The report cards are out, and Mazda is Consumer Reports’ Best Brand for 2021. This is the first time the Japanese automaker stood atop the rankings, but it follows their win at the American publication’s Reliability Survey in November 2020.
Compared to the Reliability Survey, which cumulatively covers the 2000-2020 model years, the Consumer Reports’ annual ranking takes into account the current model line-up only.
Using the overall score for each model, and then factoring in road-test performance, predicted reliability, owner satisfaction, and safety, Consumer Reports would come up with a brand Overall Score.
Brands that rise to the top tend to have the most consistent performance across their lineup.
Out of seven Mazda models tested and surveyed by Consumer Reports, all were given the coveted green or “Recommended” ranking with the CX-30 awarded as the publication’s top pick for subcompact SUV.
To land a top recommendation, a vehicle needs to score well in road tests, predicted reliability, owner satisfaction, and safety.
Consumer Reports said it conducts several tests on each vehicle it evaluates: braking, handling, comfort, convenience, safety, and fuel economy. Vehicles go through 6,000 miles (9,650+ kilometers) of general driving and evaluations during the testing process. Consumer Reports adds that it does not accept free samples from automakers.
Among other carmakers, Honda showed the most improvement, increasing 10 spots into the Top 5, aided by improved reliability. BMW also rose this year into the Top 5. A pair of gainers—Chrysler and Buick—made it into the Top 10 because of incremental improvements in their product lines and downward movement by rivals. The luxury brands Genesis and Lincoln registered the biggest drops, each because of subpar predicted reliability.
Out of 31 brands ranked, here are the top 10: