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The car industry is truly global, with most automakers operating factories in multiple countries. This can mean a brand long identified as American, German, Korean, or Japanese could be selling models in the U.S. that are both built domestically and imported. Car-company pedigree has become quite complicated, especially if you factor the sources for key components.
But because many consumers shop with countries in mind, we have organized highlights from our our exclusive Auto Reliability Survey by regions. (See how the brands rank and look up individual models.)
Below you’ll find a breakdown for each car brand, separated by Asian, Domestic, and European regions based on where an automaker’s headquarters is located.
Within that, we highlight the most important reliability news, where cars have done well and where they have seen their reliability slip. CR members can click through the model names for a detailed breakdown of the past and predicted reliability.
How We Score Reliability
Every year, CR asks its members about problems they’ve had with their vehicles in the previous 12 months. This year, we gathered data on 420,000 vehicles, from the 2000 to 2019 model years, that address 17 trouble areas, including engine, transmission, in-car electronics, and more. We use that information to give reliability ratings for every major mainstream vehicle.
The predictions for 2020 models are based on each model’s overall reliability for the past three years. To predict reliability for brand-new models, those redesigned for 2020, and models with insufficient data, we analyze the brand’s reliability history, the previous generation’s, and, if applicable, the reliability of models the vehicle shares components with.
The smart money is to wait a few years to see whether the manufacturer has ironed out the problems of the new design or to buy the more reliable outgoing version. And those older models usually come with discounts so that dealers can move them and make room for the new models.
Lexus and Toyota were first and third out of 30 brands this year. Lexus’ rating was marred by the LS sedan’s much-below-average reliability. It had several problems, including minor transmission, brakes, and noises and leaks.
Toyota had average or better reliability on all its models. The Tacoma pickup, problematic since its 2016 redesign, finally improved to average. The redesigned 2019 RAV4 SUV was somewhat unimpressive, garnering only an average reliability rating, with minor transmission problems as well as electronics issues such as the radio and music interface. The C-HR had some power equipment and engine problems.
Most of Mazda’s established models are above average, but the all-new Mazda3 was only average. It had steering linkage and wheel bearing problems, along with the new infotainment system. The CX-3 is now much above average.
Subaru’s new Ascent SUV and redesigned 2019 Forester both had average reliability. Each had some infotainment problems, including the radio and music interface and display screen going blank. The Crosstrek and Impreza compact models had above-average predictions.
Genesis ranked fifth overall, with the G80 and new G70 having above average reliability; the G90 was average. All the Hyundai models with sufficient data rated average or better. The Kona had well-above-average predicted reliability, which bodes well for the electric version. The redesigned Santa Fe managed average reliability, with problems including the torque converter in the transmission. The Tucson’s predicted reliability improved to average after Hyundai dropped the problematic 1.6-liter engine and seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
The new Kia Telluride’s above average prediction is based on limited data. The Cadenza large sedan has improved to average, so Kia models with sufficient data are now average or better.
Nissan and Infiniti rank 11th and 13th, respectively. The redesigned 2019 Altima sedan had well-above-average reliability in its first year. All other Nissans, with the exception of the below-average Titan, were average or better. The Titan had some minor engine, loose trim, and body hardware problems.
The redesigned 2019 Infiniti QX50 had average reliability. The Q50 is still below average, plagued by in-car electronics and drive system issues. The QX60 SUV remained above average.
Honda’s redesigned models did not perform well. The new Passport was well below average, and had refrigerant leaks and AC compressor problems, among others. The redesigned 2018 Odyssey minivan still has much-worse-than-average reliability, with infotainment issues and problems with the power sliding doors. The Insight hybrid and the Clarity line of alternative-fuel cars are well above average. Acura ranks third from last, struggling with many transmission changes in the past few years. The MDX and the new-for-2019 RDX had well-below-average reliability. The RDX had many infotainment problems, such as the screen freezing or going blank, along with brake issues. The TLX sedan was average.
Dodge was the most reliable domestic brand, but the Durango had below-average reliability. Its other models that we had sufficient data for were average or better.
Chrysler has two models in its lineup. While the 300 sedan was above average, the Pacifica continued to have well-below-average reliability. Top issues were with the infotainment system.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee and Compass were average, while the Cherokee and Renegade were below average. The Wrangler was well below average, with steering and in-car electronics issues.
The redesigned for 2019 Ram 1500 pickup was well below average, with brake and in-car electronics problems.
Lincoln’s Nautilus was well below average, with minor transmission and electronics issues. Other models were average or better; it’s too early to have data for the all-new Corsair and Aviator.
Ford ranked No. 16. The Ranger pickup debuted with above average reliability, and the Mustang improved to average. But the top-selling F-150 pickup truck has dropped to well below average, with minor transmission and engine issues and problems with body hardware and four-wheel-drive components.
Buick remained the best of the GM brands. The Enclave SUV improved from below average to average, and the Encore and Envision had average or better reliability. The Regal was below average.
GMC’s Canyon and redesigned 2019 Sierra 1500 pickup trucks were below average. The Sierra had some issues with the display screen and backup camera, and drive system problems with driveline vibrations or the drive shaft. The Acadia, Terrain, Yukon, and Yukon XL had average or better reliability.
The Chevrolet Camaro sports car, Colorado compact pickup, Traverse SUV, and redesigned 2019 Silverado 1500 full-sized pickup were all below average. The Silverado had problems similar to the GMC Sierra’s, while the Traverse’s problems included minor transmission issues, in-car electronics, and power equipment. Other models, such as the Bolt, Impala, and Equinox, Suburban, and Tahoe SUVs, were average or better.
Reliability of Cadillac models with sufficient data were below average. Notable problems were in-car electronics and drive system.
The Tesla Model 3 and Model S both had average predictions. The Model X stayed much worse than average; issues include its doors, loose trim, and the display screen going blank or freezing.
This year Porsche ranked fourth overall, and we had sufficient data on four models. The redesigned 2019 Cayenne had well-above-average reliability, while the Macan compact SUV and 718 Boxster and Cayman were average or better.
Audi dropped to 14th. Both the redesigned A6 and the new Q8 had well-below-average reliability because of issues with power equipment, engine computers, and in-car electronics. The A3, A4, and A5 models were above average, while the Q5 and Q7 SUVs were average. We lacked data on the redesigned A7, A8, and Q3, and new E-Tron electric SUV.
Volkswagen’s Atlas and Tiguan SUVs still have much-worse-than average reliability, with power equipment, in-car electronics, and emissions/fuel system problems. The redesigned Jetta had below average reliability with minor transmission problems. The Golf and GTI were average.
The redesigned BMW 3 Series sedan and X5 midsized SUV were well below average. The 3 Series’ problem areas included the emissions/fuel system and in-car electronics. The X5 had many in-car electronics issues. Other BMWs were mostly average or better.
The Mini Cooper was above average, but the Countryman was below average.
Mercedes-Benz ranked 21st, with most models having average reliability. We lack data on the new A-Class sedan and redesigned CLA, GLE, and GLS, which all come with a new infotainment system. Complex new systems often have bugs that can take time to resolve.
Volvo’s XC90 and S90 remained below average in reliability, with in-car electronics issues such as problems with the display screen. The XC90 also had brake rotor and premature brake wear issues, and emissions/fuel system problems. The XC60 is average, and the new for 2019 XC40 was above average.
The Alfa Romeo Giulia had much-worse-than average reliability, with in-car electronics and power equipment problems, including the keyless entry system. The Stelvio was average.
We had data on only one Jaguar, the F-Pace SUV, which is still worse than average. Notable problems were the infotainment screen freezing or going blank, and premature brake wear.
We had insufficient data for the Fiat models still sold in the U.S.
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