Every year, Consumer Reports sends dozens of car models through half a million miles of track testing and data collection. The non-profit organization buys all of its test cars anonymously from dealers and does not accept free samples from automakers. The Consumer Reports testing regimen includes more than 50 scientific tests on every vehicle it evaluates.
The respected organization combines their findings with survey data from their 6 million subscribers to publish their annual Consumer Reports brand rankings. The pinnacle of the Consumer Reports’ annual rankings is the overall scores tallied for each brand.
Get the most when you sell your car.
Compare and choose multiple offers in minutes:
In 2022, Consumer Reports scored 32 automotive brands based on their overall scores in reliability, consumer satisfaction, road testing and safety. This year’s rankings bring surprising changes and a new leader.
Subaru Overtakes Mazda as the Top-Ranked Auto Brand
Subaru climbed two spots to number one in the 2022 Consumer Reports brand rankings. The Japanese automaker known for standard all-wheel drive dethroned Mazda with an overall score of 81. The 2022 Subaru Forester has ranked among Consumer Reports’ top picks for the 9th consecutive year. Fascinatingly, six of the top 10 brands in 2022 are Japanese automakers: Subaru, Mazda, Honda, Lexus, Toyota and Infiniti.
The highest ranking American automakers in 2022 are Buick (72), Chrysler (71), and Dodge (67). Cadillac and Ford just barely passed the test, scoring 63 and 62 overall. Chrysler and Dodge have been known for reliability issues in the past, so it’s great to see them improving. Likewise, BMW’s luxury vehicles have long been known for their maintenance expenses, so to achieve #3 overall is a notable feat.
As more automakers make advanced safety features standard on their models, the weight of Consumer Reports’ safety scoring is separating the winners from the losers.
The Best Car Brands in 2022
With Subaru now number one overall, Mazda falls to second place, followed by BMW, Honda, Lexus, Audi, Porsche, Mini, Toyota, and Infiniti. Here are the overall brand scores from Consumer Reports.
Tesla Slips With Polarizing Steering Wheel
Tesla fell seven spots to #23 in Consumer Reports’ overall brand rankings. In a press release, Consumer Reports cited the so-called ‘yoke’ steering wheel in the refreshed Tesla Model X and Model S as causes for concern and consumer dissatisfaction. Jake Fisher of Consumer Reports told Automotive News that Tesla’s tendency to push the limits is partly to blame. “It dropped more than any other automaker, kind of due to their own decisions,” he said.
Consumer Reports Green Choice Awards Remain Hybrid-Focused
Everyone’s talking EVs, however Toyota’s hybrid powertrains remain the top-rated low-emissions choice at Consumer Reports. As part of their focus on low-emissions transportation, CR included the Green Choice designation for the second year. Toyota (9th overall) leads the Green Choice awards with 11 hybrid and plug-in hybrid models on the list.
What’s particularly interesting about this is the fact that Toyota has yet to release a single fully-electric vehicle. Their first, the 2023 Toyota bZ4X, is due to arrive later this year.
You can access the detailed 2022 Consumer Reports brand rankings with a membership to the non-profit.
CarEdge recently shared 5 vehicles to avoid in 2022. What about the best deals on the market today? These five vehicles have high resale values, excellent reliability, and reasonable prices. If you’re looking to make a purchase you won’t regret, these 5 models are safe bets. Here are the best cars to buy in 2022.
Why are there so many Subarus on the road these days? Drivers love their all-wheel drive crossovers, and Subaru represents the best of the best. Subarus consistently retain unusually high resale values, and that helps to soften the impact of today’s higher prices. The Subaru Forester is known for solid reliability (especially in older models) and class-leading safety ratings. Today’s Subarus also get decent fuel economy, especially on the highway. All-wheel drive and a comfortable, spacious interior make the Subaru Forester the ultimate all-weather roadtripper. The challenge will be finding one. Subaru has been hit hard by the chip shortage, but things may improve later this year.
Reviewers and owners love the agile handling, generous interior of the Mazda CX-30. New for 2022, the CX-30 now comes with standard all-wheel drive and a more plush interior. In today’s market, the CX-30 represents the best value within the Mazda line. The Mazda CX-30 is ‘only’ up 23%, much less than the overall Mazda brand, which is up 35% year-over-year. Cost of ownership is relatively low for the CX-30, and a great factory warranty offers peace of mind. This is the Mazda to buy in 2022.
Hyundai IONIQ 5
This retro-inspired family-sized electric crossover is sure to stand out on the road. Over the past few decades, Hyundai has completely transformed its reputation in North America. Now, Hyundai’s push to electrification sees the brand strengthening its image as a tech-savvy and reliable automaker. The IONIQ 5 is the fastest charging electric vehicle you can buy for under $50,000. Two years of FREE charging at Electrify America can save frequent travelers thousands of dollars. The $7,500 federal tax credit for electric vehicles is icing on the cake. We recently covered the IONIQ 5 in-depth at CarEdge, check out our first look here.
Toyota RAV4 Prime
You’re probably not shocked to see Toyota on the list of the 5 best cars to buy in 2022. Over the past year, the Toyota RAV4 Prime has not appreciated to the extent that many of its competitors have. The RAV4 Prime combines Toyota’s superior build quality with an innovative powertrain meant to bridge the gap between combustion and EVs. Expected resale value is 67% after five years, which is incredible.
The 2022 RAV4 Prime features a spacious interior and a surprising amount of power with a 0-60 time of 5.7 seconds. If you’re thinking about going electric but can’t quite overcome range anxiety, this is the vehicle for you. There’s a hybrid engine (gas-powered) under the hood, an electric motor up at the front, and another electric motor powering the rear axle. These three power plants combine forces to provide standard all-wheel drive, the option of all-electric driving, and range-boosting hybrid mode when going the distance. You can plug in, but you don’t have to. The RAV4 Prime is a future-proof Toyota at under $50,000!
Low cost of ownership, plenty of utility and the highest resale value on the market earns the Toyota Tacoma top honors. After five years of ownership, you can expect to retain 79% of the original value with the Tacoma. That is remarkable! The 2023 Tacoma refresh brings a new engine and muscular looks to the popular truck. The Tacoma is a safe bet in the crazy auto market in 2022. Your best chance to get one is to put your name on a dealer allocation. The Tacoma doesn’t sit on the lot for very long with value like this.
Bonus – Another Toyota!
The Toyota Highlander is a family-sized SUV with great resale value. Toyota as a brand is up 40% on the used car market, but the spacious and reliable Highlander is ‘only’ up 33%. Not bad considering today’s circumstances. J.D. Power gives the Toyota Highlander top scores for reliability.
CarEdge Is Here to Empower the Consumer
Did we miss anything? What would your list look like? Let us know if you agree with our CarEdge top picks. If you think we missed the mark, we’d love to hear your top cars to buy in 2022.
Don’t forget to check out the CarEdge list of 5 vehicles to avoid in 2022. Our picks came as a shock to some, but we shared exactly why you should steer clear of these models for now.
It’s a strange time to be in the market for a vehicle. Don’t go it alone! At caredge.kinsta.cloud, we strive to empower the consumer with car buying know-how that makes finding your next vehicle less of a pain. CarEdge Car Search provides unique auto industry insights that other car listings don’t show you. CarEdge TotalPrice™ shows you the out-the-door price so that you know what to expect before you walk into the dealership.