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Car Brand Reliability - From Worst To Best


Car Brand Reliability - From Worst To Best

Ranking 38 Car Makers In Reliability - From Worst To Best

In September 2015, Yahoos Autos’ Steven Lang published an article beleaguering how disheartening it can be when a car you bought new can eventually fall prey to an expensive repair, irrespective of how well you’ve maintained it.

Lang’s commentary struck a chord with us, as so many vehicles have been traded into us off of the back of an expensive repair that the owner simply rather would not make.

It’s a state of affairs that has driven more and more folks to buying used, rather than new, with people concerned about paying a premium for a car which may potentially need to be traded in anyway. With more folks buying used, the gap between the new market and used market has shortened dramatically in the last 5-10 years.

Lang’s attempts to enlighten readers about this eventual possibility resulted in producing a comprehensive index of car reliability, giving each a score based on reported powertrain, engine and transmission issues from as far back as 1996.

From each report a database listing their average, overall reliability has been compiled. This lists the 38 companies with enough workable data from worst to best. Any absentees are due to a lack of actionable data to create a comprehensive score.

So, what are your perceptions of car manufacturers? Who would you say now is reliable and who, indeed, is not?

Let’s see if that is about to change. A low index is critically poor. The higher the index the better. A higher index means a more reliable manufacture, with less reported failings across their whole range. 50 is the average line.


The Ranking

38. MINI (Quality Index: 3)

37. Smart (Quality Index: 26)

=35. Jaguar (Quality Index: 38)

=35. Volkswagen (Quality Index: 38)

34. Suzuki (Quality Index: 40)

33. ISUZU (Quality Index: 43)

32. Audi (Quality Index: 44)

31. Land Rover (Quality Index: 46)

30. Mazda (Quality Index: 47)

29. Kia (Quality Index: 51)

28. Saturn (Quality Index: 54)

=26. Volvo (Quality Index: 56)

=26. Porsche (Quality Index: 56)

25. Lincoln (Quality Index: 57)

=22. Saab  (Quality Index: 58)

=22. Chrysler (Quality Index: 58)

=22. Cadillac (Quality Index: 58)

=20. Subaru (Quality Index: 59)

=20. Hyundai (Quality Index: 59)

=18. Mercury (Quality Index: 60)

=18. BMW (Quality Index: 60)

17. Buick (Quality Index: 62)

16. Nissan (Quality Index: 65)

15. Ford (Quality Index: 66)

14. Dodge (Quality Index: 67)

13. Jeep (Quality Index: 68)

12. Hummer (Quality Index: 69)

11. Pontiac (Quality Index: 70)


The Top Ten

10. Mercedes-Benz (Quality Index: 72)

9. Scion (Quality Index: 74)

8. Mitsubishi (Quality Index: 75)

7. Acura (Quality Index: 77)

=5. Infiniti (Quality Index: 79)

=5. Chevrolet (Quality Index: 79)

4. Honda (Quality Index: 86)

3. GMC (Quality Index: 87)

=1. Lexus (Quality Index: 100)

=1. Toyota (Quality Index: 100)


Immediate reactions are that this is a staggering result for Japanese manufacturing, with no fewer than seven of the top ten makes being a Japanese manufacturer. In particular, Toyota are the huge winners, with the parent company and subsidiary Lexus being a joint 1-2 knockout blow at the very top of the list, in addition to Scion within the top ten.

However, at the opposite end of the scale, Mazda, Suzuki and ISUZU have made certain the result for Japan is a polarising one, with Subaru and Hyundai in the middle of the pack.

American motoring has also performed well with GMC, Chevrolet, Ford, Pontiac, Dodge, Jeep and Hummer all made it into the top 15.

However, British and German manufacturing has taken a hit, with Audi and Volkswagen in particular suffering a heavy body blow by coming within the nine cars that fell below the centre line.

With data having been taken from the American market, notably absent from the list are French manufacturers Renault and Peugeot, both of whom have come under fire in recent years for questionable manufacturing.

Another notable absentee is Vauxhall, whom might well have a provided a more respectable shine on what is a disheartening list for British motoring.

Lang’s full index which cross-references over 830,000 cars across the 38 manufacturers can be found here.