While car brand reputation can be a strong influence on purchase decisions, such perceptions can be misleading. The reality is, every brand offers models that perform across a spectrum, with some are clearly better than others.
As we see in our annual Car Brand Perception survey, how consumers view brands can often be a trailing indicator and not reflect the current reality. To further illustrate this point, we have compiled a list chronicling the best and worst models by brand based on our overall test scores.
The test performance variation differs from brand to brand, with some brands' worst model being still doing rather well, while others span a wide range making any generalities quite misleading. Take Acura, for example. Even its worst model, the ILX, scores a 77 (out of 100) and meets our performance standards, safety, and reliability criteria to be Recommended. Meanwhile, the best Jeep is the Grand Cherokee Laredo V6. It earns 71 points in our tests, six points less than the worst Acura. However, the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited marks the low point in our current ratings, scoring only a 20.
The gap between best and worst can be even broader. Chevrolet, for instance, spans from the Corvette Z06 (92) to the Spark (34).