Consumer Reports has published the results of its latest authoritative Annual Auto Reliability Survey. And as you might have expected, the Asian automakers have once again dominated the rankings. But the big surprise this year is how well Buick fared.
Though GM’s premium brand has ranked in the top 10 for the past several years, this year it jumped to the #3 slot, right behind Lexus and Toyota. That marks the first time that an American domestic brand has landed on the “podium” in the 35+ years that CR has been tracking automotive reliability.
Buick’s success, however, hasn’t extended to other GM brands – or, for that matter, to other American ones. Chevrolet was the next highest-ranked domestic marque at 15th place, putting it just below the halfway point of the 29 brands covered. Cadillac rose four places but still ranked near the bottom at 21, while GMC dropped five places to 24 – due principally to reliability issues with the full-size trucks and SUVs marketed by all three brands (but not Buick).
Ford dropped to 18th place, Lincoln to 20, while none of Fiat Chrysler‘s brands broke out of the bottom half. Now qualifying for ranking with a two-model line, Tesla stands at 25th, with its Model S now finally up to average, but the new Model X crossover plagued by reliability problems.
All of the Asian (Japanese and Korean) brands made it into the top half, with Kia leading Mazda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Honda, Subaru, Acura, and Nissan. Their ranks were broken only by Audi, which came in fourth place, and BMW in ninth. Mini dropped four places to 14th, Porsche down two to 16, Mercedes up four to 17, Volvo plummeting seven places to 19, and Volkswagen down nine places to 22.
It’s important to note, however, that not all models from highly ranked brands are reliable in and of themselves, and vice versa. And of course, reliability is important, but isn’t the be-all, end-all when it comes to deciding on what new car to buy.
Want to know more? Watch the brief rundown video below and the in-depth chat below that, peruse CR’s full Guide To Car Reliability, and watch this space for more.