Buick was the only U.S. brand that made the top 10 of Consumer Reports’ annual auto reliability ranking this year but domestic models took the lead spots in seven vehicle categories, which the publication described as “an unusually strong showing.”
The 2021 Auto Reliability Report, which was being unveiled Thursday in an online conference with the Automotive Press Association, is based on data collected from the publication’s members who recount their experiences with more than 300,000 vehicles, according to a news release from Consumer Reports.
The survey ranks both brands and individual models within those brands.
Cadillac, for instance, delivered one of the most reliable models in the XT5.
The most reliable brands were dominated, however, by Asian automakers. Lexus led the pack, followed by Mazda, Toyota, Infiniti, Buick, Honda, Subaru, Acura, Nissan and Mini.
In fact, all Lexus models were average or better for reliability, according to the news release.
Lincoln, Tesla, Jeep, Genesis, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, GMC, Ram, Volvo, and Kia took the bottom 10 spots.
"With new-car prices at all-time highs and a shortage of vehicles on dealers’ lots, it’s more important than ever to consider reliability when you invest in something new,” Jake Fisher, senior director of auto testing at Consumer Reports, said in the release. “Buying a reliable vehicle can help ensure that you’ll be able to hit the road when you need to, and not worry about getting stuck waiting on parts for repairs.”
The Buick Envision (luxury compact SUV), Chevrolet Trailblazer (subcompact SUV), Chevrolet Silverado 2500 Heavy Duty and the GMC Sierra 2500 Heavy Duty (full-size pickups), Chrysler 300 (midsize/large car), Ford Bronco Sport (compact SUV), Ford Mustang Mach-E (electric SUV) and Ford Ranger (midsize pickup) were domestic models that led their respective vehicle categories. Domestic brands ranked at the top of seven of the 17 categories the survey ranked, according to Consumer Reports.
To get the rankings, Consumer Reports' members filled out online surveys in the spring and summer. The reliability predictions are based on the overall reliability for the last three model years, according to the release.
It noted that the issues owners reported included everything from transmissions needing replacement after only 5,000 miles and display screens requiring hardware replacements to misaligned tailgates and doors.
The survey also found:
“Hybrids and plug-in vehicles are among the most reliable models."
“High-end electric-powered Sport Utility Vehicles are among the least reliable vehicles, but not because of their relatively simple powertrains. Complex electronics are their Achilles' Heel, at least for now."
“Some Hyundai, Kia, Subaru, and Toyota models continue to have problems due to technologically advanced, and complex, transmissions.”
There was insufficient data to rank Alfa Romeo, Dodge, Fiat, Jaguar, Land Rover, Maserati, Mitsubishi and Polestar, according to Consumer Reports.
Most Reliable Models*
Kia Niro EV
Toyota Prius Prime
Mazda MX-5 Miata
Least Reliable Models*
Tesla Model Y
Chevrolet Silverado 1500/GMC Sierra 1500
*Consumer Reports 2021 Auto Reliability Report
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Lexus most reliable in Consumer Reports survey; Buick makes top 10