The best car brands of 2021 have been named, with over 30 companies in the rankings.
These results come from Consumer Reports’ annual automotive report card. They’re a US-based independent testing body that buys and evaluates various vehicles each year, providing feedback on multiple areas, including reliability, comfort, handling, look, and feel. It’s important to note that they only rank brands where they’ve tested at least two vehicles from the current line-up. Consequently, the brands can vary from year to year.
Consumer Report’s testing process is one of the most vigorous. Plus, it’s also the most independent, as each car is purchased, not loaned, or gifted from manufacturers. That means the publication can be unbiased and dedicate sufficient time and effort to testing.
The winner for 2021 is Mazda, with an overall score of 80, followed closely by BMW and Subaru.
The top 10 car brands are Mazda, BMW, Subaru, Porsche, Honda, Lexus, Toyota, Chrysler, Buick, and Hyundai.
Japanese car brand, Mazda, takes out the top spot as the best car brand of 2021. Not only did it score Best Overall, but it also took the top place in Best Overall Mainstream and Best Reliability, beating luxury brands like BMW, Tesla, and Porsche. The Mazda CX-30 is also listed in the top ten vehicles as the best Subcompact SUV. The company has been in business since 1920, with a brand essence to ‘celebrate driving,’ making fun-to-drive models across the range.
Runner up on the list is the German luxury car manufacturer, BMW, which is an improvement from the previous year. Technology, excellent comfort levels, fuel efficiency, and powertrain refinement are the cornerstones of the brand’s reputation. The cars are fun to drive, with intuitive infotainment, good reliability, and stylish looks.
Not only did Subaru come third in overall brand rating, but it also had two individual cars named in the top ten. The Forester is the Best Small SUV, while the Outback is the Best SUV/Wagon. Focusing on these kinds of vehicles is a winning formula, with the signature all-wheel-drive consistently leading the brand to be ranked high on the Consumer Reports Top Picks.
Luxury brand Porsche is synonymous with both high-end sporty vehicles and race cars. While there is still a focus on the sporty models, newer additions to the range include SUVs like the Cayenne and Macan. All models boast beautiful interiors, excellent handling, and superb braking. The company can also claim the three-way tied title of Best Road Test Score Overall (tied with Audi and Tesla) in the Consumer Reports 2021 testing. Plus, it’s the highest-ranking European brand for reliability in its SUVs.
Moving up ten spots from last year, Honda showed the most improvement in the 2021 list. It always had a competitive fuel economy and energetic powertrains. However, the rise in the ranking was primarily thanks to advancements in reliability, with most models now boasting average or higher reliability. The Ridgeline took out top ranking for the Best Compact Pickup Truck with revised styling and an updated infotainment system.
The Lexus RX combines comfort, performance, safety, and reliability to win the Best Midsize SUV. Beyond that, the brand is all about luxury. It embraces Omotenashi, the Japanese spirit of hospitality, to anticipate and fulfill all your needs before you know you have them. Enjoy the latest innovations, including electrification, unrivaled comfort and attention to detail, and the most deluxe finishes.
Three Toyota vehicles ranked in the Top 10, while the company itself is number seven in the overall brands’ rating. The Corolla is the Best Small Car, the Prius is the Best Hybrid, and the Camry is the Best Midsize Sedan. The Japanese brand is consistent in terms of reliability, quality, and customer satisfaction. Plus, all three of their top models also earned the Consumer Report Green Choice label, something that’s increasingly important for consumers.
Best American Brand Overall goes to Chrysler, original makers of the minivan. There are currently three models, including the 300 sedan, Pacifica, and Voyager minivans. All have excellent storage capacity and intuitive infotainment and controls. The company is part of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles group, which joined forces in January 2021 with Groupe PSA to create Stellantis, a leader in sustainable mobility.
Buick sits under the General Motors (GM) umbrella and straddles the line between mainstream and luxury. It’s more luxurious than the GM’s mainstream brands but not quite the same standard as the flagship Cadillac. The current focus is the selection of SUVs that features small, compact, and mid-size options. Each has beautiful, signature interiors with inspiration in every detail, intuitive storage, quality infotainment and controls, and excellent reliability.
Hyundai has one of the largest fleets on offer with sedans, hybrids, a sports car, SUVs, and a pick-up truck. Most of the styles from this Korean brand are solid performers, with nice fit and finish, useful details, and good controls. As such, it’s one of the most trustworthy brands. It also boasts a commitment to creating a better, smarter, more sustainable future, which is why the hybrid Ioniq is such a great challenger to the Toyota Prius.