Do You Have a Reliable Auto?
Each year, Consumer Reports publishes its Annual Auto Reliability Survey, which queries 2.8 million readers and considers data on more than 740,000 vehicles. This year, Lexus, Toyota, Audi, Kia, Mazda, and Subaru were rated the most reliable brands, with Lexus and Toyota taking the top two spots for the second year in a row. Note that Lexus is the luxury vehicle division of Toyota.
Not faring so well was Acura, dropping seven spots from last year. In-car electronics and recently developed transmissions weighed down the scores for Ford, Cadillac, Honda, Nissan, Fiat-Chrysler, and others.
Surprisingly the Tesla Model S came under fire as well, despite its high performance marks (see video below). Last year, the Tesla Model S scored the highest of any car ever. However, this year, owners reported less reliability. According to the Consumer Reports survey, owners of the Model S reported “a wide range of problems with the drivetrain, power equipment, charging equipment, the giant iPad-like center console, and body and sunroof squeaks, rattles and leaks.” For more on this see “Tesla Reliability Doesn’t Match Its High Performance.”
According to Jake Fisher, Director of Consumer Reports Automotive Testing, “We’ve seen a number of brands struggle with new transmission technology whether it’s a complex system such as a dual-clutch gearbox, a continuously variable transmission or one of the eight or nine speeds. Many vehicles require repair and replacements because of rough shifting among the gears and slipping CVT belts.” Audi, BMW, Honda and Toyota fared best in the transmission category with strong performance and reviews.
The following video from Consumer Reports explains the most and least reliable car brands as well as the two most troublesome spots for some brands: infotainment systems and recently developed transmissions.