Consumer Reports does have a place in automotive culture. It’s much maligned for being biased in it’s reporting due to the consumers have a bad taste in their mouths from a certain experience they may have had 5 years ago with some random car. It’s not a perfect system, but it’s the closest real world tool we all have to measure certain aspects of the auto realm. Reliability is one of them.
Every year CR releases a list of the 10 most and least reliable cars on the road. The most reliable is always pretty predictable with Toyotas and Hondas almost always near or at the top. Chevrolet has had a few good cars sneak up the rankings there as well. But the real drama and mud slinging starts when we get into the least reliable cars. Mainly because it’s usually chock full of cars that sell well despite their propensity for failure.
Here are this years bottom 10 models and there are a few surprises.
10) Fiat 500L
Trouble spots Slipping or lock-up transmission, power equipment, drive system, in-car electronics. It earned a dismal road-test score, thanks in part to a stiff ride, flat seats, and an odd driving position. No surprise, owner satisfaction is also low—meaning a strong percentage of owners wish they hadn’t bought this hatchback.
9) Ford Fiesta
Trouble spots Clutch replacement, rough-shifting or slipping transmission, noises and leaks, power equipment. The rear seat is very cramped. Tested 120-hp, 1.6-liter Fiesta with the five-speed manual delivered excellent fuel economy but felt sluggish. A six-speed automated manual tends to cause the car to stumble in stop-and-go traffic.
8) Chevrolet Tahoe/GMC Yukon
Trouble spots Steering vibrations, power equipment, in-car electronics. Fuel economy from the 5.3-liter V8 and six-speed automatic is 16 mpg. But the engine doesn’t feel responsive enough in everyday driving. Car-based SUVs have better handling and are more efficient.
7) Ram 2500
Trouble spots Steering vibrations, emissions controls and sensors, 4WD components, power equipment. 14 mpg overall with the Cummins diesel. Contending with the high step-in height is a chore.
6) Tesla Model X
Trouble spots Falcon-wing doors, locks and latches, power equipment, in-car electronics, climate system. More showy than practical. Massive doors take their time to open and close. Unlike every other SUV, the second row doesn’t fold, which compromises utility. Ride comfort and noise isolation aren’t as good as in the S.
5) Chrysler 200
Trouble spots Slipping or lock-up transmission, rough shifting, drive system. Drives like it’s from a previous era. Handling is clumsy, the ride is rough and unsettled, and the four-cylinder engine is underwhelming. Sitting in the tight rear seat feels claustrophobic. Lowest overall road-test score in the class. Lowest Predicted Reliability Rating in class.
4) Chevrolet Suburban/GMC Yukon XL
Trouble spots Slipping or rough-shifting 8-speed transmission, power equipment, in-car electronics, 4WD components. 16 mpg overall.
3) Jeep Renegade
Trouble spots Drive system, transmission, power equipment, radio. Built in Italy. Bogged down by a nine-speed automatic that’s neither smooth nor responsive. Handling is uninspiring, and the ride is unremarkable. Idle vibration and an overly touchy brake pedal.
2) Ford Focus
Trouble spots Clutch replacement, rough-shifting or slipping transmission, driveline vibrations. Plagued by poor reliability and, at low speeds, a jerky transmission.
1) Cadillac Escalade
Trouble spots Transmission replacement, rough shifting, 4WD components, power equipment, in-car electronics. Not even that roomy inside. Second-row seats aren’t very comfortable, and the third row is cramped. The Cue infotainment system is confounding. Reliability has been well below average, ranking worst in class.
Did you car make the list? Think that it’s getting a raw deal? Let us know! We want to hear your side of the story.
(Source: Consumer Reports)