Most Reliable Cars

How do you measure car reliability? Research its warranty, for one. Check out all its specs, too — that’ll help. But above all else, here’s what you do: ask.

Indeed, there may be no better way to gauge a car’s dependability than by polling its drivers, who experience the peaks and flaws of a vehicle that could only present themselves in day-to-day use. Based, then, on the responses of 1.3 million car owners to a recent Consumer Reports survey, here are the 10 most reliable auto brands on the road today.

Ford is not on the list as it has had issue with the MyTouch (which controls heating, air bond, radio etc) system in the Edge, Explorer and Taurus models. Otherwise it would of been #10 on the list.

This is list not entirely accurate, as J.D Power has different results.

* Survey covers model years 2002 to 2011.

10. Volvo

Reliability: 5% better than average

Volvo may be the lowest-ranked car maker on this list, but it’s nonetheless the most reliable European manufacturer, by Consumer Reports‘ survey. Leading Volvo’s lineup this year is the top-rated C70, the Swedish-based brand’s hardtop convertible, which received the automaker’s highest reliability score.

9.  Nissan

Reliability: 7% better than average

As a whole, Nissan is a fine auto brand, but there is a major discrepancy between its most- and least-reliable model, based on Consumer Reports‘ findings. According to the survey, the Nissan Titan, the Japanese brand’s pickup, is nearly 60 per cent more reliable than the average car. By contrast, though, the Nissan Z sports car, the auto maker’s lowest-rated model, is 120 per cent less reliable than the average vehicle.

8.  Subaru (Tie)

Reliability: 26% better than average

Subaru is the second Japanese brand to appear in this top 10, and you’d better get used to car makers from the country. Of the 91 Japanese models studied by Consumer Reports, 87 (96 per cent) were rated average or better in reliability, and each of the nine most reliable auto brands are based in the island nation.

7. Infiniti (Tie)

Reliability: 26% better than average

Infiniti, though it’s down two spots from last year’s Consumer Reports auto reliability rankings, isn’t just a dependable brand in 2011 — it’ll be just as trusted next year, too. According to Consumer Reports‘ predicted reliability rankings for 2012, where to-be-released models are measured by the watchdog agency, the Infiniti G sedan is forecast to be some 40 per cent more reliable than the average car.

6. Toyota

Reliability: 27% better than average

Toyota is so reliable even its spot on this top 10 stays consistent. Throwing out the Sienna AWD minivan, which received the worst dependability score (nearly 40 per cent less reliable than the average car) of the auto maker’s 22 models surveyed by Consumer Reports, every Toyota was ranked at least average or better when it comes to reliability. As it scored last year, Toyota is the sixth-most reliable manufacturer on the road today.

5.  Honda

Reliability: 28% better than average

Like Toyota, Honda’s lineup is almost entirely reliable save for one ugly duckling. Of the 11 Honda models surveyed by Consumer Reports, all were above average in terms of reliability with the exception of one — the Odyssey minivan. Still, even the Odyssey ain’t all that bad; its score of 30 per cent less reliable than the average car is much more favourable than the worst vehicles of other auto makers like Hyundai, Lincoln and Volkswagen. Pictured is the midsize segment’s gold standard, the Honda Accord.

4. Mazda ( I was surprised to see Mazda on the top 10, wait til you see #1)

Reliability: 36% better than average

What a difference a year makes. Despite few major redesigns, Mazda is the most improved brand on this top 10, jumping eight spots up the reliability rankings in 2011, as per Consumer Reports‘ rankings. Each and every surveyed Mazda model, seven in all, boasted above average dependability on this year’s list.

3. Acura

Reliability: 37% better than average

Acura is one of four auto makers surveyed by Consumer Reports to not have a car with a below average reliability score. In fact, the lowest-scored Acura, the TSX, still has a reliability score of about 15 per cent more dependable than the average car. That score — remember, we’re talking about the lowest for Acura — is higher than the highest-ranked vehicles for major brands like Jeep, Porsche and Jaguar. Pictured is the brand’s midsize TL sedan, which underwent styling changes for 2012.

2. Lexus

Reliability: 40% better than average

Another big winner in Consumer Reports‘ 2011 reliability rankings is Lexus, which rebounded seven places from last year’s list. And, at number two, the Toyota-owned line is in good standing. All 11 of the surveyed models can lay claim to above average reliability, and the most dependable of all cars considered by Consumer Reports — the IS convertible, at 67 per cent more reliable than the average vehicle — is a Lexus.

1.  Scion

Reliability: 52% better than average

You may not know anyone with a Scion, and certainly the brand’s sample size is small. Only two of the Japanese auto maker’s cars were considered by Consumer Reports for this survey, but perhaps that’s a testament to how under-adopted the Scion is in North America. The xB and xD models measured by Consumer Reports are two of the most dependable cars on this entire feature, and of all the top Japanese brands — Lexus, Mazda, Honda — it is Scion that can wear the reliability crown in 2011.


One comment

  1. Gerber · November 9, 2011

    That is such a great idea to ask other drivers. No one knows a car best like the driver does.

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