The latest Consumer Reports research on the most reliable cars in America has just been released. It is as carefully followed as any report of its kind. Lincoln, the Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) luxury brand, was the loser in the rankings by far.
Lincoln has been a problem child at Ford for years. Named after the president, it has been a division of Ford since 1922. Sales in America cratered long ago, as it fell well behind luxury models from Mercedes, Audi, BMW and Lexus.
The company has remodeled its lineup several times, with no effect. Lincoln recently has leaned into sport utility vehicles as consumers turn away from luxury cars and toward the larger haulers of people and gear. It has four SUV models: Navigator, Aviator, Nautilus and Corsair. A fully featured Navigator can cost nearly $100,000. The base Corsair is priced below $36,000.
In the Consumer Reports report “Who Makes the Most Reliable New Cars?” its researchers described the process: “Our predicted reliability score is calculated on a 0-to-100-point scale, with the average rating falling between 41 and 60 points. For a brand to be ranked, we must have sufficient survey data for two or more models.”
The data is based on information about “17 trouble spots”
The Lincoln evaluation was brutal:
Ford and Lincoln—midpack last year—dropped significantly because their new SUVs debuted with major problems. The Ford Explorer has one of the lowest reliability verdicts in this year’s surveys, and the redesigned Escape isn’t much better. Lincoln’s versions of these SUVs, the Aviator and Corsair, are plagued with similar problems.
Mazda ranked first with a score of 83. Lincoln had a score of 8, which put it in 26th place, the very bottom.
With reviews like this, Lincoln’s sales are likely to remain poor.