Vehicle Reliability Report


Consumer Reports' director of automotive research, Jake Fisher, presented the latest results of the publication's annual quality survey to the Automotive Press Association in Detroit (United States) on 19 October.

Largely, the trends from last year remain unchanged: vehicles that are in their first year after a significant redesign, particularly if there have been notable changes in infotainment systems and leveraging of multi-speed transmission and new engine technology, continue to see higher incidence of things going wrong.

And the winners are...

The top five brands in 2017 are Toyota, Lexus, Kia, Audi, and BMW. Lexus and Toyota have held the one and two positions for several years running, while this is the first time for Kia to be placed in the top three. Audi held the same fourth position in the 2016 results, while BMW has moved up four positions to fifth place.

And the losers are...

Of the 27 brands reviewed in the survey, the top five brands are considered "Most Reliable" by Consumer Reports. Positions six through 17 are considered simply "Reliable" by Consumer Reports, while positions 18 through 27 are categorised as “Least Reliable".

Here is a list of models tested giving least reliable vehicles as measured by Consumer Reports in the USA. Not all are on the Australian market:

The Reasons?

Infotainment systems and transmissions continue to be problematical, particularly in the first year of introduction, and it remains true that there are fewer mechanical issues from systems including suspensions and engines.

Although the Consumer Reports car reliability survey rankings, like other quality and satisfaction surveys, provides a third-party evaluation, there is little relationship between sales volume and the publication's brand rankings.

In 2016, the top five brands by sales were Ford, Toyota, Chevrolet, Honda, and Nissan. In the latest rankings, three of these are in the "Reliable" category, with only Toyota in the "Most Reliable" category.