Special Report

The Most and Least Reliable Car in Each Class

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Reliability is an important consideration when purchasing a vehicle. Not only do reliable vehicles require less maintenance and therefore save time and money, but also they keep a higher resale value. According to Consumer Reports, 19% of new vehicles will have a reliability problem inside the first five years of ownership.

While some classes of vehicles tend to be more reliable than others, reliability can vary dramatically even within the same class. To determine the most and least reliable vehicles in each class, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed reliability ratings from Consumer Reports’ “Annual Auto Reliability Survey.” The ratings organization reviewed over the course of 16 years more than 500,000 vehicles to create a Predicted Reliability Score for the latest models. The score is based on 17 possible vehicle problems varying in severity from minor inconveniences to major flaws that often require expensive repairs.

The reliability ratings are on a 0 to 100 point scale. Of the 14 car classes reviewed by Consumer Reports, compact cars have the the widest reliability gap. While the Toyota Prius has a reliability rating of 94 — the best score of any vehicle — the least reliable compact car is the Ford Focus with a rating of only 6.

Click here to see the most and least reliable car in each class.

The largest difference in customer satisfaction in a single class is also between these two vehicles. While 88% of Toyota Prius owners are satisfied with their vehicle, this is true of only 55% of Ford Focus owners.

Some brands are consistently more reliable than others. Toyota and Lexus together hold the most reliable vehicle in nine of the 14 classes on this list. However, most brands have large variations in reliability between models. While the Ford Expedition is the most reliable large SUV, Ford also produces the least reliable vehicle in three of the 14 categories.

Generally, the most reliable vehicles in each class share a few common traits. While there are some exceptions, the most reliable vehicle tends to cost more than the least reliable vehicle in the same class. Also, the share of satisfied customers tends to be higher for the most reliable vehicles.

To determine the most and least reliable cars in 14 vehicle classes, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the Predicted Reliability Score for each 2017 model in Consumer Reports’ “Annual Auto Reliability Survey.” The survey collected data from more than 500,000 vehicles for up to 16 model years to create a Predicted Reliability Score for each model. Satisfied owners is the share of current vehicle owners who would repeat the decision to buy their current vehicle if given the opportunity to decide again — also from Consumer Reports. Starting vehicle prices, or MSRP, are the current starting prices for the newest model year as listed on the manufacturer’s website at the time of this writing.

These are the most and least reliable cars in 14 different vehicle classes.

Subcompact Cars

Toyota Prius C
Source: Toyota.com

> Most reliable subcompact car: Toyota Prius C
> Reliability rating: 72
> Starting price: $19,560
> Satisfied owners: 71%

Ford Fiesta
Source: Ford.com

> Least reliable subcompact car: Ford Fiesta
> Reliability rating: 13
> Starting price: $14,090
> Satisfied owners: 56%

Compact Cars

Toyota Prius
Source: Toyota.com

> Most reliable compact car: Toyota Prius
> Reliability rating: 94
> Starting price: $24,685
> Satisfied owners: 88%

Ford Focus
Source: Ford.com

> Least reliable compact car: Ford Focus
> Reliability rating: 6
> Starting price: $17,225
> Satisfied owners: 55%

Midsized Cars

Kia Optima
Source: Kia.com

> Most reliable midsized car: Kia Optima
> Reliability rating: 84
> Starting price: $22,140
> Satisfied owners: 86%

Chrysler 200
Source: Chrysler.com

> Least reliable midsized car: Chrysler 200
> Reliability rating: 11
> Starting price: $22,115
> Satisfied owners: 56%

Large Cars

Hyundai Azera

> Most reliable large car: Hyundai Azera
> Reliability rating: 83
> Starting price: $34,100
> Satisfied owners: 72%

Dodge Charger
Source: Dodge.com

> Least reliable large car: Dodge Charger
> Reliability rating: 18
> Starting price: $27,995
> Satisfied owners: 75%

Luxury Compact Cars

Lexus CT
Source: Lexus.com

> Most reliable luxury compact car: Lexus CT 200h
> Reliability rating: 94
> Starting price: $31,250
> Satisfied owners: 58%

Acura TLX
Source: Acura.com

> Least reliable luxury compact car: Acura TLX
> Reliability rating: 19
> Starting price: $31,900
> Satisfied owners: 64%

Luxury Midsized/Large Cars

Infiniti Q70
Source: infinitiusa.com

> Most reliable luxury midsized/large car: Infiniti Q70
> Reliability rating: 91
> Starting price: $49,850
> Satisfied owners: 71%

Mercedes-Benz S-Class
Source: mbusa.com

> Least reliable luxury midsized/large car: Mercedes-Benz S-Class
> Reliability rating: 20
> Starting price: $96,600
> Satisfied owners: 75%

Sporty Cars

Lexus RC
Source: Lexus.com

> Most reliable sporty car: Lexus RC
> Reliability rating: 91
> Starting price: $40,155
> Satisfied owners: N/A

Ford Mustang
Source: Ford.com

> Least reliable sporty car Ford Mustang
> Reliability rating: 17
> Starting price: $24,915
> Satisfied owners: 83%

Minivans

Toyota- Sienna
Source: Toyota.com

> Most reliable minivan: Toyota Sienna
> Reliability rating: 81
> Starting price: $29,750
> Satisfied owners: 81%

Dodge Grand Caravan
Source: Dodge.com

> Least reliable minivan: Dodge Grand Caravan
> Reliability rating: 50
> Starting price: $23,595
> Satisfied owners: 61%

Small SUVs

Toyota RAV4
Source: Toyota.com

> Most reliable small SUV: Toyota RAV4
> Reliability rating: 82
> Starting price: $24,910
> Satisfied owners: 70%

Jeep Cherokee
Source: Jeep.com

> Least reliable small SUV: Jeep Cherokee
> Reliability rating: 24
> Starting price: $23,595
> Satisfied owners: 57%

Midsized SUVs

Toyota 4Runner
Source: Toyota.com

> Most reliable midsized SUV: Toyota 4Runner
> Reliability rating: 88
> Starting price: $34,010
> Satisfied owners: 78%

Jeep Grand Cherokee
Source: Jeep.com

> Least reliable midsized SUV: Jeep Grand Cherokee
> Reliability rating: 18
> Starting price: $30,295
> Satisfied owners: 74%

Large SUVs

Ford Expedition
Source: Ford.com

> Most reliable large SUV: Ford Expedition
> Reliability rating: 81
> Starting price: $46,225
> Satisfied owners: 83%

Chevrolet Suburban
Source: Chevrolet.com

> Least reliable large SUV: Chevrolet Suburban / GMC Yukon XL (tied)
> Reliability rating: 10
> Starting price: $49,700 / $51,230
> Satisfied owners: 80%

Luxury Compact SUVs

Mercedes-Benz GLC
Source: mbusa.com

> Most reliable luxury compact SUV: Mercedes-Benz GLC
> Reliability rating: 89
> Starting price: $39,150
> Satisfied owners: 78%

Lincoln MKC
Source: lincoln.com

> Least reliable luxury compact SUV: Lincoln MKC
> Reliability rating: 18
> Starting price: $32,880
> Satisfied owners: 63%

Luxury Midsized/Large SUVs

Lexus GX
Source: Lexus.com

> Most reliable luxury midsized/large SUV: Lexus GX
> Reliability rating: 90
> Starting price: $51,280
> Satisfied owners: 80%

Cadillac Escalade
Source: Cadillac.com

> Least reliable luxury midsized/large SUV: Cadillac Escalade
> Reliability rating: 3
> Starting price: $73,395
> Satisfied owners: 72%

Pickup Trucks

Toyota Tundra
Source: Toyota.com

> Most reliable pickup truck: Toyota Tundra
> Reliability rating: 85
> Starting price: $30,020
> Satisfied owners: 77%

Ram 2500
Source: ramtrucks.com

> Least reliable pickup truck: Ram 2500
> Reliability rating: 13
> Starting price: $31,780
> Satisfied owners: N/A

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