Consumers in the market for a new car have faced a unique challenge this year: because of shortages of critical components, scarcity on dealer lots has resulted in less choice. But before you concede to simply taking what you can get, Consumer Reports wants to remind you that not all makes and models are created equal when it comes to their reliability.
The independent agency has unveiled its annual brand rankings for auto reliability and reports that Asian auto brands lead by a wide margin. In fact, Lexus, Mazda and Toyota are all in the top three for the second year running.
The Consumer Reports methodology follows a 0 to 100 point scale and the group says the average ranking falls within 41 to 60 points. Asian automakers, this year, have an average score of 62 which far outshines the European models, which average a 44.
Domestic brands bring up the rear at an average of 42 points. In fact, the only domestic brand to make the top 10 was Buick, which comes in at #5. Consumer Reports says that, while globally, cars tend to be more reliable than SUVs and trucks, domestic automakers are exhibiting the opposite trend. American cars, for example, scored a 38 in reliability compared to SUVs at 45 and pickups at 41.
Consumer Reports only assesses vehicles for which it has sufficient data or two few models exist, so brands like Dodge, Fiat, Land Rover and Jaguar were left off the list, among others. As for those who were evaluated and performed poorly: last place was awarded to Lincoln, with 18 reliability points. Just ahead was Tesla which, despite strong sales, earned just 25 points.
A Reuters report elaborated on Tesla’s overall ranking, quoting Consumer Reports director of vehicle testing Jake Fisher who says the Model X gullwing door, as well as the much-maligned full self-driving software, continue to be problem areas for the automaker. Overall, the Tesla Model X, with a starting price north of $100K, scored the lowest of ANY model, with just 5 points out of 100 overall.