Vehicle Reliability Based on 2015 Consumer Reports Data

This is a summary of the 2015 Consumer Reports magazine vehicle reliability data "New Car Prediction", based on repair statistics. Each car model is given a rating 1 through 5, 5 being the best. I took the average of the model reliability ratings for each vehicle make ("New" or "Discontinued" models are omitted), and sorted the make ratings as follows. Thus, we see that Lexus has the highest rating of 4.78, followed by Toyota of 4.44, Mazda 4.25, and so on, semi-graphically shown below.

New Car Prediction

 1 Lexus 4.78               ************************************************
 2 Toyota 4.44              ********************************************
 3 Mazda 4.25               ******************************************
 4 Subaru 3.875             ***************************************
 5 Honda 3.78               **************************************
 6 Acura 3.6                ************************************
 7 Audi  3.57               ************************************
 8 Buick, Porche 3.5        ***********************************
10 Kia 3.40                 **********************************
11 Hyundai 3.11             *******************************
12 Volkswagen 3.09          *******************************
13 Infiniti, Scion, Tesla 3 ******************************
16 BMW 2.875                *****************************
17 Lincoln 2.75             ****************************
18 Nissan 2.73              ***************************
19 Chevrolet 2.54           *************************
20 GMC 2.40                 ************************
21 Cadillac 2.25            ***********************
22 Mercedes-Benz 2.17       **********************
23 Ford 2.08                *********************
24 Chrysler, Dodge 2        ********************
26 Jeep 1.33                *************
27 Fiat 1                   **********

Some reliability ratings may be surprising or inconsistent with our common conception. For example, is Subaru really more reliable than Honda? Let's focus on these two makes. Since many middle-class drivers keep their cars from brand-new up to approximately 10 years of age, let's look at the half-life i.e. 5-year-old or 2010 models only. The original data in the magazine (not shown here) is broken down to detailed ratings on what year's what model's specific auto component. For example, 2010 Honda Accord Sedan (4-cyl.) has these ratings on each component:

Engine, Major: 5
Engine, Minor: 5
Engine Cooling: 5
Trans., Major: 5
Trans., Minor: 5
Drive System: 5
Fuel System: 5
Electrical: 3
Climate System: 4
Suspension: 4
Brakes: 1
Paint/Trim: 4
Body Integrity: 3
Body Hardware: 4
Power Equipment: 4
Audio System: 5

Average of these component ratings is 67/16=4.188. The following are average scores for each model of Honda and Subaru:

Honda Accord Sedan (4-cyl.): 4.188
Honda Accord Sedan (V6): 3.875
Honda CR-V: 4.500
Honda Civic Hybrid: 4.375
Honda Civic Sedan: 4.000
Honda Civic Si: N/A
Honda Crosstour, Accord Crosstour: 4.250
Honda Element: 4.375

Subaru BRZ: N/A
Subaru Forester (nonturbo): 4.188
Subaru Forester (turbo): 3.938
Subaru Impreza: 4.063
Subaru Impreza WRX/STi: N/A
Subaru Legacy (4-cyl.): 4.688
Subaru Outback (4-cyl.): 4.438
Subaru Outback (6-cyl.): 4.125

We can see that 2010 Subaru models have the same ratings as 2010 Honda models, both with an average rating of 4.240. It is surprising to me that Honda Accord Sedan (V6) has such an exceptionally bad score, the only one in Honda series lower than 4. I remember when this model initially came out about ten years ago, it was almost unanimously praised by various automobile magazines as superb, better and quieter than the 4-cylinder model. But, if you care more about vehicle reliability or your precious time wasted in a car shop waiting lounge than about the vain glory of new car ownership, never base your car buying decisions on new car evaluations constantly popularized in those magazines.

Appendix Reliability ratings of models (not down to the level of components; the last column is the make average)

Acura ILXAcura MDXAcura RDXAcura TLAcura TSXAudi A4Audi A5Audi A6 (V6)Audi A7 (nondiesel)Audi Q5 (4-cyl.)Audi Q5 (V6)Audi Q7
BMW 1 SeriesBMW 320i, 325i, 328i (AWD)BMW 320i, 325i, 328i (RWD)BMW 330i, 335iBMW 5 Series(6-cyl., turbo)BMW X1BMW X3 (4-cyl.)BMW X3 (6-cyl., turbo)BMW X5 (6-cyl.)
Buick EnclaveBuick EncoreBuick LaCrosse (4-cyl.)Buick LaCrosse (V6)Buick RegalBuick Verano
Cadillac ATS (4-cyl., turbo)Cadillac CTS (V6)Cadillac SRXCadillac XTS
Chevrolet AvalancheChevrolet CamaroChevrolet ColoradoChevrolet Corvette, StingrayChevrolet Cruze (1.4T)Chevrolet Cruze (1.8L)Chevrolet Equinox (V6)Chevrolet Impala (V6)Chevrolet Malibu (4-cyl.)Chevrolet Malibu (V6)Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (V8, 2WD)Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (V8, 4WD)Chevrolet SonicChevrolet SuburbanChevrolet TahoeChevrolet TraverseChevrolet Volt
Chrysler 200 SedanChrysler 300Chrysler Town & Country
Dodge ChallengerDodge ChargerDodge Dart (2.0L)Dodge DurangoDodge Grand CaravanDodge JourneyDodge Ram 1500 (V8, 2WD)Dodge Ram 1500 (V8, 4WD)
Fiat 500Fiat 500L
Ford C-Max HybridFord Edge (V6)Ford Escape (1.6L EcoBoost)Ford Escape (2.0L EcoBoost)Ford Escape (4-cyl., nonturbo)Ford ExpeditionFord Explorer (V6)Ford F-150 (V6, EcoBoost)Ford F-150 (V8, 2WD)Ford F-150 (V8, 4WD)Ford FiestaFord FlexFord FocusFord Fusion (2.0L EcoBoost)Ford Fusion (4-cyl., nonturbo)Ford Fusion HybridFord Mustang (V6)Ford Mustang (V8)Ford RangerFord Taurus (FWD)
GMC AcadiaGMC CanyonGMC Sierra 1500 (V6)GMC Sierra 1500 (V8, 4WD)GMC Terrain (4-cyl.)GMC YukonGMC Yukon XL
Honda Accord Sedan (4-cyl.)Honda Accord Sedan (V6)Honda CR-VHonda Civic HybridHonda Civic SedanHonda Civic SiHonda Crosstour, Accord CrosstourHonda ElementHonda FitHonda OdysseyHonda PilotHonda Ridgeline
Hyundai AccentHyundai AzeraHyundai Elantra SedanHyundai Genesis CoupeHyundai Genesis (sedan)Hyundai Santa Fe (V6)Hyundai Santa Fe, Sport (4-cyl.)Hyundai Sonata (4-cyl.)Hyundai Sonata HybridHyundai TucsonHyundai Veloster
Infiniti G Sedan (AWD)Infiniti G Sedan (RWD)Infiniti JX, QX60Infiniti M, Q70Infiniti Q50
Jeep Cherokee (4-cyl.)Jeep Grand Cherokee (V6)Jeep Grand Cherokee (V8)Jeep LibertyJeep PatriotJeep Wrangler (2-door)Jeep Wrangler (4-door)
Kia ForteKia Optima (4-cyl.)Kia Optima (turbo)Kia SedonaKia Sorento (4-cyl.)Kia Sorento (V6)Kia SoulKia Sportage
Lexus CT 200hLexus ES (V6)Lexus ES 300h HybridLexus GS (6-cyl., V6)Lexus GXLexus IS 250 SedanLexus LSLexus RXLexus RX Hybrid
Lincoln MKSLincoln MKXLincoln MKZ HybridLincoln MKZ, Zephyr (V6)
Mazda CX-5 (2.0L)Mazda CX-5 (2.5L)Mazda CX-7Mazda CX-9Mazda MX-5 MiataMazda Tribute (V6)Mazda3 (2.0L)Mazda3 (2.5L)Mazda5Mazda6
Mercedes-Benz C-Class (4-cyl.)Mercedes-Benz C-Class (V6)Mercedes-Benz CLA 250Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedan (V6)Mercedes-Benz GL-ClassMercedes-Benz GLK (V6)Mercedes-Benz M-Class (nondiesel)Mercedes-Benz S-Class
Mercury Milan (V6)
Mini CooperMini Cooper SMini Countryman
Mitsubishi OutlanderNissan Altima Sedan (4-cyl.)
Nissan Altima Sedan (V6)Nissan FrontierNissan JukeNissan LeafNissan MaximaNissan MuranoNissan PathfinderNissan QuestNissan RogueNissan SentraNissan VersaHatchback, NoteNissan Xterra
Porsche 911Porsche Cayenne
Scion FR-SScion xB
Subaru BRZSubaru Forester (nonturbo)Subaru Forester (turbo)Subaru ImprezaSubaru Impreza WRX/STiSubaru Legacy (4-cyl.)Subaru Outback (4-cyl.)Subaru Outback (6-cyl.)Subaru XV Crosstrek
Tesla Model S
Toyota Sienna (AWD)Toyota 4Runner (V6)Toyota AvalonToyota Avalon HybridToyota Camry (4-cyl.)Toyota Camry (V6)Toyota Camry HybridToyota CorollaToyota FJ CruiserToyota Highlander (4-cyl.)Toyota Highlander (V6)Toyota Highlander HybridToyota MatrixToyota PriusToyota Prius CToyota Prius Plug-in HybridToyota Prius VToyota RAV4 (4-cyl.)Toyota RAV4 (V6)Toyota SequoiaToyota Sienna (AWD)Toyota Sienna (FWD)Toyota Tacoma (V6, 2WD)Toyota Tacoma (V6, 4WD)Toyota Tundra (V8, 2WD)Toyota Tundra (V8, 4WD)Toyota Venza (4-cyl.)Toyota Venza (V6)Toyota Yaris
Volkswagen Beetle, Beetle (turbo)Volkswagen CCVolkswagen EosVolkswagen GTIVolkswagen Golf TDIVolkswagen Golf, RabbitVolkswagen Jetta Sedan (4-cyl., 5-cyl.)Volkswagen Jetta Sedan TDIVolkswagen Jetta Wagon TDIVolkswagen Passat (4-cyl.)Volkswagen Passat TDIVolkswagen TiguanVolkswagen TouaregVolvo C70Volvo S60 (5-cyl., 6-cyl.)Volvo XC60Volvo XC70Volvo XC90

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See also 2016 ratings

December 2015

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