The Most Reliable Brand?

Consumer Reports’ most reliable brand is Honda, followed by Acura. No big surprise there. It is well-known that Honda makes great cars, so I won’t disagree with Consumer Reports on this one. A few brands seem out of place, like Buick rolling in at 10th.

Here is a quick summary of the top 10 most reliable brands.

  1. Honda
  2. Acura
  3. Scion
  4. Subaru
  5. Toyota
  6. Lexus
  7. Infiniti
  8. Mitsubishi
  9. Porsche
  10. Buick

Buick sticks out like a sore thumb here. Considering Buick is a GM, that’s some serious reliability there.
So who are the bottom-feeders of the list?

  1. Land Rover
  2. Hummer
  3. Cadillac
  4. Mercedes Benz
  5. Pontiac
  6. Volkswagen
  7. Chevrolet
  8. Jeep
  9. GMC
  10. Suzuki

What I find surprising is how GM has 50% of the crappiest brands out there. OUCH! I take back what I said about GM not making crappy cars. What is interesting to see is that only one Japanese automaker on the 10 worst list is Suzuki, which also happens to be 10th worst (not exactly bad if you ask me). We also see only 2 Germans and the rest are all American. That’s 70% of the of that list. Pretty sad.

Keep in mind that it doesn’t mean ALL cars of that brand are bad, the CR report gives you a visual range of how good/bad this brands models are.  For example, Pontiac has the widest range of good-to-bad models of any manufacturer, with the Solstice being pure garbage and the Vibe being their best model (It’s no coincidence since the Vibe is the Toyota Matrix’s cousin).

CR brand reliability report [PDF]

Your thoughts?

9 thoughts on “The Most Reliable Brand?

  1. One of the concerns I have about Consumer Reports ratings across the board is that the rankings don’t really do a good job of disclosing how much difference in quality or reliability there is between the top ranked product and the bottom ranked product. For example, I think it is hard today to buy a washing machine that isn’t reasonably reliable and gets your clothes clean.

    Cars today in my opinion are far more reliable than they were in 70s or 80s. CR provides an example of good reliability and poor reliability. The winner is the 2004 Toyota Highlander and the loser is the 2004 Volkswagen Touareg. The worst of it is that 1% of Highlander owners had a TPMS problem versus 19% of the Touareg owners. That’s big difference but honestly a TPMS issue isn’t a big deal in my opinion. The other differences are less pronounced. For example, 2% of the Toyota owners reported a squeak or a rattle versus 5% of the VW owners.

    The differences are meaningful but when I think of an unreliable car I think of a car that won’t start or won’t run properly. All cars need service. Something like a TPMS issue can wait for the owner’s next service — at least that’s an option. Sometimes I think these lists in the 21st Century are solutions in search of problems. In my opinion, we are blessed to live in an era in which most mass produced products in mature industries are reasonably reliable.

  2. Wondering where BMW lands on the list? Which reminds me I’ve been coming back here everyday hoping you’d have some 3series updates.

    My question is: I want to buy a 3series beamer but I want your thoughts on leasing vs buying – what are your recommendations? What can I talk them down to? My credit score is around 780.

  3. Which 3series model ae you leaning toward? The September numbers prob won’t be out until the end of the week and prob won’t be much different than the August numbers.

  4. If it were me I would get a 328i manual with sport package. $35ish. The 335i is $40k with no options. Too much to swallow for me.

  5. Thanks – and do you think I could get the payments as low as lease payments? I plan on trading in my truck and putting another 3k down. Should get at least 5k for the truck. Its a 98 tacoma TRD with all sorts of add ons.

  6. Hi regretful morning!
    Sorry I wasn’t around this weekend to answer your questions. Need some R&R. LOL. Anyway, B has an excellent suggestion. The 328i is certainly an excellent choice if you are looking for a sporty BMW. Depending on your down payment and the sale price of your car, I think 8k should get you a decent monthly payment. Assuming you hover around the 35k range, your monthly payments should be in the mid $400s + tax. BMWs are expensive. My cousin for example, he dropped 10k on his 42k 335i and his payments are in the 550+ range.

  7. David: I totally agree with you on this. We’ve made some good strides in terms of reliability, so certainly even the worst car on this list makes for decent car to have.

Leave a Reply