Every year, Consumer Reports ranks all of the automotive brands on the market, to see which is best overall. To conduct that test, CR uses its own road test scores, predicted reliability, owner satisfaction surveys, safety assessments, and the number of eco-friendly vehicles, across each brand’s entire lineup, to see which is best. In the most recent ranking, BMW took the top spot, after landing in third place last year.

The biggest reason why BMW ranked ahead of its competitors was its strong road test scores, which are CR’s subjective road tests. Its 88 road test score was the highest among all brands, beating out Subaru and Audi, both of which scored 87s. Even Porsche was slightly behind, with an 86. BMW also had a high owner satisfaction report, which when combined with its high road test score was able to just edge out Subaru for the top overall spot. Subaru took home the top spot last year.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, MINI took home the third spot. Considering that MINI uses BMW’s chassis, engines, and technology, it makes sense that its customers would be just as happy as BMW’s and that its road tests would be equally as positive. BMW’s and MINI’s predicted reliability wasn’t stellar, which also fails to surprise, however their strong scores elsewhere were able to bolster both brands enough to put them first and third, respectively.

Interestingly, neither BMW nor MINI took home the highest owner satisfaction report. That title went to Genesis, who jumped 12 spots versus last year. Its road test score of 81 is what kept it from ranking higher but there’s no question, Genesis is making a statement and will start to encroach more on BMW’s territory soon enough. Of all the premium brands for BMW to watch out for, I’d argue Genesis is the most dangerous. Even Porsche—the automotive media darling—ranked lower than Genesis, at 14. Though, Porsche has far fewer models than BMW, so just one bad score can really drop its overall grade.

Still, it’s impressive to see BMW, an expensive luxury car maker, rank so highly. Brands like Subaru, Honda, Toyota, and Lexus always do well because their cars are reliable, safe, and relatively inexpensive, which usually makes for happy customers. So the fact that BMW, whose cars are more expensive and therefor held to higher standards, was able to beat them out is impressive. Though, we’ll see if BMW can hang onto its lead as it debuts more and more electric cars.

[Source: Consumer Reports]