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Consumer Reports: Mazda Crowned Most Reliable Brand of 2020, Fiat Worst Overall

Another year, another Consumer Reports evaluation. The best overall brand is Porsche, the German automaker that also called dibs on the best road test score overall. The obviousness continues with Tesla, which is the nonprofit organization’s best American brand overall in 2020.
2020 AUTOS SPOTLIGHT - CR's Annual Report on Car Performance, Reliability, Satisfaction & Safety 55 photos
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What comes as a bit of a surprise is Mazda. The headline says it all, and it's hard not to wonder how Consumer Reports came to that conclusion given the Japanese automaker’s reliability record and the notorious issues of the six-speed automatic transmission. There’s no mistaking Mazda is more reliable than Fiat – which is the worst brand overall in 2020 – but then again, what about Lexus? What about Toyota? Anyone notice the elephant in the room?

The owner of a Mazda3 took to Reddit to explain the problems of his car after only 2,000 miles, starting with the rubber seals of the doors that warp under direct sunlight. The rearview mirror droops when going over bumpy roads, the sunglass holder cover squeaks when opening or closing it, the sun visor also droops if extended all the way, and there are “interior buzzes and rattles.”

Consumer Reports combines four factors to evaluate brands. These are the vehicle’s performance in a road test – which is pretty subjective, owner satisfaction surveys – which are also subjective, safety ratings, and overall reliability. I am a Mazda enthusiast since I drove my first Mazda years ago, but the Consumer Reports evaluation for 2020 seems to be just a little bit off.

The bias that Consumer Reports exhibits from time to time took a turn for the worse in 2015 when the Tesla Model S P85D was awarded 103 points out of a possible 100. Two months after this polarizing incident, the Model S downgraded to “not recommended” over “declining reliability.”

Mitsubishi is also listed on the landing page for the Annual Report on Car Performance, Reliability, Satisfaction & Safety, but the Japanese automaker is on the same footing as Fiat. “Worst road test score” is how Consumer Reports puts it, explaining that every single model in the Mitsubishi lineup is nothing more than an also-ran that scored near the bottom of its category.

Subaru has two accolades to its name for best overall mainstream brand and best road test score of a mainstream brand. On an ending note, doesn't it seem strange that Toyota and Lexus failed to win any accolade this time around? Back in November 2019, Lexus had 81 points for reliability from Consumer Reports while Mazda and Toyota tied for second place with 77.

 
 
 
 
 

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