When shopping for a new car,
more than half of drivers cite reliability as the top thing they look for in a vehicle. After all, no matter how slick your new car looks, if it breaks down when you need it, you’ve basically got a 4,000-pound paperweight.
With that in mind,
Consumer Reports has released its annual list of the most reliable cars you can buy today, as well as the least. These rankings are based on the Annual Reliability Survey. The survey looks at 17 key trouble areas, ranging from brakes that squeak to transmission repairs that fall outside of warranty. They survey 400,000 car owners, who have a combined 640,000 vehicles between them. Their survey found that it was often entirely new models of vehicles or completely redesigned vehicles that came with the most problems. Consumer Reports also identified infotainment systems as a pain point for many drivers as well.
To calculate the score,
Consumer Reports weighted the severity of the problems with the vehicle to develop a Predicted Reliability Score. They combined it with test track data, owner satisfaction survey results and safety data to create an Overall Score. These vehicles are the ten highest scoring, and the ten lowest.
If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, here are the cars to consider — and to potentially avoid.
All prices in U.S. dollars.
Download the Yahoo Finance app, available for Apple and Android. Kia Niro Price as tested: $26,805 Highlights: Good fuel economy combined with cargo versatility. Advanced safety features available on higher-end models. Lowlights: Handling lacks agility, ride is a bit choppy. (Car and Driver) Subaru BRZ Price as tested: $27,1117 Highlights: Responsive handling, first rear-wheel drive sportscar from Subaru. Lowlights: Slightly jittery ride, relatively plain cabin, elevated noise level. (Car and Driver) Lexus ES Price as tested: $43,702-$44,017 Highlights: Good handling, good combo of size and fuel economy on hybrid model. Lowlights: Can be stiff, not very “fun,” some cheap-seeming elements inside cabin. (Business Insider) Lexus GS Price as tested: $58,858 Highlights: Good combo of ride, handling, roominess and quietness. Lowlights: Infotainment has “distracting” mouselike controller. (Road & Track) Audi Q3 Price as tested: $40,125 Highlights: Compact crossover vehicle, quiet with comfortable ride and responsive handling. Lowlights: Simplistic cabin with tight space, cramped driving position. (Reuters) Toyota RAV4 Price as tested: $29,014-$29,753 Highlights: Quieter cabin and smoother ride than previous models, great mpg on hybrid model, roomy rear seat, standard safety features. Lowlights: Need to get higher-end model to get adjustable lumbar support and comfortable faux-leather seats. (PA Motoring) Lexus IS Price as tested: $48,149 Highlights: V6 engine gives the car some zip, decent fit and finish. Lowlights: Handling and ride comfort both middle of the road, cramped interior, all-wheel-drive version has a hump at the driver’s right leg. (Car and Driver) Toyota Prius V Price as tested: $28,217 Highlights: Roomy rear seat, generous cargo area. Excellent mpg. Lowlights: Electric motor/engine have to work quite hard, can have some rocking on uneven pavement. (Getty Images) Toyota Prius C Price as tested: $20,850 Highlights: Good gas mileage, ideal for urban driving due to compact size. Lowlights: You get what you pay for, not a substitute for the real Prius. Noisy, cramped, not much cargo space. (Getty Images) Infiniti Q70 Price as tested: $53,825-$58,655 Highlights: Smooth ride, agile handling, good quality interior. Lowlights: Less quiet cabin, “lacks pizzazz.” (Reuters) Chevrolet Camaro Price as tested: $47,020 Highlights: Good handling, precise manual shifting, easy to use infotainment system Lowlights: Visibility bad, tight rear seat, minor transmission problems, in-car electronics and drive system have reliability issues. (Car and Driver) Mercedes-Benz GLC Price as tested: $49,105 Highlights: Plush interior, powerful four-cylinder engine, comfortable front seats. Lowlights: Reliability issues with brakes, steering/suspension and power equipment. (Autoblog) Jaguar F-Pace Price as tested: $53,895 Highlights: Fast, comfortable seats. Lowlights: Reliability issues with drive system, in-car electronics, noises and leaks. Ride is stiff and choppy, infotainment and air conditioning systems have issues. (Car and Driver) GMC Acadia Price as tested: $51,585 Highlights: Steady ride, responsive handling, family-friendly three-row styling. Lowlights: Reliability issues with in-car electronics, power electronics and drive system. Many luxury features unavailable even on some mid-priced models. (Car and Driver) Fiat 500 Price as tested: $18,600-$26,050 Highlights: Engaging drive, quick, good grip. Lowlights: Choppy ride, awkward driving position, limited cargo area. Reliability issues with brakes, power equipment and in-car electronics. (Reuters) Ford Focus Price as tested: $20,485-$40,990 Highlights: Agile handling, quiet cabin, good-quality materials. Lowlights: Reliability issues with transmission and drive system. Narrow driving position. (PA Motoring) Ford Fiesta Price as tested: $17,795-$24,985 Highlights: Agile handling, relatively quiet cabin. Lowlights: Reliability issues with transmission and climate system. Rear seat is cramped and stiff, sluggish ride. (Car and Driver) Volvo XC90 Price as tested: $56,805 Highlights: Good handling, quiet and plush interior, comfortable seats. Lowlights: Unintuitive touch-screen infotainment system, ride is stiff. Reliability issues with in-car electronics, power equipment and electrical system. (International Business Times) Cadillac Escalade Price as tested: $87,360 Highlights: Impressive tow capacity with powerful V8 engine. Lowlights: Rides stiffly, not very roomy or comfortable in second and third rows, confusing infotainment system. Reliability issues with power equipment, transmission and climate system. (Car and Driver) Tesla Model X Price as tested: $110,700 Highlights: Cabin feels airy and futuristic, quick and good handling. Lowlights: Second row doesn’t fold down for increased storage on some models. Not as quiet or comfortable as Model S. Reliability issues with body hardware, paint and trim, and climate system. (PA Motoring)