Most Trustworthy Car Manufacturers

Every year Consumer Reports rate consumer automobiles according to their reliability. Japanese-made cars continue to dominate the ratings (8 of the top 10). The top-rated American-made car might surprise you—Buick. Your best chance at avoiding buying a lemon and later needing a lemon law attorney is to buy a highly-rated vehicle. Research and then go shop as an informed buyer so you can avoid the troubles and stress that come with a lemon

Current Reliability Rating for Consumer Automobiles 

Consumer Reports, a non-profit agency, provides a reliability score for each manufacturer they test. Here are the most recent results for overall trustworthiness of car companies:

  1. Lexus, 76
  2. Mazda, 75
  3. Toyota, 71
  4. Infiniti, 69
  5. Buick, Honda, Subaru, 66
  6. Acura, 64
  7. Nissan, 63
  8. Mini, 60
  9. Hyundai, 56
  10. Chrysler, 54
  11. Porsche, 52
  12. Chevrolet, 48
  13. Audi, Cadillac, 47
  14. BMW, 45
  15. Ford, 44
  16. Kia, 43
  17. Volvo, 42
  18. Ram, 40
  19. GMC, 37
  20. Mercedes-Benz, 34
  21. Volkswagen, 31
  22. Genesis, 30
  23. Jeep, 26
  24. Tesla, 25
  25. Lincoln, 18

How Does Consumer Reports Arrive at These Rankings?

Interestingly enough, Consumer Reports does not test the newest models released by each manufacturer themselves. Instead, these ratings are compiled based on surveys sent in by people who have paid for Consumer Reports memberships. The survey asks about problems they have had with any new cars they may have purchased. 

This creates some skewed data. How many Consumer Reports members bought brand new Mitsubishis, Lamborghinis, Cadillacs, Saabs, Rolls Royces, Alfa Romeos, Pontiacs, Bentleys, Fiats, Jaguars, Polestars, Land Rovers, Lotuses, Smarts, Maseratis, and Mercuries last year? You’ll notice none of these auto manufacturers are listed in the report. Certainly, American consumers would like to know how the #11 most popular car brand, Cadillac, is rated. 

Furthermore, it seems likely that Consumer Reports subscribers are going to be picky shoppers who do their research (meaning fewer purchases of non-top-rated cars). It also follows that buyers who’ve done careful research before purchasing a new car may want to defend their purchases as a matter of pride by reporting fewer problems with their Consumer-Reports-backed purchases. Consumer Reports states, “For a brand to be ranked, we must have sufficient survey data for two or more models.” The end result is that only about half of the manufacturers represented by American consumers are actually reviewed and rated.

A Few Observations About the Reliability Ratings

There are a few findings of interest in this year’s results:

  • Including all reviewed automakers, the average score range is 41-60. 
  • Asian automakers score 62 on average. 
  • European automakers score 44 on average. 
  • American brands are the least reliable at 42 on average.
  • Cars (sedans, coupes, wagons, hatchbacks, convertibles) score 57 on average. However, American cars score 38 on average—this is a huge dichotomy.
  • The top-rated overall vehicle, with a perfect score, was the Lexus GX, an SUV.
  • The lowest-rated overall vehicle was the Chevy Tahoe/GMC Yukon, virtually identical vehicles with mostly all the same components. These cars scored 2 out of 100.
  • SUVs, in general, score 50 on average. American SUVs score 45 on average. Electric SUVs are the lowest among SUV classes.
  • Minivans and trucks are the least reliable at 43 on average. 
  • Electric vehicles have fewer parts than gas engines, yet still rate worse for reliability. Oddly enough, EV problems are typically not coming from their powertrains but rather from their “high tech” features. For instance, cabin electronics was a top complaint for Tesla.

Need an Anaheim Lemon Law Attorney?

Are you stuck with a new car that continues to experience the same defect over and over after multiple repairs? Contact “the Lemon Law lady” today for a free case review!

Valerie G. Fernandez Campbell

Valerie G. Fernandez Campbell, known as The Lemon Law Lady, has dedicated her entire legal career to the specialized field of Lemon Law, a journey that began immediately after her
graduation from UCLA School of Law.

With a 99% success rate and a policy of no fees unless you win, her practice stands as a testament to her expertise in California’s Lemon Law, her commitment to her clients, and her unwavering dedication to justice and consumer rights.

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