Asian’s own 9 of the top 10 while domestics are bottom dwellers.
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG
- Oct. 29, 2012
If one word could describe this year’s reliability survey, it would be “Toyota
Consumer Reports just minutes ago released their 2012 Reliability survey and while we know the usual culprits will continue to occupy the top and the bottom, to see Toyota’s brands take the top 3 in convincing fashion is … well … Toyota.
From the release, Japanese brands claimed the top seven spots in new-car reliability. At the other end of the spectrum, Ford now ranks second from the bottom, followed closely by Lincoln???
Each Toyota brand touts that their entire product range has average or better predicted reliability. The subcompact Toyota Prius C
earned Consumer Reports top overall reliability rating although was not a recommended vehicle given its dynamics and low rent interior by comparison to its B-segment competitors.
Overall, of the 90 Japanese models, 86 were average or better reliability, with 35 with the highest ratings.
Ford Falls From Grace
Just two years ago, Ford was Detroit's reliability leader. It cracked the top 10 among brands in Consumer Reports predicted-reliability scores, with more than 90 percent of its models being average or better. Now, 60 percent of its models are below average, with the worst being literally off the chart at 226-percent worse than the average car.
Several factors contributed to Ford's decline in Consumer Reports reliability rankings. A few new or redesigned models, including the Explorer, Fiesta, and Focus, came out of the gate with more problems than normal. What has continued to damage the brand however is the MyFord/MyLincoln Touch electronic infotainment system. It has been added to many vehicles and with disillusioned owners from across the continent, continues to hard the iconic brands name via poor reliability scores.
CR added that three historically reliable Ford models--the Escape and Fusion and Lincoln MKZ--were redesigned for 2013 and not included in this analysis.
Cadillac is the top domestic brand, having moved up 14 spots this year. All GM nameplates--Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC--rose in the ranking. The Volt extended-range electric car continues to have above-average reliability, and the compact Chevrolet Cruze, dismal in its first year, improved to average.
Chrysler brands had a few setbacks. This year, Consumer Reports has enough data to report that problems with some of the recently revamped Chrysler and Dodge models have dragged the nameplates' rankings down. Last year Jeep was the top-ranked domestic brand, but it has since slid down six positions. Separating its trucks into a new nameplate, Ram, didn't help Dodge's standing.
The story from Europe is decidedly upbeat, with all of the German luxury brands showing improvement. Six of the seven Audis in CR's survey rated average or better, as did 10 of the 12 BMWs. Mercedes-Benz made a good showing, with the turbocharged, four-cylinder C250 sedan doing well in its first year and the V6 E-Class sedan moving from average to above average. But the redesigned M-Class came in below average in its first year. Volkswagen had mixed results due to troubles with the Beetle, GTI, Jetta, and Touareg.
Consumer Reports' Car Reliability Survey
Manufacturers: Best to Worst
CR's 10 least reliable cars?
The vehicles listed below are the 10 least reliable new cars in the CR reliability survey. Predicted reliability is typically based on the newest three model years if a model hasn't been redesigned in that period, Models with an asterisk (*) are based on data of one model year only. Click on the vehicles below to visit the model overview pages to see how they performed in our tests and also view a more-detailed look at reliability broken down by 17 potential trouble spots. (Model overview pages are available to online subscribers.)
Least reliable vehicles, listed in order of Ratings score starting with the worst score.
- Ford Explorer (V6, 4WD)
- Ford Focus (hatchback)*
- Jaguar XF*
- Mini Cooper Countryman
- Ford Explorer (V6, 2WD)
- Lincoln MKX
- Ram 2500 (turbodiesel)
- Jaguar XJ*
- Lincoln MKT*
- Ford Flex EcoBoost
According to the CR release, the findings for the Survey were based on subscribers' experiences with 1.2 million vehicles. The organization uses that extensive data to predict how well new cars that are currently on sale will likely hold up.