Consumer Reports' Most and Least Reliable Cars

Earlier we wrote about automakers’ overall rankings in Consumer Reports’ annual survey. Now, we’re tackling which models ranked highest and lowest among the 1.4 million vehicles surveyed. The big winner is Ford, and it’s not because they had the most vehicles with above average reliability. Consumer Reports says the company has a “world-class” lineup in terms of reliability, with 46 out of 51 Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles scoring average or above-average reliability ratings.

In comparison, GM’s now four brands — Buick, Cadillac, Chevy and GMC — had 20 out of 48 models with average scores and just one, the Malibu V6, with above average scores.

Last year, Chrysler had no vehicles breaking the “average” barrier, but this year the new Dodge Ram 1500 pickup truck earned a place among the middle of the pack. However, a third of the company’s lineup scored much worse than average, the lowest rating given.

You can look up the full list of ratings if you’re a CR subscriber here. We list the most and least reliable models by category below.

Small Cars
Most Reliable: Honda Insight
Least Reliable: Nissan Versa sedan

Family Cars
Most:  Toyota Prius
Least: Chrysler Sebring/Dodge Avenger

Luxury Cars

Most: Infiniti M35 (RWD)
Least: Jaguar XF

Sporty Cars, Coupes and Convertibles

Most: Lexus SC
Least: Chrysler Sebring convertible

Wagons and Minivans
Most: Toyota Venza
Least: Chrysler Town & Country/Dodge Grand Caravan

Small SUVs
Most: Honda CR-V
Least: Saturn Vue (V6)

Midsize SUVs
Most: Toyota FJ Cruiser
Least: Jeep Commander

Luxury SUVs
Most: Mercedes-Benz GLK
Least: VW Touareg

Large SUVs
Most: Toyota Sequoia
Least: Chevy Suburban 2500

Most: Toyota Tundra
Least: Chevy Colorado
By David Thomas | October 27, 2009 | Comments (19)
Tags: Car Buying


Juan Carlos

the insight hasn't long enough to be on the list! and isn't the insight and the prius in the same class?

The Insight is definitely a size smaller than the Prius on the inside, and that's what they're going with.

The Insight went on sale in March and CR sent out its surveys in spring, so it did get the early launch cars.

Very nice blog for buyers who want to buy cars.


The Prius is a midsize car, the insight is a compact.


Wow, the least reliable cars are consistently entered with Crapsler. No wonder they are being axed.


Vue,Suburban,Colorado....ha,mighty GM and "let the best car win"...ok,they lose.
Of course GM could never do a truck right anyway.If you havent fried in a sidesaddle fuel tanked GM pickup (73-87) you have been lucky.And if your 88-99 pickup cab hasnt collapsed at the body mounts you too are also lucky.Oh,and their old FS Blazers used to rust right off the frames entirely.Like a Rock.Yea,right.


I am confused how the Venza, insight, and GLK can even be on this list- hasn't Consumer reports said recently that it wouldn't recommend new models because of insufficient data on brand new models? Well, those are all brand new- how can they possibly have enough data on them to call them the most reliable in their class? Other than those three, this list doesn't really surprise me.


they call it "predicted reliability" I believe.


Findings are based on responses on more than 1.4 million vehicles owned or leased by subscribers to Consumer Reports or its Web site,, the biggest response in the Annual Auto Survey's history. The survey was conducted in the spring of 2009 by Consumer Reports' National Survey Research Center and covered model years 2000 to 2009.

Consumer Reports' expert team of statisticians and automotive engineers used the survey data to predict reliability of new 2010 models. Predicted reliability is CR's forecast of how well models currently on sale are likely to hold up. To calculate predicted-reliability ratings, CR averages the overall reliability scores (used car verdicts) for the most recent three model years, provided that the model remained unchanged in that period and also didn't substantially change for 2010. If a model was new or redesigned in the past couple of years, one or two years' data may be used, or if that's all that's available.


How come the cars I always seem to have are the ones that consumer reports lists as being most unreliable - yet they run fantasic for me?

Derrick G


Chrysler had vehicles that scored an Average or better last year; just none of the ones that did scored high enough in their road test to get a recommendation.


They received enough responses on the vehicles you mentioned to make a prediction. Some of those went on sale really early this year.



You suffer from overreliance on anecdotes (of your own).
I also know smokers who lived well into their 80's without much problem; but that doesn't mean those who say smoking can kill you is being inaccurate.

I do agree that statistical data can be "massaged" to show different trends. There have also been previous discussions on this blogs about other data sources. In general, statistics are more reliable when sampling size is large; CR happens to be more reliable because of their large sample size.


Quantify most reliable and least reliable in terms other than empty circles, half-empty circles, and filled in circles.

What, you can't?

as for anecdotal evidence re: cars, it usually runs in the negatives. You only hear about a friends or coworkers car when they bring up a fault most of the time.

There's no great story behind "my xxx is 2 years old with no problems" but "my xxx has been in the shop 7 times for brake issues" does come up. I had a new car once that is the basis for the second quote.


My experience with GM vehicles of this decade is no different than the ones I had last decade, they are just as shoddy but rather than being fixable, the problems were harder and more complex to trace.

No surprise to see them at the bottom of the ranks.

Also, Ford has rocketed to the top and apparently CR (along with numerous other publications, forums and conversations) recognizes their achievments to become a class leader once again.

Kudos to Mullally and Ford in General (NPI) for their efforts.


The only thing I detest more than GM is the fact that my tax dollars will keep the abomination alive.


Lucky for GM that Chrysler is still around otherwise they'd be in many of those 'Least' categories.

Mark Gargola

I bought a new 2009 grand caravan and it has been the most reliable vehicle I've ever owned. I hav'nt had a single problem with it.Nothing has needed adjustment. It has been flawless.


my 2006 pt cruiser runs perfectly, better than my 2007 honda pilot

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