Yesterday, Consumer Reports released its annual recommendations based on reliability tests of most cars on the market for 2014.
Consumer Reports collected data from surveys completed by its subscribers, who owned or leased over 1 million cars between 2004 and 2012. The main question they were asked was whether they had a significant issue with their car within the past year and if it necessitated going to a car dealership.
Unless a particular vehicle model has had a major design overhaul, Consumer Reports averages the reliability of that car over the past three years and uses it to predict the next year. If a car is new enough that less than three of data was available, then all the data available on that model was used.
Overall, German brands faired better than they did last year, while Japanese brands fell in the rankings. Nissan tumbled nine positions to rank 22nd out of the 29 brands tested. Toyota’s very popular Camry, Rav4, and Prius V Wagons are no longer recommended by Consumer Reports primarily due to their poor performance in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety‘s new “small overlap” frontal crash test.
Other companies that offer good reliability data on cars include J.D. Power and TrueDelta. J.D. Power’s reports are free and TrueDelta’s data is free if you input information on your vehicle. Full access to Consumer Reports’ reliability recommendations require you to be a paid subscriber.
Highlights of this year’s rankings:
- The 2014 Subaru Forrester scored the best out of all tested cars.
- The Dodge Dart, specced with the 2 litre engine, scored the best for a US made vehicle.
- The Ford C Max Plugin hybrid scored the worst out of all tested vehicles.
- The V6 Honda Accord lost its long held “Recommended” status.
- Tesla’s Model S earned a “Recommended” rating.
- Lexus is ranked most reliable of the car brands rated.
- Volvo moved up 13 places to a position of 7th most reliable.
Consumer Reports’ car reliability survey shows brands rising and falling (Consumer Reports)
Japanese Autos Lose Ground in Consumer Reports Reliability Ratings (New York Times)