Chinks in Toyota‘s armor are becoming apparent, whereas Ford‘s domestic brands have become more reliable, according to data from the Consumer Reports “2007 Annual Car Reliability Survey.” Still, the top three automakers in reliability are non-US-based brands.
Toyota’s V6 version of the top-selling Camry and the four-wheel-drive V8 version of the Tundra pickup, both redesigned for 2007, now rate below average in the Consumer Reports predicted reliability rating. So does the all-wheel-drive version of the Lexus GS sedan. Accordingly, none of them makes CR’s “Recommended” list.
Nevertheless, Toyota (including Lexus and Scion) still ranks third in reliability among all automakers, behind only Honda and Subaru.
Forty-one of 44 (93%) Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury models in CR’s survey scored average or better in predicted reliability. The Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan are among the most reliable cars, and along with the two-wheel-drive Ford F-150 V6 are three of the only four domestic models on the Consumer Reports “Most Reliable” list.
Still, US brands account for almost half the models – 20 of 44 – on CR’s list of “Least Reliable” models:
- 13 are from General Motors, 6 from Chrysler, and 1 from Ford.
- European makes account for 17 of those models: 6 each from Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen/Audi.
- Asian nameplates are also on the “Least Reliable” list: The Hyundai Entourage, Infiniti QX56, Mazda CX-7, Nissan Armada (4WD), Quest, and Titan (4WD), and Toyota Tundra (V8, 4WD).
Among other reliability findings:
- 19 domestic models have been added to CR’s “Newly Recommended” list, including the new GMC Acadia and Saturn Outlook, in their first years, and the Dodge Charger, which was not recommended in last year’s survey because of below-average reliability.
- Of the domestic models for which CR had sufficient data in the 2007 survey, 93% of Ford, 49% of General Motors, and 67% of Chrysler models had average or better predicted reliability.
- 34 of the 39 models in the “Most Reliable” list are Asian: 17 are from Toyota (including Lexus and Scion); 7 are from Honda (including Acura); 3 each from Hyundai and Nissan (including Infiniti); 2 from Subaru; and 1 each from Mitsubishi and Mazda.Â
- The Pontiac Solstice has the worst new-car prediction score in the 2007 survey.
- When ranked by make, Honda and Acura have the highest average scores of the 36 brands. Closely following are Scion, Subaru, and Toyota. Buick is the highest-ranked domestic brand.
- Among the 36 makes, Land Rover is the least reliable, on average.
About the study: Findings are based on responses on almost 1.3 million vehicles owned or leased by subscribers to Consumer Reports or its web site, www.ConsumerReports.org. The survey was conducted in the spring of 2007 by the Consumer Reports National Survey Research Center and covered model years 1998 to 2007. “Predicted reliability” is CR’s forecast of how well models currently on sale are likely to hold up.