Lexus, Mazda get highest marks in Consumer Reports auto brand study

Tue Feb 24, 2015 1:43pm EST
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DETROIT (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp's (7201.T: Quote) Lexus brand finished on top of the Consumer Reports annual "brand report card" for the third straight year, the influential U.S. magazine said on Tuesday.

Japanese brands took four of the top five places. Mazda Motor Corp (7261.T: Quote) was second and the best finisher among non-luxury brands. Toyota (7203.T: Quote) came in third, followed by Volkswagen AG's (VOWG_p.DE: Quote) Audi from Germany and Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd's (7270.T: Quote) Subaru from Japan.

For the first time, a U.S. brand made the top 10. General Motor Co's (GM.N: Quote) Buick came in seventh, just behind VW's Porsche.

Ranking eighth through 10th were namesake brands from Honda Motor Co (7267.T: Quote), Kia Motors Corp (000270.KS: Quote) and BMW (BMWG.DE: Quote).

The Buick Regal was named best sports sedan model, displacing last year's champion, the BMW 328i.

"Today, many domestic models can go toe-to-toe with the best imports," said Jake Fisher, director of automotive testing at Consumer Reports.

Falling the most in the brand ratings was Daimler AG's (DAIGn.DE: Quote) Mercedes-Benz, to 21st from 10th last year. Consumer Reports said several models, including the CLA, were unreliable.

For the second year in a row, Tesla Motors Inc's (TSLA.O: Quote) Model S was named the best model overall.

The Audi A6 was named the best luxury car for the third straight year.   Continued...

A Lexus F Sport is displayed on pedestals during the second press day of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, January 13, 2015.  REUTERS/Mark Blinch