Is there a more desirable attribute that a car owner hopes to experience in a vehicle than reliability? That’s the property of being “consistently good in quality or performance,” according to our dictionary. If a car is reliable, it means it will function predictably well after, say, two years of ownership in much the same way that it did on the day you drove it out of the dealership.
In other words, a reliable automobile is one that won’t give you headaches.
The problem is that car buyers don’t have an idea if the vehicle they’re purchasing will turn out to be reliable. If you think about it, car-shopping is one big gamble. Like a box of chocolates, as Forrest Gump famously said. Thankfully, there are ways to learn from other people’s experiences with certain makes and models, and one of them is Consumer Reports’ survey on reliability, in which car owners rate vehicles based on the number of problems they encountered in “the past 12 months.”
In this survey, the perfect score is 100, while the average is anywhere from 41 to 60. Click here for a detailed explanation of the whole process.
For this year, here are the 10 most reliable (as well as the 10 least reliable) cars in the United States:
10 MOST RELIABLE CARS IN THE US
- Mazda MX-5 Miata – 95
- Toyota Prius Prime – 94
- Toyota Prius – 92
- Lexus GX – 91
- Hyundai Kona – 90
- Mazda CX-3 – 89
- Lexus NX – 89 (tied for 6th)
- Toyota 4Runner – 87
- Mazda CX-9 – 87 (tied for 8th)
- Lexus GS – 87 (tied for 8th)
10 LEAST RELIABLE CARS IN THE US
- Chevrolet Colorado – 4
- Chevrolet Camaro – 5
- Jeep Wrangler – 12
- Alfa Romeo Giulia – 13
- Volkswagen Atlas – 13 (tied for 4th)
- Volkswagen Tiguan – 15
- Acura MDX – 15 (tied for 6th)
- Tesla Model X – 15 (tied for 6th)
- Chrysler Pacifica – 16
- Chevrolet Traverse – 18
Now, more important than the individual vehicle rankings are those for the brands, which are based on the average reliability of all the models in a manufacturer’s product lineup. To qualify for this ranking, a brand needs to have “sufficient survey data for two or more models.”
“Owning a Lexus is so much more than just owning a car,” Lexus Philippines vice president Carlo Ablaza declares. “Each Lexus comes with peace of mind brought about by the thoughtful craftsmanship and the attention to detail put into each vehicle. Through our trademark reliability and class-leading refinement, we have been redefining what luxury is since 1989.”
“It is no surprise that Mazda continues to improve not only in terms of design and performance, but more so in overall quality and reliability,” shares Mazda Philippines president and CEO Steven Tan. “The fourth-generation MX-5 you see on the road today comes from the same manufacturing plant as the rest of the MX-5 cars around the world. They benefit from the same attention to detail that Japanese-made Mazda vehicles have been known for.”
NOTE: You may have noticed that the most reliable (or least reliable) cars in the individual vehicle rankings are sometimes not the same as those in the brand rankings. That’s because the latter factor in the survey’s so-called “predicted reliability,” which is basically projected reliability based on the model’s history (if the eligible version is new). “We will make a prediction for a brand-new or redesigned model, or a model with insufficient data, based on the manufacturer’s track record, history of the previous generation, or similar models that shared the same components,” Consumer Reports explains.