Consumer Reports Says This Car Brand is the Best in 2023

While BMW’s design department has faced considerable scrutiny in recent years, that hasn’t stopped the brand from leaving a positive impression on buyers. For 2023, the German automaker is the best car brand according to Consumer Reports. An improved interface and better reliability rankings have helped propel the Bavarian brand to the top spot over Subaru, Mini, and Lexus.

A green 2023 BMW M440 xDrive Convertible drives down a road
2023 BMW M440 xDrive Convertible | BMW Group

Improved iDrive functionality helps propel BMW up the Consumer Reports list

One of the key features helping make BMW the best car brand according to this Consumer Reports list is its revised iDrive infotainment display. As some may remember, the old system included a finicky gesture-based control system. For those who didn’t want to do a Harry Potter impression just to change audio settings, there were several menus to navigate.

The new system ditches those gesture controls for a voice-activated system. In addition, natural language processing allows the system to learn different voices and speech patterns to become more intuitive over time.

Other improvements include simplified menu layouts and the presence of physical buttons. That’s more than we can say for brands like VW and Mercedes-Benz, both of which slipped in the 2023 Consumer Reports ranking.

Owner satisfaction plays a role in making BMW the best car brand according to Consumer Reports

The BMW M5 helped make BMW the best car brand according to Consumer Reports
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Also factored when creating the top automotive brands list are consumer surveys. BMW consistently ranks high for customer satisfaction, proving that recent changes are bringing the brand back to its former glory

Currently, BMW’s lineup includes both high-end luxury vehicles and rowdy sports cars, two things the brand has become known for. Intermixed are affordable and dynamic luxury cars and crossovers that are gaining popularity for their well-rounded appeal. This versatile lineup appeals to a wide range of buyers, and those buyers are loving the experiences provided by the new BMW offerings.

BMW reliability improvements make them a Consumer Reports best car brand

A major factor in Consumer Reports’ top brands ranking is reported reliability. This is an area where BMW has traditionally struggled. However, the brand’s new models earn high marks here as well, helping propel the German outfit from third to first in the overall ranking.

Subaru falls to second

Subaru owners are incredibly loyal and its vehicles have a reputation for both safety and reliability. However, BMW’s focus on simplified in-car tech have put it above the Japanese automaker in 2023.

In addition, Consumer Reports likes the vast lineup of hybrid and plug-in hybrid options in the BMW family. This is an area where Subaru is currently falling behind, though we expect that to change in the near future.

Other brands making gains

Other notable brands climbing the Consumer Reports list are Tesla and Lincoln. Both of these brands saw marked gains in both reliability and customer satisfaction, helping move them away from the bottom. However, Genesis made the biggest strides forward in 2023. The fresh-faced luxury car brand jumped a whopping 12 spots over its 2022 ranking. They now sit seventh on the Consumer Reports list, just behind Honda and Toyota.

How the Consumer Reports ranking is decided

There are several factors affecting how Consumer Reports ranks automotive brands. Road testing, safety technology, and efficiency are large factors. Also considered are reliability and customer satisfaction, both areas where BMW currently excels.