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Car reliability survey surprises

By Tara Baukus Mello · Bankrate.com
Saturday, November 2, 2013
Posted: 6 am ET

The latest auto reliability ratings from Consumer Reports revealed that two European and one U.S. brand cracked the top 10 list in reliability that is typically filled with Japanese car brands. At the same time, a lower-production car took the top model spot, while some popular models scored so poorly to earn a recommendation.

Audi, Volvo and GMC all cracked the top 10 in the Consumer Reports 2013 Annual Auto Reliability Rankings, placing fourth, seventh and ninth, respectively. Every model from those brands (for which the magazine has data) scored average or better in reliability. Audi, the highest rated European manufacturer, moved up four places this year from eighth to fourth, while Volvo leapfrogged 13 places from 20th last year to seventh this year. GMC was the top-scoring U.S. brand, moving up three spots from 12th last year to ninth this year.

Japanese brands took the other seven spots in the top 10, including Lexus, Toyota and Acura in the top three in that order.

The 2014 Subaru Forester, which had been on sale only a short time before the survey was conducted, received the top predicted-reliability score. The 2013 Honda Accord V6 and the 2013 Nissan Altima received scores too low to earn the group's recommendation. This came as a surprise even to Consumer Reports, which had expected that both cars would have average reliability or better.

Consumer Reports calculated its rating based on survey responses from its subscribers experiences with 1.1 million vehicles.

If you own one of these models, do you find they are reliable?

Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.

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50 Comments
Wayne
November 05, 2013 at 11:36 am

I never owned a ford product. Bought a 2010 ford fusion hybrid. What a great car, never have had a single problem, low maintenance. Average 41.8 mpg in city driving. Would not buy any other brand of car.

mjgard
November 05, 2013 at 11:19 am

We had a chevy truck in the 70's rusted and transmission went out first year. No more chevy's. Mercury mountaineer. 2002 after 70,000 miles, just a set of tires. Great suv. I now have a Hyundai because I thought it was cute and I still do. No problems at all so far. Who can figure??????????????

Jim
November 05, 2013 at 11:11 am

The very best car ever built as far as safety and reliability, is a Volvo 240 years from 1986 to 1993. Hands down the best car ever. I still drive a 1988 Volvo 240DL.It has 576K on it, and it is still running strang. Everything major is original, and the paint is superb.

Ken
November 05, 2013 at 11:07 am

I have been a Ford guy for over 20 years after having Volvos in the 70's and 80's.
My 2009 Escape, my daughter now has, and my Ranger pickup have been awesome.

But last spring when we needed to get another car I looked at 10 SUVs and found we liked and bought the KIA Sportage.

10 years ago you would have never even seen me go on the KIA lot.
But was and still am pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoy driving my Sportage.

As to Consumer Reports, it does seem they have pre determined favorites and lean toward certain vehicles. Disappointing.

Glenda
November 05, 2013 at 11:05 am

I love all 3 of the toyotas that i have owned. Two tercels and now a corolla. Low maintanance. Great gas milage Comfortable on long trips.

Ilona
November 05, 2013 at 10:55 am

I have a 2005 Chrysler 300 -- 33,000 miles on it. Great ride and few repairs. Love it.

james
November 05, 2013 at 10:53 am

You are not even warm! Being in automotive for the past 37 years, and having master technition status, The commets you said cant even happen. Predicting reliability on Forester. The only way is to figure out cost of ownwership, resale, miles. And if you use those figures you wont see Audi, Volvo.v.w. ect. You will see Honda G.M Ford, not all their models but quite a few. Consumers Reports have been one sided for a long time or they just dont understand the automotive world
Jim

HappyDayze
November 05, 2013 at 10:43 am

I have owned many cars, and trucks over the years. The best one though, was a '76 Chevy 3/4 ton Scottsdale. It was a faithful always ready to go truck. I finally traded it in 1999. For a '99 F-150 4x4. So far it is just as reliable. Thank-You.

chuck smith
November 05, 2013 at 10:42 am

Had two Chrysler 300's. Looked at just about everything, and just bought my third 300. What a great ride!

Craig
November 05, 2013 at 10:40 am

2004 Nissan Maxima SL,2.8LV6 pushing 168K and running like new. Regular routine maintenance, replacement brakes, tires, filters, etc. 20mpg around town, 28 on highway. Best car I ever owned from a fun to drive, reliability and total cost of ownership standpoint.