash purchase price before tax: $60,131
- Finance for 60 months at 1.4-per-cent interest for $1,158 per month including tax, which includes a $2,000 manufacturer incentive (as compared to no incentive in February) and requires $1,000 down payment
- Lease for 48 months at 2.9-per-cent interest for $867 per month including tax, which includes a $2,000 manufacturer incentive (as compared to no incentive in February), assumes a 20,000 annual kilometre allowance and requires $1,000 down payment
- Includes complimentary scheduled maintenance and courtesy vehicle service for five years or 100,000 kilometres, and complimentary navigation map updates for five years
Audi (77 points)
In third and fourth place respectively, Porsche and Audi were the top European brands in Consumer Reports’ ranking. Audi’s Q5 crossover is its best-selling model in Canada and is one of the best-selling luxury vehicles in the country.
The 2019 Audi Q5 features a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbo engine that delivers 248 horsepower and 273 lb.-ft. of torque. All trims also come standard with Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drivetrain. Highlights on the Progressiv trim include an Audi multimedia interface with built-in navigation, tri-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery with heated front seats, a panoramic sunroof, foot-activated trunk release and Audi Xenon-plus headlights. Key safety features include front and rear parking sensors, a rear-view camera and Audi pre-sense, which engages the automatic seat belt tensioner and triggers anticipatory protection measures for the passengers upon detecting a high probability of collision.
2019 Audi Q5 2.0 45 TFSI Quattro Progressiv S tronic
- MSRP: $51,200
- Manufacturer cash incentive: $1,500 (as compared to no incentive in February)
- Estimated dealer discount: $750
- Freight, PDI, government fees: $2,830
- Cash purchase price before tax: $51,780
- Finance for 60 months at 3.98 per cent interest for $1,077 per month including tax, which includes a $1,500 manufacturer incentive (as compared to no incentive in February) and assumes zero down payment
- Lease for 48 months at 4.98 per cent interest for $787 per month including tax, which includes a $1,500 manufacturer incentive (as compared to no incentive in February) and assumes a 20,000 annual kilometre allowance with zero down payment
Lexus (76 points)
Lexus not only rounded off the top five in Consumer Reports’ ranking, but also topped J.D. Power’s Vehicle Dependability Studyearlier this year.
Equipped with a 3.5-litre, V-6 engine, the 2019 Lexus IS 300 All-Wheel Drive produces 260 horsepower and 236 lb.-ft. of torque. Its interior features include a seven-inch infotainment display, a 10-speaker Lexus premium audio system, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front sport seats and a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel with paddle shifters. Its exterior features auto-levelling LED headlights, LED daytime running lights, rain-sensing wipers with deicing capability and water-repellent front-door glass. All IS trims come standard with Lexus’ Safety System+ suite of active safety technology, which includes a pre-collision system, automatic high-beams, dynamic-radar cruise control and lane-departure alert with steering assist.
2019 Lexus IS 300 All-Wheel Drive
- MSRP: $43,550
- Manufacturer cash incentive: $1,000 (applied after tax)
- Estimated dealer discount: $1,500
- Freight, PDI, government fees: $2,215
- Cash purchase price before tax: $43,380
- Finance for 60 months at 2.9 per cent interest for $879 per month including tax, which includes a $1,000 manufacturer incentive (applied after tax) and assumes zero down payment
- Lease for 48 months at 1.9 per cent interest for $586 per month including tax, which includes a $1,000 manufacturer incentive (applied after tax) and assumes a 20,000 annual kilometre allowance with zero down payment
Manufacturer incentives and pricing calculations are based on Ontario customers and subject to availability of inventory. Dealer discounts shown are estimates for illustrative purposes only, may vary by region and are given at the discretion of individual dealers. Please note that while every effort is made to ensure the information above is accurate at the time of publication, pricing, incentives and discounts are subject to change or discontinuation at any time. Vehicle images may not represent the exact model featured in the pricing provided. Consult your local dealership for details.
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