Autos

America's Least Reliable Car Brand

American car buyers rely heavily on well-regarded reviews of vehicles that cover everything from reliability to price to appeal. The most widely circulated of these come from J.D. Power, Consumer Reports and the large car magazines. Consumer Reports just issued its car reliability study covering both brands and models. One conclusion was shocking. Mercedes scored the worst for reliability out of the 24 brands covered. Mercedes is the leading luxury car brand by sales, matched only by BMW and Lexus.

The universe of people queried was huge, covering over 300,000 car owners. Reliability for 2023 models was based on data from the past three model years.

What accounts for Mercedes’ last-place finish? According to USA Today, “Mercedes-Benz was named Consumer Reports’ least reliable brand for the first time after owners reported electronics issues such as screens that went blank.” The conclusion was shocking because Mercedes vehicles are among the most expensive in the United States.

Mercedes’s major competitors did well. While it received a score of 26 on a scale of 1 to 100, Lexus and Toyota tied for first with a score of 72. BMW finished third with a score of 65. Audi’s score of 60 put it in sixth place among all brands.

According to GoodCarBadCar, Mercedes sold 86,412 vehicles in the third quarter. BMW sold 78,029 and Lexus sold 67,524.


Mercedes vehicles cover a wide range of models. Its entry-level A-Class sedan has a base price of $33,950. The Maybach S-Class has a starting price of $184,900. Mercedes has models that include sedans, coupes, sport utility vehicles and electric cars.


Mercedes management has to be shocked by the news. Reliability is among the primary reasons people buy its vehicles. That reason has started to disappear, according to Consumer Reports.

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