Car brands flare up into people’s consciousness with a new model or a new TV commercial or a new scandal. Mazda goes vroom, vroom, vroom and people give them some consideration. Chevy surges in mindshare with the Volt for a bit. VW — well, that’s something else entirely.
Then there is the place you want to be in the auto business — boringly, steadily, yawningly, monotonously at the top. No surging, no vrooming. That’s Toyota and its luxury outfit Lexus. You don’t have to think about them much; they seem to like it that way — out of mind is the definition of reliable. You can take Lexus and Toyota for granted, in the best possible sense. The venerable Consumer Reports again ranks Lexus and Toyota #1 and #2 in its 2017 reliability survey. With nine models, Lexus had an average reliability score of 86, eleven points above any competitor not named Toyota (whose 12 models recorded a 78 average score).