Consumer Reports' Reliability Survey Shows Improvement for American Automakers

Posted: October 27, 2010

Consumer Reports has released its 2010 Annual Car Reliability Survey. While Japanese automakers still reign supreme, American makes are becoming increasingly better.

The New York Times reports: “Over all, Japanese automakers had the most reliable vehicles, occupying five of the top six slots.  … Acura, Honda and Infiniti completed the top five brands, followed by Toyota, which fared well despite its safety recalls over the last year or so.”

The big news, however, is GM’s improved standing. “Eighty-three percent of Chevrolets, General Motor's major brand, now have average or better scores in predicted reliability, up from 50 percent last year,” reports Consumer Reports.

In a ranking of brands by reliability, Scion comes in first while Chrysler is dead last. Porsche is second and Acura is third. “At No. 10, Ford is the only domestic automaker in the top 10, which gives it an edge over the improving GM and the bottom-dwelling Chrysler brands,” writes Cars.com.

Reporting on luxury brands, USA Today writes, “The data also show that while European brands Porsche and Volvo rank high, marquee luxury brands Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz ‘are among the worst automakers overall in terms of reliability…’”

Consumer Reports’ findings are based on a survey of 1.3 million vehicles owned by Consumer Reports subscribers. The survey responses  cover models manufactured between 2001 and 2010.  That information is then used to predict the reliability of vehicles for the 2011 model year. Our reliability ratings use reliability scores from J.D. Power and Associates. The more information you have, the better off you are, so if you use both the Consumer Reports reliability survey results and the U.S. News car rankings reliability scores, you can avoid buying a lemon. For instance, if you’re interested in buying a minivan and reliability is a concern of yours, you should probably forgo the Chrysler Town & Country for the Honda Odyssey.

If you’re in the market for a new car, check out the U.S. News rankings of this year's best cars as well as this month's best car deals. Also, be sure to check us out on Twitter.