If you ask the question, “What automaker makes the best cars?” you’re cracking open a big, messy can of worms. What defines best? Is it speed? Build quality? Comfort? And who gets to decide what’s best: car enthusiasts, soccer moms, or algorithms? Well, after some rigorous testing, Consumer Reports believes it has the answer: Mazda.
While it isn’t infallible, CR has a pretty decent reputation for doing unbiased and in-depth testing. This isn’t just one reviewer saying the car is good. The score given to each brand reflects four different factors:
- The CR road test that analyzes more than 50 different areas of performance.
- Predicted reliability based on problems that have been pinpointed in 17 different areas.
- Owner satisfaction based on what CR members say.
- Safety standards—you get more points if you have proven safety features on all trims, not just the higher-end ones.
For this analysis, CR also looked at how many green options the automaker provides, which served as a little bonus tidbit.
And after all of that, Mazda ranked as number one, taking over the title of best automaker from Porsche. Here’s the top five:
I don’t know about you, but I was pretty shocked to see BMW rank so high—it jumped six places from 2020 to 2021 to secure its runner-up finish.
And, yes, I can’t let you go without pointing out the worst. In this list, number one represents the worst car on CR’s analysis:
- Alfa Romeo
- Land Rover
I was also really fascinated by the fact that Genesis was the biggest mover in this whole debacle, losing 13 spaces between 2020 and 2021 to finish 15th. The road test scores for Genesis machines were great, but it really suffered in the reliability department this time around.
If you want more information on how the ranking was conducted, you’ll have to head over to Consumer Reports.