One thing people usually consider before buying a car is how reliable it is. After all, a car is a major investment and everyone would prefer as many years possible to pass before that investment starts experiencing mechanical breakdowns.
Luckily, Consumer Reports conducts a survey every year in which real car owners report all problems their car experience over the course of a few years and here is a summary of this year’s results.
Drum Roll Please – Best Rated Cars
In the most recent study, Japanese cars came out on top among over one million cars in the survey. Toyota topped the list, with Lexus coming in second; this makes the second year in the row for Toyota and Lexus to score in the top two for most reliable cars. The four lowest-scoring brands were all from Fiat.
Mazda and Honda trailed closely behind Toyota and Lexus, coming in at positions 3 and 4 in the reliability survey. Toyota and Lexus continue to stay on top because they purposely avoid completely redesigning their products, approaching vehicle design more deliberately and introducing features slowly while reusing many of the same components and features to score highly in the area of reliability.
Some American brands scored well. Lincoln moved up 12 spots this year, coming in at 15, and Buick made it into the Top 10 list. In the top 10, Buick is the only American brand. GM usually scores well among American makers, and Buick is usually the top performer in the GM line.
Problematic Infotainment Systems
In most cases, a poor reliability score can be blamed for a malfunctioning infotainment system, which is a screen that combines navigation, telephone, and entertainment functions. Many buyers of new cars and trucks complain about such systems, although Ford has greatly improved its “MyTouch” system in the past few years, reflected in improved complaint rates in the 2014 survey.
The four least reliable brands surveyed were Dodge, Ram, Jeep and Fiat, all owned by Chrysler. In the Past, Consumer Reports has said that Chrysler has encountered many problems, and adding the Fiat to their line only hurt the brand more. In fact, the new Fiat 500L is ranked the least reliable car among the 248 that Consumer Reports rated!
SUV’s that Scored Well
The most reliable SUVs are the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, the Subaru Forester, the Toyota Highlander, and the Lexus RX.
New Car Tips
A few new cars, such as the Mazda 6 and Kia Cadenza, got high reliability scores. However, most new cars scored poorly. When searching for a new car, Consumer Reports advises not to buy it in the first year of redesign in case it has some faulty features.
All in all, if you want a reliable car, it’s best to choose one in the top 10 spots. A Japanese made car is always a good choice, with Toyota and Lexus being the top brands for two years now. They may not have the most advanced features, but it pays off in reliability and safety. Toyota and Lexus still offer great infotainment systems without all the bugs and inconvenience. Honda and Mazda also make great choices, and offer many reliable compact cars. Honda Civics score highly in reliability and user like-ability, and offer excellent gas mileage and a sporty design.
While buying a reliable car won’t effect your insurance rates one way or another, it will still save you money in the end.
Consumer Reports (Oct 27, 2014) – “Consumer Reports 2014 Reliability Survey | Consumer Reports”