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Audi tops Consumer Reports rating despite diesel scandal

If you can find a silver lining in any sort of dilemma, you’ve got a little win on your hands. In that case, Audi must be very happy, indeed, right now with news that the Ingolstadt brand topped U.S. Consumer Reports vehicle quality ratings. This comes just months after the entire Volkswagen Group, Audi included, was caught cheating on diesel emissions in the US.

Audi topped the chart for all new vehicles sold in the US last year, beating out last year’s top brand, Tesla. In fact, Tesla actually took quite a fall and the Model S, CR’s overall top car last year, is now behind the Audi A8L, BMW 750i xDrive and Lexus LS. This is a good day for Audi.

Audi A8

Audi won this for having top marks in road testing, reliability, safety,¬†quality and customer satisfaction. That last part is what’s so surprising, because Audi’s parent company, Volkswagen, has suffered a 15 percent drop in sales since its diesel scandal went public. However, according to David Cole, chairman emeritus of the Center for Automotive Research, Audi hasn’t suffered the same effect. In fact, sales are actually up 2.7 percent in January. So Audi hasn’t had its reputation tarnished, like Volkswagen has, despite any scandal.¬†Admittedly, CR didn’t test any VW or Audi diesels, as those cars cannot be sold in the US at the moment.

Either way, though, this is a big win for Audi. The brand has had a poor reputation for reliability within the past few years, justified or not, and this diesel scandal has not helped. But this CR report clearly shows that Audi makes some of the best, most high-quality premium luxury vehicles on the planet. This silver lining isn’t a little win for Audi, it’s a big win.

Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.