Consumer Report Car Brand Reliability Rankings 2018

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Consumer Reports shared some results from their 2018 Car Reliability Survey in the public articles Who Makes the Most Reliable Cars?, 10 Most Reliable Cars and, 12 Models Lose CR Recommendation Over Car Reliability Issues.

Here’s a partial snapshot of the brand breakdown, which includes the relative change from last year. Highlights:

  • Most reliable: Lexus and Toyota. Again.
  • Most spots improved: Mazda and Acura.
  • Biggest ranking drop: Honda, Chrysler, Volvo, and Tesla.

A partial excerpt with the top rankings are below:

Despite providing these brand rankings, Consumer Reports recommends that you shop by vehicle and not just by brand. Some brands like Toyota and Lexus are reliable across the brand, but others like Honda and Kia have a wide range of rankings by model. In addition, new model redesigns often results in variable reliability. Of course, you’ll need full print or digital access to get those numbers.

My thoughts. In terms of trends, I was disappointed to see Honda slip a bit again in the reliability rankings all the way down to 15th. We’ve said goodbye to our trusty Honda Fit, but I don’t know if we’ll go back to Honda. I bought a Toyota not just due to lower total ownership cost (frugal living), but mostly about avoiding headaches and hassle (simple living).

In terms of methodology, I see a lot of mentions about infotainment issues. Honestly, I now have a car with a big LCD screen, and I never use it. I just stream music, podcasts, and audiobooks from my phone via Bluetooth. Any issue that keeps me from driving the car itself should count 50 times more than a slow or frozen screen.

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  1. Do you have a backup camera on the infotainment screen? I’m still rocking my 2011 Civic, no infotainment to be had.

    • Yes, the 2015 Toyota Sienna has backup cameras standard on all models, I believe. I like it a lot. All cars made in 2018 and beyond are required to have backup cameras by law. 2010 Honda Fit did not have infotainment screen or backup camera (but it was so small that it wasn’t that bad).

  2. William J Gomes says

    Sad to see Honda drop. We had a 2010 Honda Fit and walked away from a major accident without any serious injuries. Replaced it with a 2016 model. Also have a 14 year old Toyota purchased new that is still holding up pretty well.

  3. Reliability depends on the owner and the shop that works on the car, not on a CR rating. I currently own a 16 year old Saab with 250,000 miles on a 4 cylinders turbo. The most reliable car I have ever owned. Let’s not even talk about safety which this ranking does not address and in my view is even more important.

  4. DirtyLilRat says

    That’s a good point regarding the infotainment issues, Jonathan. I’d like to review CR’s criteria for a “reliability issue” in this study. One thing to note, for example, is that a Toyota Camry doesn’t offer Apple Carplay or Android Auto, while a Honda Accord does. I wonder if Honda, in a way, puts itself at a disadvantage for taking a “risk” on incorporating technology in their cars which, inevitably, will have bugs. CR should not weigh silly little infotainment issues as heavily as drive-train failures. I am rolling my eyes at this list for now.

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