By on February 26, 2014

2014 Lexus GS 450h Hybrid Exterior-004

Though quality and performance have improved as of late for products made by the Detroit Three, they still have a ways to go to beat the Japanese brands dominating Consumer Reports‘ current rankings.

Automotive News reports seven of the top 10 brands rated for overall reliability and road-test performance as conducted by the magazine are Japanese, while the two top Detroit brands — Buick and GMC — tied for 12th; Ford and Jeep tied for last place.

The top-rated brand for the second consecutive year was Lexus, scoring 79 out of 100 for their lineup deemed “quiet, plush, and very reliable” by Consumer Reports. Following the luxury brand were Acura, Audi, Subaru and Toyota (tied for fourth place), Mazda, Honda, Infiniti, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW and Volvo (tied for 10th).

As for where the remaining Detroit Three brands landed, Chrysler took up the 14th position while Chevrolet, Cadillac, Dodge and the aforementioned Ford and Jeep rounding out the bottom of the rankings behind Nissan, the lowest ranked Japanese brand in a tie with Volkswagen for 19th.

Ford and Jeep’s dead-last ranking is the result of technology woes for the former’s MyFord Touch infotainment system, and a “crude and outdated” lineup — including a Grand Cherokee suffering from weakened reliability, and a Cherokee that the magazine says “isn’t that competitive” — for the latter. Ford, in particular, is a “sad story” according to CR director of auto testing Jake Fisher:

The Ford Fusion, not only does it look, but it drives like a good European sports car. It really does. The problem is the reliability, and that’s what’s dragging down that brand.

Meanwhile, Fisher notes that if General Motors had “a whole lineup of Impalas,” considered the best large sedan based on road tests conducted by the magazine, the automaker would be at the top of the rankings. Overall, Fisher believes the Detroit Three as a whole are “going the right way” in terms of reliability and performance.

Regarding individual models, the Ram 1500 was rated the Best Pickup over the Silverado/Sierra twins in part due to the lack of reliability information for the latter two, while Hyundai captured the trophy Best Mid-Size SUV for their Santa Fe, Subaru holding off the Honda CR-V with their Forester for Best Small SUV, and Tesla, whose Model S holds the highest overall score ever given by the magazine: 99 out of 100, takes home the Overall trophy.

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199 Comments on “Japanese Brands Dominate Consumer Reports Rankings, Detroit Three Struggling...”


  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “Following the luxury brand were Acura, Audi, Subaru and Toyota (tied for fourth place), Mazda, Honda, Infiniti, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW and Volvo (tied for 10th).”

    I do believe Lexus is #1, but they lose all credibility with Audi as #3.

    • 0 avatar
      klossfam

      You might be thinking ‘old school’ on Audi/VW/Porsche…The real gap in reliability is actually super close top-to-bottom. The VW group products “post 2005″ cannot be compared to the 1990s and early 2000s…I’ve owned even more cars than 28 per your handle…and in the 2000s, my VWs (3) and Audi (1) have been virtually identical in real world issues to my Hondas (3), Acuras (2) and Toyota (1)…The worst car I’ve owned in the last decade: A 2002 Acura TL-S. Admittedly, the least troublesome has been my current 2010 Honda Ridgeline but our 2006 VW Rabbit has been virtually trouble free in 7+ years of ownership…

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Audis tend to be more complex than VWs. Other than the 8-speed ZF that is aging like milk on Atlanta pavement in August, all of the issues with our A6 have been things that a VW likely wouldn’t even have in the US.

      • 0 avatar
        alsorl

        People that have had good experiences with VW Audi will not enjoy this site. Both brands, just like all brands have issues. But Toyota and Lexus owners tend not to care to complain about those issues. All those people that died driving a Toyota or Lexus to post on this site. Having said this and being a past Audi salesman I still would get a warranty when buying a used Audi.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Thanks for a reply, you make my point. You shouldn’t be number three in a survey when reliability is a metric if a warranty is highly recommended if not required.

        • 0 avatar
          285exp

          Is there some proof that Lexus and Toyota cars are rated so highly because their owners don’t complain about things that go wrong with their cars, or is it just an excuse that German car dealers use? I was talking to a guy that works for BMW, and he claimed the same thing.

          • 0 avatar
            Volt 230

            I have met both MB and BMW techs and they’re very happy with the overtime they make doing warranty and non-warranty repairs on those cars, as one told me: “I hope they don’t make them any better”

          • 0 avatar
            Siorus

            The only proof I have is my anecdotal evidence from my experience as a service advisor dealing with MB, BMW, VW, Audi, Volvo, Lexus and Infinity for a few years.

            The w210 e-class, for example, is basically bulletproof despite what the internet would have you believe. They have very few issues; mainly wear and tear stuff you get on any car-oil leaks from the valve cover gaskets, that kind of thing. No real electrical issues to speak of except for a $400 window switch assembly that’s fairly fragile. No major mechanical issues of any kind, full stop; I never had to replace a radiator, water pump, etc. on one.

            The LS400, on the other hand, is just as bad as a lot of people like to claim zee Germans are. They have major issues with the power steering system (such that the Lexus dealership will not warranty a replacement rack unless you replace the ENTIRE system-pump, lines, all of it), they have issues with the EL backlighting in the gauge cluster, I’ve seen more than a few with head gasket issues… They’re not notably *unreliable*, but they’re nothing special.

            Just a couple of examples from my past experience. I’ve found that the Infinity stuff is more-or-less absolutely trouble free, though.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Siorus,

            The LS400 issues you listed are literally the only two issues endemic to the older 1990-1996ish cars. A leaking power steering pump and fading audio/climate control screens. I’ll add to that control arm and/or bushing replacement on older high mile cars, and an issue with the “TRAC” light, which is indeed a costly sensor repair ($800 if internet is to be believed).

            That is a drop in the bucket relative to the litany of issues something like a BMW E38 faces (valley pan gaskets, transmissions after 120k, dead pixels, sketchy cooling systems, nikasil engine blocks, prematurely worn suspensions). 1st gen Volvo S80 and its notorious T6 engine and crap transmission and faulty CANBUS electrical system. Even the relatively-not-so-bad W210 E class rusts out quickly, has harmonic balancer issues, all sorts of engine sensor faults, noisy steering issues, dead screen pixels, groaning rear diffs. Once you get to something really high end like a W140 or W220, watch out. The only semi-reasonale option will be to go hunting the junkyards to climate control modules and such.

            If I were buying used and German, you’re right, a W210 with the v6 somewhere later in the production run and inspected for rust would not be a terrible way to go. I like the way they look and I’m sure they drive great.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            So on average the worst spitballs the LS400 is going to throw at me are blown out sensors, burned out dash lights, and a poorly made/designed steering rack? That’s par for the course on any 10yo+ car, you should be so lucky if those are your only problems.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            28 cars,

            I don’t own one, but I researched these extensively at one point. Certainly an LS400 has a LOT that could go wrong compared to a 4 cyl econo-car, and parts will be more expensive. 8 cylinders, power seats, it has more “stuff.” As it ages, some of it may malfunction. But relative to other luxury marques, speaking specifically of anything German (or British) I think they have MUCH shorter laundry lists of stuff to go wrong or to watch out for.

          • 0 avatar
            Siorus

            gtemnykh,

            My last post was a little rushed. You’re right, those are basically the only issues the LS400 had. I have seen a disproportionately large number of 1UZs with head gasket failures (usually burning coolant) but we’re talking like, half a dozen or a dozen cars over a few years versus one BMW V8 (a M62) and no MB V8s, so the sample size isn’t really big enough to conclude anything.

            The E38 is indeed a disaster. Along with the late ’90s/early ’00s VAG products, they are unquestionably the least reliable cars I’ve ever personally dealt with-the odd thing is that the E31s I saw were relatively trouble free. BMWs are nice because at least they’re relatively consistent-you know you’re going to be overhauling most/all of the cooling system every 80k miles or so and (in the case of the e36 and e46, at least) dealing with the lower control arm bushings and ball joints but other than that I found them to be pretty much trouble free.

            Can’t speak to the S80, they’re not popular cars around here. You’re right about the W210′s rust issues; I’m out in California so it’s a nonissue out here. Most of the rest of the issues you list I didn’t really see that often; I’ve seen all of them, but it’s not like say, a B5 A4 1.8T where I could basically write the quote before the car came in the door. It may be a climate/locale thing, I don’t know.

            I’d consider the most major issue with the W210-and with any of the MBs with the 3v engines-to be the crank position sensor. They typically fail without warning, and when they fail the car will stall the next time it returns to idle. So you’ll pull up at a stoplight and it’ll die and won’t restart. This is pretty common; I’d say it happens to every 5-7 cars out of 10 that I saw, usually about every 80k miles, give or take 10k.

            They go through MAF sensors fairly frequently-more frequently than BMWs, but not anything like as frequently as 1.8/2.8 Audis. They do definitely have dead pixels/lines show up in the information screen in the cluster, but that afflicts almost every car of that age that I’ve dealt with-I’ve seen it in Audis, I’ve seen it in BMWs, hell, I’ve even seen it in my Corvette. For that reason i don’t really count it against the 210-it’s just a thing cars of that era do, as I see it.

            Never really had a lot of customer complaints with diff noises; we resealed a few at 100k+ miles, but no complaints that i can recall of excessive noise. Never had any complaints about P/S noise, either. Maybe those problems crop up in more extreme climates, I dunno.

            The W140′s major problem was that stupid biodegradeable wiring harness. We saw very few of them, but the ones we did see, in spite of their staggering complexity, were basically reliable. Put it this way: In three years, i never saw one come in on a flatbed. Ever. For any reason.

            The 220 had all of the issues the 210 did, plus airmatic/abc problems.

            If someone was shopping for say, a w210 and asked me what to expect repair-wise, I’d tell them they could probably expect to do a crank position sensor and a mass airflow meter at some point before 100k miles, a transmission service (MB initially said the 5G-Tronic was lifetime fill, it’s not unless you want to buy a transmission at 150k) with a replacement of the connector on the transmission wiring harness @ the transmission end (it leaks, it’ll wick fluid up into the tcu and short it out, although I’ve only seen it that bad once or twice), valve cover gaskets, a small gasket on the timing cover under the oil filter housing, pre-cat oxygen sensors around 100k and other than that, just normal maintenance.

            It’s not like a Corolla where it’ll do 200k with nothing but oil and filter changes, but in my book that’s not particularly unreasonable. I’d call the Audis where you end up doing the timing belt early because the water pump is leaking and have to overhaul the whole front suspension (essentially-all 4 upper control arms) every 80k miles, and spend $700 in parts and 4.5hrs on PCV system repairs unreasonable. But the ’00s-ish Mercedes? Eh. They seem pretty average to me.

            The newer ones, on the other hand… Don’t get me started on the W211. I have friends with an E63. They’ve bought Mercedes almost exclusively for 20+ years. By 50k miles the E63 had dropped a valve, had multiple rattles and other issues and the fit and finish was so bad that they may never buy another Mercedes; it was replaced with a F10 M5. The W140, W210, W202 and R129 were the last “real” Mercedes in my mind.

          • 0 avatar
            jettaGL

            Father owned a 1998 E320 4matic. 8 years 110K or so. Not a thing went wrong. Never did anything except scheduled service. Don’t know about rust, I never got under it, but the body panels were fine when we traded it in. Got a great value on it at trade, we were happily surprised. He left mercedes because the 2000s E class was a POS. The rear seats were awful, interior dimensions felt much smaller than his 98′, the engine was very rough compared to everything else, and the price was high and firm. On top of that, by 2006 stories were prevalent of quality problems. Both of us thought it was certainly a worse car than his 98, and just possibly his 88 300E. We drove every car in the segment in 2006, and we thought the A6 was best overall. A few months after he purchased CD did their comparo, A6 came out on top, think the E finished almost last.

        • 0 avatar
          KixStart

          What motivates these mysterious Lexus and Toyota owners to suppress complaints about these “issues?” And what “issues” are they?

          • 0 avatar
            Zykotec

            Not saying it is true but the tiny conspiracy theorist in me suggests that since all the services are handled at dealerships, the mechaninc can just say ‘we found nothing this time either mr. Happycustomer’ after replacing the whole drivetrain…
            Chances are that an approach like this could earn them money, because of a great reliability reputation,in the long run. But it would be damn hard to keep it a secret…

          • 0 avatar
            KixStart

            Replacing the drivetrains regularly and telling the customer it was some minor tweak would adversely affect profits and I notice that Toyota is highly profitable.

        • 0 avatar

          > All those people that died driving a Toyota or Lexus to post on this site. Having said this and being a past Audi salesman I still would get a warranty when buying a used Audi.

          I see, those Audi drivers who died from the same incompetence have been replaced since the 80′s.

    • 0 avatar
      cdnsfan27

      Audi has made great strides in reliability. Our fit and finish is impeccable and our integration of technology is first rate. We earned our rating,up from 4th last year so not a one year wonder. But lets not let facts get in the way of your pre-determined opinion based on outdated data…

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Assuming the metric “quiet, plush, and very reliable”, in order to meet the third criteria it means I can own the car long after a warranty has expired. I can go to the auction tomorrow and buy a random Lexus and expect many trouble free miles regardless of warranty. Can this be done with an Audi?

        • 0 avatar
          cdnsfan27

          We don’t do plush at Audi, we do quiet, sporty and reliable. If well-maintained an older Audi will be trouble free.

          • 0 avatar
            krayzie

            You don’t hangout at vortex much do you.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I’m still scared. I would love to buy a 3-4 year old A8. Is there really nothing to be afraid of?

            Every used Q7 I test drove last Summer/Fall felt like it wasn’t aging well. I really liked the idea of buying an Audi CUV, but the hideous Lincoln I purchased is faster, quieter, and more comfortable.

          • 0 avatar
            djsyndrome

            Using the word ‘we’ implies that you work for Audi. Are they aware that you are speaking on their behalf?

            Also, how do ‘you’ get away with charging 31 large for a gussied-up Jetta?

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Stop saying “we” and “our” unless you’re going to tell us exactly where you work at Audi.

            Cause if you’re not in product development, and you’re a dealer or some such – you should quit while you’re ahead, which was a couple posts ago.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            “If well-maintained an older Audi will be trouble free.”

            I love this. It’s such an oxymoron. Why not say,

            “If you fix everything as it breaks every other week, and throw tons of money at it, then it will be reliable.”

            In other news, your roof will never leak if you replace it every 3 years just in case.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Reliable? Answer my question then Audi salesman, can I go buy a 2012 A4/6/8 with avg mileage and comfortably keep it without a warranty?

          • 0 avatar
            highrpm

            @cdnsfan27, here is a proposal for you. If you really stand behind your product as much as you say, then how about you agree to personally cover any repairs/issues for 28-Cars-Later if he does buy an Audi based on your word.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            Of course you can own an out of warranty Audi. Just like you can own an out of warranty Lexus. And both will cost money to maintain as they age. And you will get the shaft from either company if you take it to the dealership out of warranty for repairs and maintenance.

            Let’s try not to be completely stupid about these things people. No $80K+ luxury car is going to be “trouble free” when it has 150K on it. Things wear out. Entropy always wins. If you want a car that will be cheap to run well into it’s second 100K, I suggest a base model Corolla with the old 4spd slusher. Otherwise, you get to pay to play.

            The trick with any of these cars is to have it paid for before the warranty is up. If you can afford to buy it in the first place, you can afford to fix it.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            krhodes,

            I’d be willing to bet good money that an ES350 or GS350/400 will be a fair bit cheaper to own and more reliable than an Audi A6. Likewise comparing an early 2000s LS430 to an A8 of similar vintage. The Toyotas have durable Aisin gearboxes with basically zero known issues, and naturally aspirated engines that will only need their 90k timing belt jobs to be happy (admittedly not a cheap or trivial job). The Audis might need a torque converter and/or new turbos at anything over 100k. That’s just drivetrain things, not getting into the litany of engine sensors and climate control modules that can and do take a dump on Audis. Let us not forget the fragile Audi front ends, with their multitude of ball joints that wear out prematurely.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @gtemmykh

            A Lexus might be cheaper, but it won’t be cheap. Either one will be cheap to run compared to the cost to buy one new. So if you prefer the way the Audi looks and drives, you might as well buy the Audi.

            As I have said on here many times before, as with many things reality is in the middle. Japanese cars are not as perfect as many think, nor are the Germans as tragic. No luxury car will be cheap to keep when it gets old, no matter who made it. Some may be cheaper than others, but I suspect the individual car and owner will have as much influence as the brand at that point. Buy a hooptie of either brand and you will pay. Buy a cherished example and it might not be as bad.

            If you need perfect reliability, buying a cheap old luxury car is stupid – spend the same money on a new econobox with a warranty.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Sorry, still not buying it. Let’s assume you buy a 10 year old Lexus and a 10 year old Audi, and take them to an independent for repairs.

            Something like an A6 with the 2.7T with 110-ish k miles, vs a Lexus GS400 let’s say.

            Lexus will need a timing belt job (water pump, idlers, maybe cam seals). Indy will tackle it for $1000ish using good parts. Beyond that it’s tires/brakes/fluids.

            Audi will also need a t-belt change, which requires taking the front clip off the car (so called service position). On top of that however, it may very well need its KKK turbos replaced, an engine out job. If it’s an automatic, the torque converter will be ripe for replacement as well. The front end has twice as many balljoints to worry about as most mac-strut cars, and they do NOT last as long as in a comparable Lexus, nor do the rubber bushings. The price of German ride/handling. Even an indy mechanic will make you his cash cow with a car like this.

            My brother and his friend (both experienced mechanics) regard out of warranty German cars as ready for the junkyard, the way they start to fail in an expensive fashion is truly impressive. Try plugging in a factory scan tool in to a 10 year old German car. Even if your CEL isn’t on, I can almost guarantee there’ll be a laundry list of half-failed or alarm-state components. Stupid stuff like interior control modules, random lightbulb warnings, etc.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            @krhodes1

            “If you can afford to buy it in the first place, you can afford to fix it.”

            Um…no! That’s not true at all, at least in the sense that you *can* find a decently-priced used European car and then have it turn into a prohibitively-expensive money pit.

            ****************************************************************

            @gtemnkyh

            “Even if your CEL isn’t on, I can almost guarantee there’ll be a laundry list of half-failed or alarm-state components. Stupid stuff like interior control modules, random lightbulb warnings, etc.”

            My Jetta VR6, whose CEL *is* on, agrees with you. Tomorrow, I’m going to take it to a nearby Euro-car specialist to find out why it’s been getting 14MPG.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            To be picky, a 10 year old GS is from 04, and will thus be a GS430, not the 400.
            ;)

            Timing belt/water pump service is about $1200 at an independent. $1800 at Lexus dealer.

      • 0 avatar
        TMA1

        Why are you talking about Audi in the first person?

        • 0 avatar
          alsorl

          Word.

        • 0 avatar
          jettaGL

          krhodes, sorry but you’re off base. Lexus repairs are not close to that of Audi, and they’re much rarer. Several friends and relatives have had Toyota corp pay 50% on repairs for their lexus in which Toyota corp believed that the parts should not have failed. In one case, it was an engine, with over 150K on it. The woman had brought it in twice for a noise she noticed, and when it failed later on, they notified Lexus. Lexus looked at the dealer records, and comp’d the engine.

          Also, the “pay to play” argument is impertinent to a discussion about reliability. This isn’t a discussion about people being irrationally upset over a 4K repair for a car they spend 55K on.

          • 0 avatar
            WhiskerDaVinci

            I know people that have Toyota’s and Lexus’ and when they’ve had MAJOR failures just out of warranty. Hybrid coolant pumps, the transmission having failed, fuel pump (which requires replacement of the entire fuel pump/tank assembly in theirs and others), and these are not bits that are supposed to fail, and they did. Toyota Motor Corp never offered to help pay for it. The dealership tried, because they knew this was crap, and TMC just delayed their reply and it finally said no.

            The people I know that own, or have owned more recent Toyota Motor Corp (Toyota, Lexus and Scion) products would never describe them as reliable or well built. It’s the whole “I think my car is reliable, so it’s reliable) thing. Kind of like how people claim old air-cooled VWs are reliable. No, they aren’t. They’re just easier to fix, so it’s not a big deal when they break. People’s biases and expectations interfere with honestly reporting problems.

            That being said, I know people who own more modern Audi’s and they don’t have any real problems. No more than any other luxury car. A proper luxury car is going to be more complicated, more fragile and more maintenance intensive than a Corolla or a Civic. You can’t really compare the reliability of a Corolla to the reliability of a BMW or a Mercedes…because the complexity of the cars are so different, it’s like comparing an iPhone 5, with a Motorola Razr. With complexity comes potential complications. Modern smartphones are no where near as reliable or durable as the simple pre-pay versions. It’s the same thing with cars.

        • 0 avatar
          cdnsfan27

          I am an Audi Brand Specialist, I sell Audi’s and we are taught early on that everyone in the chain collectively “are Audi”, so yes “Ich bin Audi”. I know these forums are flee flowing and this leads to interesting discussions but it burns me when the B&B use anecdotal evidence to tarnish a brand that has made great strides in reliablity. We could not offer certified pre-owned cars with a 6 year/100,000 mile warranty if they were not reliable.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Ok so you’re a dealer, stop saying we/our.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The devil is in the details with all CPO warranties. The CPO warranty is really 2 years/50K miles, and starts after the 4 year/50K mile factory warranty (so a 3 year old Audi will have a 3 year/XX,000 mile warranty). Also, the Nav and stereo are not covered by Audi. It is also dependent on a Audi technician deciding if a part is defective or just worn out. What does an Audi dealer consider normal wear and tear?

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            cdn – I appreciate your honesty in terms of admitting you work for Audi.

            That said,in terms of volume manufacturers’ models, the 5 most problematic makes I hear friends, family & acquaintances complain about, in terms of frequent, major & expensive repairs are:

            1) Range Rover

            2) Volkswagen

            3) Audi

            4) Mercedes

            5)Hyundai/Kia

            This is my anecdotal experience based on my exchanges with people I know, and isn’t necessarily consistent with CR’s reliability index, which I believe is the best resource for probable reliability available (though not perfect).

            The most problematic car I’ve ever witnessed in the last decade was a friend’s Maserati Quattroporte, which was in for warranty work at least once a month, and often twice or more – it was a disintegrating vehicle; but I didn’t include that above because so few were imported/sold.

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            I’d never admit I know someone who owns a H/K unless I worked in the business.

            On a side note I used to instructed for ACNA 2005-2008, and never seen and Audi broke down at the track. Some of these weekends were three days of continous beatings on the roadcourse.

      • 0 avatar
        jettaGL

        Good to see a discussion of how Audi could get such a high ranking. The cars have many large issues regardless of maintenance protocols, anyone who reads AW, AZ, Vortex, QW should know. BUT – these large issues rarely present in the first 6 years of ownership, sometimes they do, but not often. If you buy new and trade in after 6 to 7 years, something I suspect most people who BUY new audis do, you have little to worry about. Furthermore, the electrical issues and quirks have been largely eliminated. Would I ever recommend a friend or family member to buy a 6 year old audi with 72K? Basically Never Ever. Most people with large problems are 2nd or 3rd owners out of warranty, the dealers tell them “we don’t know what the last owner might have done, its getting up there in miles, bad luck ect…” They have the luxury of plausible deniability based on the dynamics of their market. All that said, there are currently 2 A6s in my family, and they are lovely vehicles! We only bought them because of attractive offers I no longer see.
        2006 A6 90K – 1 problem to date, a burnt vacuum line. All else perfect.
        2009 A6 60K – 1 problem to date, fuel level sensor malfunctions.
        We will keep the 2006 A6 for years longer, in anticipation of the guaranteed $$$ repairs, it has negligible resale value due to 2 rear-end collisions. In a year or two the 2009 will be traded in for some other brand. When 2006 gets “recycled” it will be replaced by something japanese, because its the economy, stupid. In the real world, there is no comparison over the long run of reliability between Lexus and german makes. And, that discrepancy in dealer experience if something does go wrong out of warranty – Priceless.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        When are you going to start making cars that don’t burn a quart of oil every 500 miles?

        I’m speaking of the 2.0TFSI fiasco.

        • 0 avatar
          jettaGL

          This is what I was referencing below for the 2011 A5. Oh shoot, I forgot my sister has a 2009 A4 with the oil consumption problem… It developed under 30K miles. Should have mentioned that above… I forgot, I honestly wasn’t trying to present a more positive view of audi reliability.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Yeah it was my coworker’s 2009 A4 with 60k miles on it. Ouch. Got some sort of TSB done related to changing the PCV breather and reprogramming something.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            We had an ’06 Passat 2.0T that consistently burned 1 quart of synthetic every 800 to 1,000 miles. This went on for 46,000 miles until’we dumped it (just before the warranty expired).

            The dealership and VW North America both insisted it was, and I quote for dramatic effect, “normal.”

            A tech at the dealership pulled me aside one day after the service manager went through the “it’s normal, sir” spiel & quietly told me that both the 1.8T and 2.0T burned synthetic like crazy, that it wasn’t normal, was a well documented issue internally @ VAG, and to get rid of the car, which we did.

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            DW: consider the turbos have higher cylinder prssure under boost than NA motor and along with the era when all manfacurers had to have a oil sucking pcv that would drain the oil pain and burn the oil through the intake. This is why, along with gummed up intake plenum overtime, I disconnected it. Damn the EPA!

            Aside note the GF’s ’12 Forester had dramtic piston knock on cold start. Yup, out of oil on the dip stick and over mileage for a change. It was down 1/2 capacity or about one quart per 1,000 miles. Uncalled for a non-turbo car under $20K miles. Good thing it is a lease as if I’ still around she won’t be buying another tin box!

          • 0 avatar
            jettaGL

            @ Deadweight, You are lucky that tech was honest with you. The techs @ my local audi dealership are legit lock-jaw, as if they took an oath in a dark basement somewhere.

    • 0 avatar
      White Shadow

      I purchased a 2011 Audi A5 brand new and after three years it has still never been back to the dealership a single time. Just sayin’….

      I do believe that Audi is much improved in terms of reliability and the data supports that too.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        It’s good to hear you have a reliable independent mechanic.

        • 0 avatar
          White Shadow

          Actually, I don’t have a mechanic at all. Why? Well, because I am a mechanic….or maybe I should say “technician”, as we’re known these days. Still though, nothing has been done to my A5 other than oil & filter changes at 5,000-mile intervals. And if you’re wondering, the engine consumes ~1/2 quart of oil between oil changes, which is obviously not a problem at all.

      • 0 avatar
        jettaGL

        They are much improved but that is relative to their previous status. Please don’t be fooled, there are major design problems that compromise long term longevity. Sometime these are even highlighted in the internal engineering documents( very good for Class action lawyers!) BTW, monitor your oil levels, I’m not sure your build is out of the issue range.

        • 0 avatar
          White Shadow

          Don’t believe the hype. Sure, there are people dealing with excessive oil consumption (btw, look up what Audi considers “excessive” and you’ll probably be surprised), but I’m not one of them.

          And before you tell me that all DI VAG engines suffer from carbon build-up, I’ll tell you again to not believe the hype. It’s practically a non-issue on the EA888 engine. Reports of any carbon issues on the A5 forum are extremely rare.

          • 0 avatar
            jettaGL

            A lot of people are dealing with Audi oil consumption problems. In fact, act the local golf course 2-3 years ago it was a frequent topic of conversation.

            In regards to carbon depsoits on valves, you are wrong. They all have it, but that doesn’t mean they throw codes, start rough, or misfier. It is the same as atherosclerosis, you can have it 80% occlusion and be completely asymptomatic until hemorrhagic plaque rupture.

            You have a nice car and will likely be alright, but in regards to the problems, you are wrong.

          • 0 avatar
            White Shadow

            Again, I work on cars for a living. I’ve checked my own three-year-old Audi with a scope and there are no signs of carbon build-up. That’s an absolute fact and it cannot be disputed.

      • 0 avatar
        JD23

        My 2011 A4 has needed one unscheduled repair – the stage 1 oil consumption TSB – in 3.5 years. My brother’s 2013 Accord, on the other hand, had a complete electrical meltdown minutes after its first scheduled service. Not that I put much stock into such a minuscule sample size, but Audi may not be quite as bad as people still believe.

        • 0 avatar
          White Shadow

          I don’t know why it is so hard for people to open their eyes and see the truth. And in this case, it’s a well-documented fact that Audi is no longer considered an unreliable brand by any means. There are tons of examples of late-model Audis being just as reliable as your average Camry or Accord. But let the haters hate…they’re either too stubborn or too stupid to deal in facts. And the fact here is that Audi has climbed considerably in reliability rankings.

    • 0 avatar
      tuffjuff

      I still don’t get how Consumer Reports comes up with these.

      Having considered buying an Acura MDX, I looked at a 2013 issue of Consumer Reports where they ranked the 2013 MDX low in reliability. It uses a super old Honda engine (at least in the last-gen MDX) and Honda is known, per CR, as being reliable? A detailed, per model explanation of what makes something UNreliable would be great, but I suppose I’d need to give them more of my money for that…

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      We’ll see how the Japanese fare in the next 4-6 years since a large part of the reason why they have done well in reliability recently is due to little change-over when it comes to power-plants and drive-trains (for instance, Lexus is still using the same V8 in the LS460 that is has had for years – which is why the LS460 is underpowered compared to the rest of the segment).

      Now that both Toyota and Honda are joining the GDI and turbo trend and have recently added CVTs (if not DCTs), we’ll probably see s burp/slip in rankings (as Nissan has had some teething problems with the new/heavily redone models like the Altima).

      • 0 avatar
        jettaGL

        Very true, and Lexus is fortunate that many buyers don’t care if their lexus has become “underpowered” relative to competition. They won’t even notice. I applaud Lexus for not hustling their development and QC team in order to up their “efficiency”. If they are willing to eat the fine cost, I bet many buyers would be happy with those V6 and V8s for another decade. Hopefully they can manage like honda with the I4 and V6 staying NA and delivering great mpg numbers.

    • 0 avatar
      fredtal

      I test drove a new IS250 and didn’t feel it was any better than my 2007 A3.

    • 0 avatar
      american motors

      I have 4 cars in my household in terms of seniority:
      1. 1998 Grand Cherokee 208,000 miles – we mostly drive it when the roads are very bad – we have dirt roads around here and they would rip the shocks some cars. Doesn’t burn oil trans is solid but I did have to put in a water pump this winter, trans pan gasket last year, and a radiator before that. A/C leaks out every year some rust on the front edge of the hood. Drives great in snow due to snow tires and select trac AWD but has 4WD and 4 Lo options. Wife likes to drive it in winter. Bought it for $1600 had it for 5 years and spent about a $1000 on tires and maintenance & repairs.
      2. 2002 Saturn SL 120K – son drives it wont spend any money on it save brake pads and tires. has crappy ignition switch, couple of times the heater needed to be back flushed with the garden hose -no heat, has a leaky intake which turns on the check engine light. He works part time at Tuesday Morning since auto factory jobs are hard to find so no money for anything better. He smashed awheel last week on apothole that took out atire but thats our paved roads this winter.
      3. My 2003 Neon SXT 148K miles- got the usual recommended timing belt, water pump change at 115K for $450 , a tensioner that cost me $400 to have replaced because its a major job, and because of the super bad roads out here I put in all the suspension bushings and got preloaded struts, and lower control arms all from Ebay for about $800. It gets about 33MPG except when we have been getting close to zero and below which means long warm ups.
      4. My Wifes 2010 PT Cruiser , which we bought with a bad wheel bearing for 6800 with 58,000 miles. Spent $400 for a new bearing replacement (mostly labor – it has to be pressed out) at the dealer. Car is down now because she smashed a wheel on a very bad pothole – new aluminum wheel is over $200 .
      Previous cars-
      5. Just sold a 94 Pontiac Transport 3800 with 175,000 for $1300 because I had too many cars. only complaint was the Lockup would stop after it warmed up and then it shift out of overdrive. It still looked new due to plastic body even though I live in the rust belt.
      previous repairs were an exhaust manifold that cracked, and a crank sensor and fuel pump that stranded my wife.
      6. 1998 Dodge Stratus – it was 2.0 L stick shift with 180K – sold it to a German engineering co-op student who came in his buddies Neon R/T. I asked him why they didn’t drive Bimmers – he said “we like to drive the Rams”. This car was very weird – tank to tank I’d get 33- 42 MPG. It had phenomenal range. It did throw unexplained and annoying misfire codes despite new coils wires and plugs and the aforementioned phenomenal fuel economy.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    I’m waiting for the “Ford was unfairly dinged by MyFordTouch!” groupies to show up while I stare at the black circles of unreliability death that pertain to most Ford vehicle transmissions and ALL Ford ecoboost motors (where a single ecoboost motor received a “worse than average” score and ALL OTHER Ford ecoboost motors received “much worse than average” scores from Consumer Reports).

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      I am well aware of what the data says and I am not defending the ecoboost or transmission issues. There shouldn’t be transmission issues because Ford hasn’t had a new transmission since 2010-11. I think the disconnect is that CR seems to focus on MFT as something they hate, and that it drags down surveys. I don’t know if its selective reporting or how CR communicates. From that article we get a quote like this:

      “Consumer Reports said Ford’s struggles were due to lingering complaints about the MyFord Touch infotainment system.”

      At the same time they talk about how the Fusion drives great but is unreliable. So its both.

      • 0 avatar
        TTACFanatic

        I bet the unreliable comment is related to all the “teething” issues with the new 1.6/1.5 Ecoboost engines.

        MFT problems on top of that will lead to overall disappointment and frustration.

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        Even aside reliability, CR picked the Accord as best midsize and superior to the Fusion, which gets less than good mpg and engine performance.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Ford would jump 12 spots, at minimum, and likely more, if it went back to N/A motor (with few exceptions) and conventional transmissions. As just one example, the last gen Ford Fusion 2.5 liter with its conventional transmission makes the new Fusion appear to be a Lancia, by contrast.

        Ford is to the point where they’re in the new technology envelope in areas that they don’t need to be, their reliability is suffering significantly for it, and they’re at risk of losing a large batch of formerly loyal customers due to this – which is an automaker’s worst nightmare (keeping current customers in the brand while “conquesting” new ones is the road to long term success).

        • 0 avatar
          alsorl

          I have a few friends with the focus auto. Bit people have close to 100000 miles with no engine or trans issues. Your a little dramatic about the issues with Ford’s.
          K
          I also have a Mercury mariner with 92000 trouble free miles.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          DW-

          I don’t completely disagree with you when it comes to the ecoboost engines. I like them as a performance option or a top level option (Taurus SHO, Focus ST, Flex Ecoboost, Explorer Sport, etc). I do think a V6 in the Fusion and Escape might be a better solution for many. I really like the 2.0T and 3.5TT engines myself.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          Actually the previous Fusion’s 6F35 is generally regarded as crap (and pertains to alsorl’s Mariner unfortunately). Valve body issues.

    • 0 avatar
      tuffjuff

      @DW

      We know you hate Ford, and for that I say: good for you.

      Anyway, Ford shouldn’t be being dinged for MFT (although last I checked, they probably were) and instead they should be dinged for the huge amount of fairly serious recalls they’ve had in the past 1-2 years. Engine bays that start on fire? THAT is a reliabiltiy concern.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        I don’t hate Ford. If you want to claim that, and/or believe it, I could care less.

        In fact, I am more annoyed that Ford has let the reliability of its vehicles worsen, on a relative (and I believe absolute) basis, since it had a prime opportunity to steal more market share from Japanese and other manufacturers during the last 5 years or so, and am now worried that an entire crop of Ford buyers have been burned by Ford, never to return.

        If you think I’m exaggerating, you are not paying attention to the frequency nor depth of the complaints regarding MECHANICAL issues with things such as the ecoboost motors, Ford’s dual clutch transmission (let alone it’s Chinese source MT86 manual ones), or a myriad of other complaints involving core mechanical/drivetrain components.

        Having witnessed the problems these types of issues spawned for GM, the last thing I wish is for Ford to get chopped down at the knees because it threw the baby out with the bathwater when pushing the technological envelope and apparently forgetting historical lessons regarding reliability being critical to automakers’ long term health prospects.

  • avatar
    klossfam

    Nothing against the Tesla S but check out the litany of issues Edmunds has had with their long term tester…It won’t be long before it is off the CR list due to reliability. It’s a new technology without the benefits of assembly line production and QA, so not surprising the Tesla has so many issues…

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      The Model S is the worst built new car on True Delta, with four times the average number of defects. There is some useful information about Ecoboost and Ford transmissions, but Consumer Reports is no longer much more reliable than Detroit.

      • 0 avatar
        klossfam

        Agreed – CR claims ‘total subjectiveness’ but they fall in love with certain vehicles…Just like you or I might on a test drive. They also seem to make ‘exceptions’ for considering a car ‘average or above’ in reliability…One thing to praise a car you didn’t buy or don’t need to live with day to day. Seems like Tesla doesn’t even have the geometry down on the caster and camber set up on the S as the Edmunds Tesla is eating tires about every 8,000 miles (and they aren’t a cheap tire size).

        I canceled my subscription to CR years ago…Pretty useless info.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          CR does two things:

          -It conducts a reliability survey
          -It tests cars

          If they like a car that they tested, and the reliabiiity is average or better, then they’ll recommend it.

          If a car’s reliability is unknown or less than average, it isn’t recommended even if they liked it, due to the reliability being one of the criteria.

          It should be obvious that they won’t recommend a car that they didn’t like, regardless of how reliable that it may be, because they didn’t like it.

          That seems perfectly reasonable. As it turns out, Tesla’s reliability was good enough to allow it to be recommended.

          That doesn’t mean that I would follow the recommendation. But given the criteria above, there is no reason for CR not to recommend it.

          I’m not sure how many cars are included in the True Delta survey, but I have no doubt CR has included more of them in its survey, which should reduce the statistical noise in the data.

          • 0 avatar
            klossfam

            My issue is they say ‘Camry’s have been reliable, so the new one should be too’. I agree with that logic. The Tesla S, however, is a horrible example. Not nearly enough miles on all the Tesla S’s in the world to draw a conclusion that it is average reliability…and I know TWO people that own a Tesla S. They are a basket case of issues…That is real world.

          • 0 avatar
            geeber

            I thought Consumer Reports stopped giving new Toyotas the benefit of the doubt about 5-6 years ago, when Camry V-6s and some of the trucks turned out to have a higher than average number of problems.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            From what CR published in October, its survey had over 600 respondents. I haven’t read the new one, but it probably has more than that.

            You know two people.

            Guess which one of you has more information from the real world? (Hint: It isn’t you.)

            Mind you, I still wouldn’t buy one, and if the battery packs suffer the fate of the Roadster, then I suspect that you’re going to see the Model S eventually fall onto the Not Recommended list (which will create a nice hit to the stock when it does happen.)

            But it isn’t there yet, and CR’s recommendation criteria should put the car on its list. If there is a problem here, it is that the selection criteria are driven by specific kinds of data that overlook some of the obvious risks (new producer, poor track record with battery packs elsewhere, etc.)

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          What does 10 cents a mile for tire consumption do to the Model S’ running costs? What about its carbon footprint? It seems like if you remove the various subsidies for purchasing and the various transfer payments from buyers of conventional cars in the form of carbon(scam) credits, the Tesla doesn’t help anyone other than Elon Musk.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            Two of my vehicles are in that range, one 10 cents a mile, the other is about 7.3 cents. Those prices are based on discounts. Full price increases those numbers. Check out the tire cost per mile of other sub five second 0-60 cars.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            Our Audi A6 3.0T has about as many problems as the average Model S on True Delta, but magazine testing for it hovered around 5.0 0-60 and it has plenty of tread on its original tires after 36,000 miles.

            I was wrong anyway. Those 8,000 mile Tesla Model S tires actually cost $1,500 a set from the Tire Rack. Figure a minimum $200 for other costs to get them on your car and you’re looking at 21 cents a mile for tires.

  • avatar
    VCplayer

    Interesting that Ford and Jeep probably have a better reputation than most other domestic brands (if there is such a thing) amongst customers. I wonder if that continues or if CR is spotting a growing trend.

    Then again they’ve never been very high on Jeep, and personally I’ve never found fault with MFT outside of wishing it was a shade faster sometimes.

    Consumers value different things. CR tries to target the interests of the “average” consumer, and probably accomplish that quite well. Let’s not pretend though that Wrangler is anything but an emotion-driven purchase for most people. Logic isn’t always the best sell.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      Agreed on the Wrangler, but lack of quality will bite people that pick Jeep crossovers when there are superior Japanese offerings.

    • 0 avatar
      alsorl

      Jeep is a total emotional brand . Yes. My wife wanted a liberty. And yes after 22000 miles it was burning oil, back windows fell down due to broken bits in the door no less then 5 times. And then there was the transmission slipping all before it hit 30000 miles. Then we bought a Hyundai elantra touring and that rattled and fell apart before 10000 miles. It was only until we purchased a the last year model of the Mercury Mariner. It has been trouble free except for a battery and averaging 24-25 mpg over the past 92000 miles.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        I gives me heartburn to learn that even my wife’s 2012 Grand Cherokee is ranked at the bottom for dependability and reliability, but so far we haven’t had any problems.

        Knowing Chrysler’s decades-long penchant for making crap cars, I did buy an extended warranty coverage because we anticipated keeping it for 5 years due to other financial obligations launching our grand kids into the real world.

        Too many other Grand Cherokee owners we know have been bogged down with nit-noy warranty sh!t, so in the case of Jeep at least there may be some validity to these rankings.

      • 0 avatar
        VCplayer

        Wow, that’s too bad. My Liberty’s over 150k and superbly reliable. Just goes to show though, variance in the manufacturing process can be pretty high.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m not sure about emotion-driven part. The biggest downside to Wrangler is its poor gas mileage, but even that is not _that_ bad with the Pentastar and 5sp (I get a shade above 20 every day with the antiquated 3.8L). GM and BMW sell family sedans with same mileage. The second biggest issue in my view is Wrangler’s poor tow capacity. But if someone can get over this, it’s a great SUV if one’s mission profile involves graded and forest roads. No problem finding parking space when your skiing place gets snowdrifts at the lot, too.

      Complaint level of Wrangler obviously gets a pass from owners. For example, mine developed a super annoying creak somewhere around 10,000 miles. I tracked it down for months and eventually found that a rib of the tub was rubbing against the fuel tank. I built a little bracket out of thick copper wire that isolated them and it cured the problem. I suspect that an issue like that would’ve dinged Lexus RX badly, but in Wrangler one shrugs it off. As long as your 42RLE transmission does not overheat, it’s all good (mine was a lucky one — works great in any heat without an extra cooler).

      • 0 avatar
        VCplayer

        I was more getting at the fact that CR hates the Wrangler simply on the grounds that it isn’t very good as a transportation device, relatively speaking. It isn’t as good at driving people/things on roads as other vehicles in its size/price class. The “average consumer” (CR’s target audience) isn’t going to off-road with their vehicle outside of hauling paving stones in to the backyard.

        Wanting a good off-roader is the logical reason to buy a Wrangler, but I suspect the desire to drive a cool-looking vehicle/feel like you COULD go off roading fuels most purchases.

        I totally want one.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          This has always been my beef with CR. They review cars like appliances for people who see their cars as appliances. They have no understanding of niche cars. They would probably rate a McLaren poorly because it has a small trunk and it’s difficult to put a car seat in

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Maybe that’s why it’s called Consumer Reports and not Boy Racer Review.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Got that right, CR doesn’t know a good carbon chin splitter from a poly flipper or a glass air wing, they should stick to toasters

          • 0 avatar
            azmtbkr81

            I agree, CR should avoid reviewing specialty vehicles like the Wrangler and heavy duty pickups simply because they are not equipped to perform a fair assessment of the capabilities.

  • avatar
    calgarytek

    Long live the Japanese brands! If you can’t build a quality product, don’t bother.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Or else you make little changes to the power and drive-trains.

      There was a period when Buicks were near the top of the reliability report – that was b/c GM had made little improvements to the power and drive-trains for the Buick lineup so that all the bugs had long been worked out.

      There will always be issues/a drop after new models launch with totally redone power and drive-trains.

    • 0 avatar
      frozenman

      I can’t agree with you more, after 38 years of owning cars/trucks I’m all about pushing the “easy” button when making a purchase (current Honda/Subaru owner). The big three have no ‘honor’ at the manufacturing level like the Japanese still do, and it shows. I’ll throw the Koreans under the bus to keep them company. Give me a minute to find my flame suit!

    • 0 avatar
      alsorl

      Yes long live Toyota, in hiding people dying in there cars !

      • 0 avatar
        84Cressida

        ^ that’s Government Motors.

        • 0 avatar
          alsorl

          Yes I know. The Japanese government has been subsidizing Toyota for many years. The Japanese auto makers are the True Government motors.

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            Japanese people must take allot of lip service from their government too as I don’t the US ECUs are complete different OS than the Japanese one. But the software sure had a lot of problems:

            http://www.safetyresearch.net/2013/11/07/toyota-unintended-acceleration-and-the-big-bowl-of-spaghetti-code/

          • 0 avatar
            calgarytek

            I don’t care if the Japanese government fully funds it. The point of it is that it’s a quality product compared to the competition.

            Infact, as a North American, I’d send money to the Japanese government to further subsidize their car industry. Keep designing and building them right!

            Time and again, regardless of 0 to 100% levels of subsidization, North American auto makers fail to meet or exceed the quality gap with the Japanese. Nothing works. Throwing money at North Americans is useless. Taking money away is useless too.

            All we get is excuses. Dealerships, manufacturers, and fanboys cite ‘initial quality’ statistics by JD Power and et cetera. Yet they fail to realize that like respect, a reputation for quality and durability is EARNED, not given away.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            Well said, Calgarytek. Detroit has been finally solving its quality and product issues for the 35 years that I’ve been paying attention, and probably for a while before that.

    • 0 avatar
      WhiskerDaVinci

      Uh…you are aware that today, the Japanese makes aren’t as good as they used to be. Honda is having issues, with transmissions and the like and Toyota has rested on its laurels too long. Interior quality is absolute crap, there’s no soft touch plastic anywhere in some of them (which people claim to want as cheap and plasticy are often cited as negatives in a car by people), the engineering is dated and the cars aren’t as mechanically modern as they’re marketed as being and there are reliability issues. Look at the recalls and WHAT they’re for. I know that recalls happen to everyone, but Toyota regularly has recalls for rather serious issues. Audi hasn’t had to recall their cars because the computers that run the ABS, the traction control and the stability control fail and shut the systems down. If the German, the GERMANS can do better in recalls…then the Japanese have no excuse. Because after all…they became so popular being better built and more reliable for everyone else.

      The Japanese are not top dog anymore. It doesn’t make me happy either…but it’s true. People just need to start being more objective about these things. But once the impression is made for many, it’s pretty hard for them to see things any differently. They tend to overlook problems with their own car that they criticize others for having.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Honda’s transmission issue was a decade ago and it is your primary argument. Some people don’t like it, but Toyota and Honda are still in their own league when it comes to quality. Buying something else in a segment either participate in is a badge of shame.

  • avatar
    GoFaster58

    I’m sorry but I wouldn’t buy anything by what Consumer Reports says. Good or bad. I don’t trust CR and will buy what I want and need at that time. I don’t need some organization telling me what to buy. Plus, I’ll buy American. Sure, foreign companies build here but the money still goes overseas.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Maybe you would prefer JD Power.

    • 0 avatar
      DC Bruce

      So, how much money “goes overseas” when you buy an Ohio-built Honda Accord, a South Carolina-built BMW? Same question when you buy a Mexico-built Ford Fusion or RAM 1500. Or do Mexico and Canada not qualify for “overseas?”

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        How about Italy? Chrysler exists to fund Fiat’s Italian operations. GM’s future is in China. Ford is subsidizing its European operations with F150 sales to an extent that may exceed what transplants take home. I’d rather set fire to my money than give it to the UAW. They’re a greater existential threat to the principles that made this country great than any external enemy.

        • 0 avatar
          JD321

          It is tough being a principled adult among bratty, parasitical, and unprincipled tribal monkeys that demand everyone else live for them.

          Hear that sucking sound? That is the sound of BILLIONS in Chrysler profits going to fund the Fiat Welfare Company.

          • 0 avatar

            > I’d rather set fire to my money than give it to the UAW. They’re a greater existential threat to the principles that made this country great than any external enemy.

            > It is tough being a principled adult among bratty, parasitical, and unprincipled tribal monkeys that demand everyone else live for them.

            Why are all the Galt wannabe types always the ones that seem least likely to survive in the long run if stuck in a gulch by themeselves?

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            There’s your amazing power of deduction at work again. I used to live on a sailboat in the Caribbean. I’ve made repairs at sea, taken my own food, sorted my own injuries with ‘the Captain’s Guide to Surgery,’ and scattered hostiles. When the progressives get their civil unrest, it will be another day at the office for me. Most of my friends that make me look like a moderate are marine officers, so I suspect they would have better than average odds as well.

          • 0 avatar

            > When the progressives get their civil unrest, it will be another day at the office for me. Most of my friends that make me look like a moderate are marine officers, so I suspect they would have better than average odds as well.

            LOL, typical government welfare moochers posing as wannabe Galts. You and your friends really should read the book if if it’s going to be the centerpiece of your ideology.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            It must be nice to be able to laugh in the face of one’s own idiocy. You make being wrong an art. The world would be a better place without people that can take pleasure in their infinite capacity for being wrong, said tens of millions of victims of progressive vapidity. Make the world a better place. When you’re wrong, do your best to understand why and stop holding on to the lies that set you up to be a laughing stock. Only loathsome imbeciles like you can stop enabling genocide.

          • 0 avatar

            Oh wow. You must’ve thought such a vacuous post with the biggest words you can manage is supposed to impress someone like me.

            Next time try rubbing the cells responsible for content instead of rhetoric together.

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            +1 CJ.

        • 0 avatar
          rgil627il

          diaff cretin.

  • avatar
    Marko

    Nothing new under the sun…

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Meh. I’m starting to take all of these quality surveys with a grain of salt.

    The gap between worst to first is so narrow, and the complaints are becoming more and more minor in the big scheme of things. Twenty years ago the gap was wider, the problems bigger.

    A car maker is a wonky infotainment or a computer program (see Jack’s post last week) away from being in the cellar.

    I remember a time that when a car got to 100K miles, it was done.

    If you look at worst to first in the B-segment, C-segment, D-segment, compact SUV, midsize SUV, fullsize trucks, the gap between all of them is so narrow. What we call “bad quality” today was called uncompetitive 20 years ago.

    It’s a point of data in a wide range of other data sources car buyers can scrub for their decisions (and please don’t lecture me on how CR gets their data, I’m not saying the results from a single report from a single person). If a friend came to me today saying they wanted to buy a midsize car and what recommendation I have – mine would be look at all of them – you really can’t go wrong.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      …..The gap between worst to first is so narrow, and the complaints are becoming more and more minor in the big scheme of things. Twenty years ago the gap was wider, the problems bigger….

      This. 20 years ago the difference between the more reliable and less reliable models was significant and meaningful. Today, the less reliable brands would be top 10 material 15 years ago yet the “Japan Only” crowd calls them unreliable junk. The simple fact is that with few exceptions, most anything you buy today will provide reliable service. There are always exceptions and that includes the issues that happen with the top rated brands but generally speaking you are not going to have trouble. More concerning is those that see the lower ranked brands and automatically scrap them from consideration. Pretty funny when you realize that the just rejected model has a great likelihood of being more reliable than the car it replaces – no matter who made it.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Believe this at your own peril. Ford gets worse with every model revision. It’s difficult to rationalize the idea that all models are better than ever when Ford’s best sellers are worse than the cars they replaced. Hell, even the F150 only has one engine that achieves average reliability, and it is getting canceled and replaced by what is likely to be the worst Ecoboost yet.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      “The gap between worst to first is so narrow…”

      I’m still pretty sure I’ll be happier with first. You can have worst, if you like. I don’t mind.

  • avatar
    alsorl

    I see no one defending GM. As I type this message I’m renting Chevy captiva in las Vegas. It has 17000 miles and sounds and drives like it has 150000 miles. Engine and suspension bits are loud. Engine mounts are done. ac compressor sounds like my 1983 VW jetta York compressor. Then this 2013 is averaging 21 mpg hwy. This is the LTZ model which was probably close to $27000 if we were able to purchase it new. Its a sad little SUV and GM should be assumed to produce this auto.

    • 0 avatar
      Carlson Fan

      Our 2007 Chevy LTZ Tahoe with close to a 100K drives as solid and tight as my wifes brand new Audi A4. When we took the Audi out for dinner last weekend one of the switch bits popped off and fell on the floor. It’s a nice enough car but once again I’m reminded that GM vehicles are still some of the best on the road. Sure they build some dogs like everyone else, but I don’t buy those.

      • 0 avatar
        fredtal

        Curious because I find my 2007 A3 to be much more reliable than my 1999 Silverado.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Whats gone wrong with the Silverado?

          • 0 avatar
            fredtal

            1997 Silverao 177,000 miles
            I’m on my 3rd AC compressor
            Replaced rear disc brakes twice
            Intake manifold cracked (plastic)
            CD player broke
            Front door speaker broke
            center console hinge broke
            ABS pump failed (unplugged fuse which killed my cruise control)
            Right front suspension failure (I might of hit something but I don’t recall)
            plastic tank on radiator cracked
            rear tailights are held in with one screw, check and tighten often.
            Windshield washer pump failure
            A couple of rattles in dash
            Seems like I’m forgetting something. All of this happening on my dime, except the AC the first replacement came with a lifetime guarantee.

            and for comparison the 2007 Audi A3 89,000 miles
            AC compressor replaced (replaced with a different model under warranty)
            Roof trim replaced (new design clips replaced under TSB)
            rear wheel bearing failure
            irregular rear tire wear and noise, seem to have been solved by using Michelins.
            I lost plastic air intake piece, they gave me a free part to replace.
            I loose the plastic wheel nut covers during tire work and the dealer replaces them without question during service.
            Again I’m probably forgetting something.

          • 0 avatar
            alsorl

            Its called made in Mexico. I think most if not all 4 door Silverado’s are made in Mexico. Very build quality. You can tell which ones are made in Mexico in just a few seconds of looking at the car.

          • 0 avatar
            fredtal

            @alsorl Mine was made in Indiana

        • 0 avatar
          Carlson Fan

          I thought it was funny that a 3 month old car with an MSRP close to 45K was already fallling apart. It’s nice on the inside but really not whole lot nicer than the Chevy. The leather seats in the Tahoe are wearing a lot better after 7 years than the seats in the 2005 TT did at the end of the 3 year lease. That car only had around 17K on it when we were done with it.

          I’m the one that will have to deal with any problems we have with the A4 so if it is as bullet proof as my last 3 GM trucks, fine with me. I will try to convince her to get rid of it before it gets too old or has too many miles on it. She did buy the extended warranty. I would never waste money on something like that with a GM product but I think it was money well spent with the Audi.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        “It’s a nice enough car but once again I’m reminded that GM vehicles are still some of the best on the road.”

        Thanks. The news is relentlessly dismal and I needed a good laugh.

        • 0 avatar
          Carlson Fan

          So what it is that you drive, that in your mind is so superior to either my 2007 Chey Tahoe or 2004 GMC Sierra 2500HD?

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            I currently drive a 2004 Acura TSX(faulty passenger lock solenoid after nine years), 2007 Honda Civic Si sedan (no faults), 2012 Honda CR-V EX-L(dealer installed state inspection sticker over HVAC control light sensor), 2012 Audi A6 3.0T (clunky transmission, Christmas tree number of idiot lights regularly lit, retracting display sounds like its ingesting a chestnut, console buttons work inconsistently, cheap wheels galvanically welded themselves to rear hubs after a year in San Diego, probably lots I’m forgetting).

            I’d rank three of them well above your trucks. I worked for a company that had three 2008 Suburban back in the day. They were 5.3 liter, 2wd, 4spd models with leather. I liked them when we got them. By 30k miles, they’d all had work done for things GM really should have mastered long ago and drove like U-haul trucks. Our fleet mechanic said they were going to fall apart as soon as he saw them. He was proven correct. Considering how much of his time was spent on crummy Ford brakes and crummy Ford diesel injectors, I was surprised he had such contempt for GM. Turned out to be due to knowledge.

        • 0 avatar
          mike978

          Dismal – Mazda being above Honda?

    • 0 avatar
      azmtbkr81

      I think that the Captiva is a re-badged Saturn Vue and is thankfully relegated to fleet-only sales. Still, not exactly smart move on GM’s part if it is attempting lure new customers.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Captiva is a fleet-only vehicle designed to be as cheap as possible. It’s a rebadge of the last Saturn Vue. Chevy sells the much superior Equinox to retail customers in the same segment.

      My GM product (a 2009 G8 GXP) has been a decent, but not perfect, experience from a quality perspective after five years and 32,000 mostly city miles.

      - The drivetrain and body are bulletproof and very well put together. The suspension and steering are good except that my car has the usual noisy front control arms. The car has never failed to start or go.

      - The interior is a mixed bag; the leather on the seats is excellent, but other materials are terrible and it’s a squeak-and-rattle-o-rama.

      - There have been two minor electrical problems (a defective CHMSL LED array and a defective TPMS controller), both replaced under warranty. There has also been occasional wonky behavior from the BCM manifested in either the driver information screen or the climate control screen responding incorrectly to input. It’s always fixed by resetting the car.

      The only flawless car I’ve ever had was a dirt-boring 2006 Civic EX. Second place, flawless except for one irritating rattle in the steering column, was my 2003 Acura TSX. I’m a believer in Honda engineering for the moment.

  • avatar
    86er

    “…while the two top Detroit brands — Buick and GMC — tied for 12th…Chevrolet, Cadillac, Dodge and the aforementioned Ford and Jeep rounding out the bottom of the rankings behind Nissan, the lowest ranked Japanese brand in a tie with Volkswagen for 19th.”

    How did the GMC Sierra do vs. the Chevrolet Silverado?;

    The GMC Terrain vs. the Chevrolet Equinox?;

    The GMC Yukon vs. the Chevrolet Tahoe?; and

    The GMC Savanna vs. the Chevrolet Express?

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Their owners complain less?

      Subscribers to CR that own Buicks or GMCs are generally happier with their cars than Chevrolet owners?

      One of the problems (admittedly a very minor problem) is that CR gets its data from CR subscribers.

      Confirmational bias is going to prevent those who like product X from buying CR if CR says over and over again product X is a steaming pile of poop (I apply this broadly, far beyond cars). On the other hand if CR confirms one purchase as wise and good, people are more likely to fee validated and subscribe.

      Just a theory – I would also theorize that the average CR subscriber is better educated, makes better money, and leans more white collar and is going to have more Cheddar to buy a Buick or GMC over a Chevrolet platform sibling. (on the other hand the Verano and the Cruze are pretty far apart from a parts bin stand point)

    • 0 avatar
      DC Bruce

      Well, the comparison was between entire car companies. The GMC product line is much smaller than the Chevrolet product line, so (and without having access to data for individual vehicles) it seems likely that those “twins” are pretty good. The fact that Chevrolet as a company got poor marks than GMC did doesn’t mean that every Chevy is worse than every GMC. I believe Chevrolet/GMC trucks have a pretty good reputation.

  • avatar
    slance66

    The surveys are bunk. If a Fusion with MFT and a 1.5L ecoboost is a reliability concern, they ding the whole model line, despite liking the car. That’s moronic. I would never buy one so equipped, so my experience would likely be fine.

    I heard the same things when I bought my 328xi used (CPO due to fear). But I opted for no Nav/iDrive, and didn’t get the 335xi that had turbo related problems. The result: a very well built car with no issues to speak of.

    People need to do their homework. That means drilling down into the specific drive-train combinations and features that tend to fail. CR does a disservice by painting models and even makes with a broad brush.

  • avatar
    RogerB34

    The same quality problem that has dogged GM, Ford, and Chrysler since the VW beetle opened the auto import door. Chrysler went bankrupt 1979 delivering partially assembled and engineered cars. Ford Taurus Sable was a landmark car 1986 but Ford didn’t capitalize on the opportunity to beat Toyota in quality. Volume and profits drove the solution. Always sales pitches and not performance. Not much has changed. The way we are.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Probably the same UAW philosophy too. Half-assed is as half-assed does.

      • 0 avatar
        alsorl

        Highdesert . The UAW is not the enemy. Its all those people that worship cars that are not made in the United States. Toyota has had more recalls then any other manufactured auto in the past 5 years. Yet people still worship Toyota. Hell Toyota let there cars kill dozens of people and denied it has to do with there engineering. The UAW did nothing to you or any other right winger.

        • 0 avatar

          > The UAW did nothing to you or any other right winger.

          This is worth highlighting because it’s what the right wing ideology does: make other people’s happiness about *them*.

          Gay people getting married? No! They’re taking away from the “sanctity” of *my* marriage. Someone else can’t support a fetus? No! That’s *my* God’s plan for you. UAW guys getting some slack? Hell no! I slave away at *my* job so they gotta slave away at theirs.

          They literally are the worst sort of people.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          alsorl, I’m not a right winger. I’m an Independent with equal disdain for both political parties.

          And for decades all I drove was Detroit iron. Yeah, way back to the late fifties of last century.

          My first venture in America into foreign was a 2008 Japan-built Highlander — it exposed all the other UAW-built crap for what it was, rolling piles of junk!

          It might interest you to know that we also own a UAW-built 2012 Grand Cherokee, imported from Detroit. No problems, so far, but we’re not keeping it beyond the warranty period. Have owned Chrysler crap before — it won’t last.

          The UAW proved itself bad for the US auto industry and was instrumental in the demise of GM and Chrysler.

          The assembly they crank out today is better but that is only because they could sink no lower. However, it is still not up to par with the foreigners.

          For instance, the F150 is America’s best selling vehicle but the Tundra is better engineered, better riding and handling and better assembled. The Silverado and RAM aren’t even in the same ballpark.

          So why would the VW workers choose to worry about UAW representation collectively bargaining them out of their jobs? And paying for the privilege through union dues to boot?

          GM and Chrysler workers did that prior to their demise and what have they got to show for it?

          UAW shills like you always try to lay out the good about unions but what the shills like you fail to do is also lay out the bad and the ugly.

          The bad and ugly far outweigh any good.

  • avatar
    Ion

    The problem with CR is it enable fanaticism by allowing owners to report the severity of the issue they faced. For example I see having to let my car warm up as an acceptable trade for driving a sports car in single digit weather. Another owner might consider this a defect and not worthy of a red dot.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      “The problem with CR is it enable fanaticism by allowing owners to report the severity of the issue they faced.”

      You must not have seen the CR survey.

      It lists a series of items/ problems. For each area, you check yes if you had a problem, no if you didn’t.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        You’re missing the part where evil spies from Toyota and Honda have infiltrated the U.S. Postal Service, and can thus divert returned surveys to Area 51. There a team of Honda and Toyota specialists comb the results and eliminate negative ones for their respective vehicles. Only then are the surveys forwarded to Consumer Reports headquarters.

      • 0 avatar
        Ion

        A “problem” and a “repair” are quite different

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    J D Powers just came out with their list of the ten most dependable cars and their conclusions are somewhat different then CR.

    1. Midsize Sporty Car: Chevy Camaro
    2. Sub-Compact Car: Honda Fit
    3. Large Car: Buick Lucerne
    4. Large Premium Car: Lexus LS (Tie)
    5. Large Premium Car: Cadillac DTS (Tie)
    6. Compact Car: Chevy Volt
    7. Midsize Car: Toyota Camry
    8. Midsize Premium Car: Lexus GS
    9. Compact Sporty Car: MINI Cooper
    10. Compact Premium Car: Lexus ES

    The above cars are 2011s using the methodology of problems per 100 vehicles

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    Nobody is surprised by these results, unfortunately.

    I will say this: if there’s one thing America does right when it comes to vehicles…

    it’s full size trucks.

    And no, other than the following disclaimer, I will not be acknowledging the Dodge Ram.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “the lowest ranked Japanese brand in a tie with Volkswagen for 19th.”

    When you tie Volkswagen on a US survey, something has gone terribly wrong with your brand.

  • avatar
    340-4

    Huh. Whatever.

    I just bought a new Dodge. The car is amazing. AWD, lots of room, 30+ on the highway, heated cloth seats (hey it was -15F here today)… and their touchscreen/bluetooth system is beyond reproach. The quality and solidity of this car was unexpected.

    Went over it with a fine toothed comb and found not one problem with it when I took delivery, and nothing has evidenced itself yet in 3,000 miles.

    Anymore, I don’t think anyone builds true junk like 30 years ago. What’s the difference in PPV from top to bottom now – just a few points?

    Ever go see what it used to be in CR’s guide books in the 80′s?

    Buy what you like and move on.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Australia is in a similar position with the Japanese vehicles regarded as a better product.

    Some of the comments regarding Jeep I do find interesting. The new Jeep Grand Cherokee here is a good value vehicle for the cash you pay. They are a cheap vehicle to buy for the amount of bling and off road capability.

    It’s quality isn’t deemed prestigious like it’s viewed in the US. The Japanese SUVs and German SUVs are considered premium quality products.

    The Wrangler here is almost considered on par with a Mahindra for actual vehicle quality. I’m not stating that the off road prowess of a Mahindra is better.

    The Wrangler is a tractor and it’s build quality appears to be par with something you’d buy in a dollar store. But it’s a very good weekend off roader.

    US vehicles have improved, but as they improve so are the products coming out of other nations. Even China.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    According to Steven Lang’s study these are the ten best cars for dependability and durability

    1. Lexus LX470/Toyota Land Cruiser
    2. Ford E-Series
    3. Lexus LS
    4. Chevy/GMC full-sized trucks and SUV’s
    5. Ford full-sized trucks (V-8 and V-10 models)
    6. Toyota Camry / Lexus ES / Toyota Avalon
    7. Toyota 4Runner / Lexus GX470
    8. Honda S2000
    9. Toyota Prius
    10. Lexus GS

    I guess it depends on who’s doing the study, but based on my own experiences and observations I’d go with Steven’s study, because I don’t think any of these manufacturers tried to influence him in any way

  • avatar
    hubcap

    For the most part I don’t have a problem with the way CR conducts its surveys. They review cars a certain way and I don’t think they have malicious intent.

    Here’s the rub. I like driving cars, especially cars that feel good. For various reasons, many of those cars don’t score as well on CR surveys are there more plebeian brethren. Ah, que sera sera.

    Those lower scores won’t stop me from purchasing those cars. They bring me joy and if you purchase new or CPO you’ve got years of trouble free driving ahead of you. I have no problem with a Sonata or Camry. They perform admirably as point to point transportation but I want, and am willing to pay, a bit more.

    I like to wait 24 months after a new model goes into production for the initial bugs to be worked out. Absent that, if I want a new Cayman S, M3, Corvette, etc. there’s nothing CR can say that will stop me from buying.

    Life’s too short to drive boring cars.

  • avatar
    Cabriolet

    I still read CR every month or so. A buddy of mine still thinks CR is always correct so he gives me his old copies. After almost getting burned on a TV they rated very highly i take their reports with a grain of salt. A case in point CR has always rated the Chrysler Minivans very poorly. My Son-in-law purchased a 1994 Plymouth Minivan base model for a good price new. No troubles until 78,000 miles later and the transmission goes out. I call my friend who owns a transmission shop to see what he can do he says no problem i will pick up the car tomorrow morning and return the car that night. $750.00 later and the car has a Chrysler rebuild transmission and the van runs like a top. 2 years later with about 120,000 miles on the van my Son-in-law reads CR and puts a for sale sign on the van and a fellow around the block buys the van. Fast forward to 2014 and the van is still on the road with over 200,000 miles. Every time the owner drives past my Son-in-laws house and he is outside the owner tells him its the best car he ever brought, Other then tires, brake pads and a battery the van runs like a top. My Son-in-law still kicks himself. For the record he now drives a 2009 Toyota RAV4. His father died a few years back and his mother gave him the RAV4. He hates it. 34,000 miles and it needed new shocks. Rattles like a tin can. headliner is starting to fall down. A top CR pick.

    • 0 avatar
      Atum

      What trim, engine, and drivetrain are yours? My mom’s 2AR-FE FWD Limited is doing great mechanically and it has 20K on the odometer. But 2009 was also the first year of the refresh. By 2012, all of the bugs were worked out (hopefully).

      Also, they began building RAV4s in Canada for 2009. Maybe your son-in-law has an early production TMMC model (my mom’s RAV4 is also built in Canada).

      • 0 avatar

        Maybe he’s just a hater who I would not let near my daughter. I got rid of my 2006 RAV4 at something about 80k and it was doing well except the blasted glove box had damper going off the pivot. Also, at some point idiot monkeys at a quick-lube place blasted hinges with WD-40, which washed away the factory grease and so the rear gate started creaking.

  • avatar
    84Cressida

    Toyota and Lexus on top, therefore I don’t believe there is any difference in quality and I take these surveys with a grain of salt.

    Toyota and Lexus not on top, wow, see there is now proof that Toyota is no better than anybody else and that they’ve been building junk for years and have been coasting on their reputation. So many more reliable choices today.

    Pretty much sums up the rhetoric.

  • avatar
    Cabriolet

    My Son-in-laws RAV4 is a late 2009 model bottom line lowest price. The poor man waited for 4 months for delivery as this was cash for clunkers time and he had no clunker to turn in. Understand the dealer at the time held him up for about 3 hours before delivery. My Son-in-law took him to the dealer for delivery and was almost ready to have his father cancel the deal.

  • avatar
    ttacgreg

    “the Detroit Three as a whole are “going the right way” in terms of reliability and performance.”
    I have been hearing this cute talking point for how many decades now?

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    If you want real information about which cars are more problematic and unreliable go and see your local Monroe, Cole/Mavis or even better your friendly trusted private mechanic. And do as much online research under the forums section as possible. I learned that many of the so called Detroit cars that CR bashed as crap are the ones you seldom see in for major repairs. The manager at Monroe even told me that my Impala seems to be a great car and they rarely ever have one in for other than oil changes, brakes, tires and alignments. He said if anything the 5 year and older foreign makes like Nissan, Mitsubishi and even certain Toyota’s/Hondas show up for more high end expensive repairs with the German makes being the worst. He then pointed to all the bays to prove his point. Only one bay had a Ford crown Vic. The rest were VW’s, Hondas and Nissans receiving suspension, exhaust and problems that prevented passing inspection.

    My local and long time trusted mechanic who has been in business since 1977 stated that Detroit cars years ago were always in for repairs and you hardly ever got in a foreign car. Now it’s much more even with VW/Audi/BMW being the worst offenders with Mercedes, Nissan and Mitsubishi following. Without even bringing it up he stated that they don’t see many of my style 2006-2014 style Impalas, Taurus, Malibu or Fusions, later model Panthers or Town Cars and certain Lexus and Acura cars rarely make an appearance(maybe these folks bring there vehicles to the dealer still). He also said that many Mopars are from the 90′s to 2008 are junk which we already knew and anything with a Northstar V8 from the 90′s to 2002 is best avoided.

  • avatar

    Does this site’s “best and brightest” always have the same misconceptions about how statistics work every time a CR survey or such comes out? It’s possible CR has systemic biases, but those aren’t really revealed by your or that mechanic you overhead’s anecdotes or confirmation bias.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Everyone has systemic biases, but some can be overcome by a very large financial contribution to the rating agency.

      CR prides itself on not taking any bribes or ad-bucks so that just leaves the systemic biases. I remember the bias against Suzuki.

      Misconceptions? What is one person’s guide or standard is another’s misconception. CR is just one rating agency.

      • 0 avatar

        > Misconceptions? What is one person’s guide or standard is another’s misconception. CR is just one rating agency.

        Misconception about how math works. Failures in stats are often matters of interpretation; this is more like 2+2=22.

    • 0 avatar
      VCplayer

      The lack of hard statistics for car reliability is the issue. The CR or JD Power survey is the closest we really get to getting an idea of the big picture, but this relies on consumers to assess a subjective issue: if I can’t figure out how the seat controls work, is it the car’s fault or my fault?

      The surveys are probably approximate enough though to judge on a general basis who’s better, but really any vehicle you purchase should be one that’s been researched and well considered if reliability is a thing that matters to you (unless you own more than 10 functioning cars, it probably does).

      Discussion of anecdotal evidence is going to be considered though unless the data collection method can become somewhat less subjective. Ideally, every time you have work done at a dealership or mechanic it would be electronically logged. Then we would have better data on what cars are actually being repaired and for what cause. Of course, you would also have to find a way to keep the dealerships from goosing the data. “Shade tree” mechanics and people who fix their own rides would be excluded as well, but those people are probably a minority and driving cars that are 10+ years old.

      • 0 avatar

        > if I can’t figure out how the seat controls work, is it the car’s fault or my fault?

        The benefit of the stat method is it tends to even out the numbers of dummies vs smarties, unless of course a certain brand has significant more of one vs the other which is what was referred to as systemic bias in collection.

        > unless the data collection method can become somewhat less subjective

        Of course it would be best if CR gave actual objective numbers with deviations or least error bars, instead of whatever funky oddball normalization of their choosing.

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    Japanese Brands fill 1/3 of CR worst cars 2014 http://www.thedetroitbureau.com/2014/02/the-consumer-reports-list-to-avoid-worst-vehicles/

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Subcompact cars

      Smart ForTwo
      Scion iQ
      Chevrolet Spark

      Compact cars

      Scion tC
      Mitsubishi Lancer
      Dodge Dart

      Midsize sedans

      Chrysler 200/Dodge Avenger

      Large sedans

      Ford Taurus

      Luxury sedans

      Lexus IS
      Lincoln MKS
      BMW 7-Series

      Wagons & minivans

      Honda Crosstour

      Small SUVs

      Jeep Compass
      Jeep Patriot
      Jeep Cherokee with 2.4-liter engine
      Mitsubishi Outlander

      Midsize & large SUVs

      Ford Edge
      Nissan Armada
      Dodge Journey

      Luxury SUVs

      Volvo XC90
      Lincoln MKX
      Range Rover Evoque

  • avatar
    plee

    So, the 5 or 6 at the bottom of the list are having great sales numbers, apparently the bulk of the buying public does not pay attention to CR rankings. Just buy what you like and at a dealer where you are treated well. I agree with others that reliability should be based on car breaking down repeatedly with mechanical issues, not because there is difficulty operating hi tech options. Most cars today are very good compared with what there was 10 years ago or so.


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