For the first time, Mazda has just topped Consumer Reports’ annual list of the most reliable car brands. Despite the Covid pandemic, Mazda’s North American sales increased last year thanks to the success of its CX-9 seven-seat sport utility vehicle and CX-30 crossover.
On the Consumer Reports 2021 Brand Report Card, which was released on Thursday, BMW, Subaru, Porsche and Honda rounded out the top five positions.
In the list of 32 brands, Alfa Romeo dropped to the bottom, behind Land Rover, Mitsubishi, Jeep and Lincoln. Market Reports buys cars anonymously from dealerships for road testing to determine the rankings. It performs braking, handling, comfort, convenience, safety and fuel economy tests, and provides survey responses in its review from subscribers of Consumer Reports.
Porsche and Genesis (which Hyundai owns) topped the report card in 2020. This year, Consumer Reports said, Genesis dropped 13 places “due to declining predicted reliability among its models.”
In the rankings, Lincoln saw the worst fall, falling 15 places to 28th. Market Reviews noted that the Aviator and Corsair, the brand’s redesigned sport utility vehicles, performed well in road tests but had “much below average reliability.”
Tesla, the top American-owned car brand last year, dropped five positions to land at 16.
Market Reports said Elon Musk’s electric vehicle company was “dragged down by reliability issues with the Model S, Model Y, and Model X.”
In the U.S., Tesla recently issued a voluntary recall of tens of thousands of its older Model S and Model X vehicles due to touchscreen failures that pose a safety risk for drivers.
In November, Tesla also recalled about 9,500 Model X and Model Y cars over defective roof trims and bolts.
Market Studies said that Tesla received high scores for owner satisfaction and performed well in road tests. However, only the Model 3, the more affordable electric sedan from Tesla, had a high enough reliability and overall score to be recommended by Customer Reports to drivers.
Mini, Kia and Volkswagen lagged only behind Tesla, all of which followed in Tesla’s footsteps and now sell pure battery electrics.
Mitsubishi, Land Rover and, fifth, Alfa Romeo were at the bottom of Consumer Reports’ 2021 lists. “Due to “worsened reliability” and weak results in road tests, Alfa Romeo fell by 5 places, Customer Reports said.