There are many important matters to consider when buying a new car. Something that often is overlooked is a car’s reliability. That is, how long it will last before repairs are needed. Some cars are built to last, while others have problems that could mean the car will spend considerable time in the shop and cost thousands in repairs.
To help car buyers identify potentially troublesome cars, product review organization Consumer Reports conducted its latest annual reliability survey. This survey of owners’ experience with approximately 329,000 vehicles was used to determine how likely each model is to have serious problems. Respondents were asked to report issues they experienced with their vehicles in one of 17 areas. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed cars for the 2021 model year with a predicted reliability score of 1 out of 5, meaning Consumer Reports has determined these are the new models most likely to report serious problems down the road. We then picked the car that had the worst total composite rating.
The list of finalists included both luxury models and lower-end vehicles. Expensive luxury models can be costly to fix and to insure, particularly if the encountered problems are common. These are the most expensive cars to insure.
While many different automakers and brands appear on this list, some appear more than others. Notably, Land Rover and Chevrolet have at least five models each with a predicted reliability score of just 1 out of 5.
The 2021 Fiat 500X is the least reliable new car. It gets a dismal Consumer Reports overall score of 31/100. It was given a predicted reliability rating of 1/5 and an owner satisfaction rating of 1/5. The 500X is a relatively inexpensive car, with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $24,840. It gets relatively good gas mileage, with a combined fuel efficiency of 23 miles per gallon.
To determine the cars that are most likely to break down, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed all 2021 model vehicles from Consumer Reports with a reliability score of 1 out of 5. Consumer Reports also awards an overall model score out of 100, which incorporates reliability and other measures of quality. We excluded all models that were not awarded an overall score by Consumer Reports, as well as models with an overall score of 50 or higher. Finally, Consumer Reports produces a predicted owner satisfaction score, and all models receiving a score of 4 or higher were excluded. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price ranges and combined fuel efficiency figures are also from Consumer Reports.
The data comes from the latest Consumer Reports Auto Reports survey, conducted in 2020 and covering approximately 329,000 vehicles. Respondents were asked to report issues they experienced with their vehicles in one of 17 areas, ranging from engine problems and climate control issues to malfunctioning electrical systems. Using this information, experts at Consumer Reports assigned a predicted reliability score of 1 to 5 for these vehicles.