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2017’s Most Reliable Vehicle Brands

A Review of Consumer Reports 2017 Auto Reliability Survey

Published October 27, 2017

It’s that time of year again.  Consumer Reports has published the 2017 Auto Reliability Survey.  This is an extremely important survey because it consists of almost a half of a million actual consumers’ feedback for the performance and reliability of over 640,000 vehicles that they own.  In this day and age of mass marketing, it’s sometimes difficult to decipher what information is real, honest feedback, and which is paid for or incentivized by companies.  Because this survey is unbiased and only consists of actual consumer information, it is one of the most reliable surveys available for consumers to use when considering the purchase of a new or used vehicle.

Most reliable vehicles

This report seems to have more volatile changes over time due to new technologies that are coming to the surface in the auto industry.  For example, many new vehicles are being equipped with computerized systems that are so advanced they can actually drive the vehicle.  Other technology systems that seem to influence consumer opinions on reliability are features such as navigation, audio, and cellular phone compatibility.

Other new technologies that are being included in newer vehicles are those that actually affect the driving of the vehicle as well.  For example, rather than the classic 5 or 6-speed transmissions, many more vehicles contain 7 and 8-speed transmissions these days.  While this can often increase the performance, convenience, and reliability of your vehicle, many companies often release these technologies before all of the kinks have been worked out, causing them to become unreliable after a short amount of time and sometimes even leading to massive recalls throughout the world.

As new vehicle designs become more complicated and computerized, it’s no surprise that problems with these systems cost more to fix.  It can also be more difficult to find a mechanic that is familiar with your brand/model of vehicle which can make reliability even more important.  Since auto insurance doesn’t typically cover faulty damage to vehicles, it is extremely important to find the most reliable vehicle possible.

Lexus most reliable brand

Below are the top 20 most reliable vehicle brands currently available in 2017, along with their changes in position from 2016.  Lexus and Toyota are in the lead (as they have been for the past 5 consecutive years).  The most notable brands that have increased/decreased since last year are Chrysler, which has jumped from #27 up to position #17, and Acura, which has gone down from #12 to position #19. Among other surprises, Volkswagen actually moved up 6 positions despite the Dieselgate scandal.

Toyota reliability

#1 – Toyota (+1)
#2 – Lexus (-1)
#3 – Kia (+2)
#4 – Audi (-)
#5 – BMW (+4)
#6 – Subaru (+5)
#7 – Infiniti (+1)
#8 – Buick (-5)
#9 – Honda (+1)
#10 – Hyundai (-3)
#11 – Nissan (+2)
#12 – Mazda (-6)
#13 – Porsche (+3)
#14 – Mercedes-Benz (+3)
#15 – Ford (+3)
#16 – Volkswagen (+6)
#17 – Chrysler (+10)
#18 – Chevrolet (-3)
#19 – Acura (-7)
#20 – Jeep (+3)
#21 – Tesla (+4)
#22 – Lincoln (-2)
#23 – Volvo (-4)
#24 – Dodge (+2)
#25 – Ram (+4)

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Paul Sawyer
About Paul Sawyer

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