Buick Is First US Automaker To Crack Consumer Reports Top 10

Feb 25, 2015 02:00 PM EST | Jordan Ecarma

Buick has made history among American automakers as the first to break into the Consumer Reports auto brands top 10, the Associated Press reported.

The General Motors brand came in seventh in the annual brand rankings, which are now in their third year. Consumer Reports uses a combination of road-test and reliability scores to calculate each brand's overall ranking.

Foreign carmakers still dominated overall, with Lexus, Mazda, Toyota, Audi and Subaru taking the top five spots. Toyota's luxury division has taken the top spot for all three years that Consumer Reports has ranked brands.

The Buick Regal took the title for best sports sedan, while GM's Chevrolet Impala won in the best large car category.

California-based Tesla couldn't be included in the list of brands because it only offers one car so far, but its electric Model S sedan scored No. 1 overall in individual model rankings for the second year in a row.

The test will be to see if Tesla can maintain that level of quality and innovation as it expands its lineup.

"The question is whether Tesla can keep its reliability together as it expands with the Model X this year and later the planned Model 3," said Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports' director of automotive testing, as quoted by the Los Angeles Times. "Their reliability is average now, and it doesn't take much to sink below the line."

While Japanese brands still dominated, carmakers based in the United States have greatly improved their reputations.

"For years domestic automakers built lower-priced and lower-quality alternatives to imports, but those days are behind us," Fisher told the Times. "Today many domestic models can go toe-to-toe with the best imports."

Toyota scored with the Highlander, which took the title for best midsized sport-utility vehicle, and the Prius, which was declared the best green offering; Honda had the best minivan with the Odyssey.

Subaru won big with three Top Pick models: the Legacy as midsized sedan; the Impreza as compact car; and the Subaru Forester as small SUV.

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