Revealed: who makes the most reliable (and unreliable) cars?
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Every year, Consumer Reports in the US releases its Annual Auto Reliability Survey. It's a study that measures the reliability of mainstream manufacturers according to data accumulated from the firm's members, which entails over 420,000 vehicles.
The survey ranks each marque according to the average level of reliability for its spread of vehicles, with a supporting score out of 100 and the model from each brand that's deemed least and most reliable also supplied.
This year, the top spot went to Lexus with a reliability score of 81. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the top three was locked out by Japanese manufacturers — Lexus followed by Mazda and last year's top dog in the study, Toyota. Porsche was up five placed year-on-year to place fourth, ahead of Hyundai's luxury arm Genesis and Hyundai themselves. Subaru, Dodge (up 13 positions), Kia, and Mini (up five positions) rounded out the study's top 10.
At the bottom end of the list, Cadillac was last for the second straight year. Joining them in the bottom five were Alfa Romeo, Acura, Volkswagen, and Jeep. Acura and Volkswagen were both significant surprises, given that each was nine positions down on where they landed in last year's study — something that Consumer Reports says is indicative of poor responses from owners of Volkswagen Atlas, Volkswagen Tiguan, Acura MDX, and Acura RDX models. Acura's sister brand, Honda, was ranked 12th.
Other noteworthy elements of the list include the rise of both Chrysler (19th) and Tesla (23rd). While Chrysler's nine-position rise is impressive, Tesla's four-spot jump is significant given that 2019 has been the brand's largest year for output.
It's worth underlining that this is an American-based study. Limitations on having sufficient survey data also meant that Fia, Jaguar, Land Rover, Maserati, and Ram were omitted from the list. Likewise, car brands that aren't sold in the US — like Suzuki — aren't on the list either.
Along with its Annual Auto Reliability Survey, Consumer Reports also just issued its list of the 10 least reliable cars on sale in the US, based on the same aforementioned data. Chevrolet took the unwanted first and second spots with their Colorado and Camaro (the Colorado differs from the Holden Colorado sold locally).
The new Jeep Wrangler was third, with the Alfa Romeo Giulia, Volkswagen Atlas, Volkswagen Tiguan, Acura MDX, Tesla Model X, Chrysler Pacifica, and Chevrolet Traverse rounding out the unceremonious ten.
The full Annual Auto Reliability Survey list can be viewed below.
Data comes from CR's exclusive Annual Auto Survey.
To be included in the ranking, a brand must have sufficient survey data for two or more models.
We don't have sufficient data to rank Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Jaguar, Land Rover, Maserati, Mitsubishi, Ram, or Smart.