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Toyota dominates CR reliability survey again

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Old 10-19-17, 06:01 PM   #1
Hoovey2411
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Default Toyota dominates CR reliability survey again

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For the fifth year in a row, Toyota and Lexus rank as the top two brands for reliability based on a survey of Consumer Reports subscribers. The rankings of the remaining 25 brands reflect a game of musical chairs, however.

Consumer Reports' 2017 Auto Reliability Survey found "growing pains" among automakers with new and updated cars and light trucks, with "wonky" engines and "jerky" eight- and nine-speed and continuously variable transmissions, as well as infotainment systems, among the top problems.

"These new technologies can add features and improve fuel efficiency, but are more prone to have issues," Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports' director of automotive testing, said in a statement. "More often than not, our data suggests it's prudent for consumers to wait for the technology to mature."

The magazine said its survey shows some but not all automakers are quick to respond to major problems between model years. The 2016 Hyundai Tucson crossover scored poorly with owners due to transmission issues, but complaints about 2017 Tucson transmissions dropped by more than half, Consumer Reports said. Similarly, gripes about the in-car electronics on the 2017 Civic were so improved that the complaint rate was only a third of that for the 2016 version.

The 2017 results were announced at an Automotive Press Association luncheon in Detroit on Thursday.

Toyota led the way with a predicted new-car reliability score of 80 on a 100-point scale, with Toyota's luxury brand Lexus right behind at 77. In last year's ranking, Lexus was No. 1 and Toyota was No. 2.

“All the way down at the bottom is Cadillac, which is just really very disappointing because these cars are great,” Fisher said at the luncheon. “Anyone who's driven a Cadillac lately realizes that this is a very competitive, luxury car [brand] but unfortunately, there’s a lot of reliability issues. Again, Cadillac Cue, it looks like they’re moving away from that, which is good, but there’s still a lot of issues.”

Starting with last year's survey, Consumer Reports converted its predicted reliability score to a 100-point scale, with those brands scoring between 41 and 60 points deemed reliable. Those with scores above that were considered more reliable and those below that less reliable.

Kia, with its Niro hybrid pegged as the most reliable new vehicle in the survey, came in at No. 3 overall.

Audi remained at No. 4 and the highest-ranked European brand.

Other changes in the top 10 included BMW, up four spots to No. 5, Subaru rising five spots to No. 6 and Buick, the highest-ranked American brand, dropping five spots to No. 8.

FCA gains

The brand making the biggest jump in the rankings was Chrysler, up 10 spots to No. 17. Consumer Reports said the move represents "a huge improvement" for the brand, which was helped by an average reliability score on the new Pacifica minivan.

Jeep checked in at No. 20 (up three spots), Dodge at No. 24 (up two spots), and Ram at No. 25 (up four spots). The Grand Caravan was the only Dodge model that didn't have below-average reliability and while the Ram 1500 improved to average reliability, Consumer Reports said, the 2500 and 3500 heavy-duty pickups kept the brand in third to last place.

GM tumbles, Ford up slightly

General Motors had a rough outing in the 2017 survey, with Chevrolet, Cadillac and GMC all finishing in the bottom 10 of the rankings, Consumer Reports said.

Chevrolet's Bolt was a bright spot as the brand's most reliable model with above average reliability, the magazine found.

GMC, down two spots to No. 26 and Cadillac, down six spots to last place at No. 27, were the lowest ranked brands in the survey. The GMC Acadia is one of the 10 least-reliable new models, Consumer Reports said, and all of Cadillac's models had below-average reliability.

Ford rose three spots to No. 15 with the F-150 improving to average reliability, Consumer Reports found, while Lincoln dropped two spots to No. 22.

“Ford [is] creeping up, but still being pulled down by the Focus and Fiesta with those transmissions,” Fisher said, referring to clutch and transmission problems.

Tesla

Tesla moved up four spots in the 2017 ranking to No. 21. The predicted reliability of the Tesla Model S was above average for the first time, Consumer Reports noted, giving the maker of electric vehicles a boost. But the Tesla Model X crossover was ranked the least reliable of all new models.

Consumer Reports also predicted that the new Model 3 will have an average reliability score based on the improvement of the Model S.

"Electric vehicles are inherently less complicated than gasoline or hybrid alternatives," Fisher said in the statement. "The Model 3 is the least complicated Tesla yet, and should benefit from what Tesla has learned from the Model S."

The survey gathered information from Consumer Reports subscribers who collectively owned or leased more than half a million vehicles, covering more than 300 models from the 2000-17 model years.
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Old 10-19-17, 07:06 PM   #2
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Good showing for Chrysler ....it's about time FCA products started to get some respectability in this area. (Steve, if you still want a new Pacifica, that looks like a good sign...an average reliability record is good enough for CR to recommend a vehicle...though I know, from your own report, that your second Jeep Grand Cherokee was pretty good in that department)

It also makes me doubly-glad I waited and got a new 2018 Lacrosse instead of a leftover 2017, (several posters thought I should have gone with a leftover 2017)...I was aware of the complaints that some owners had on the Aisin-built 8-speed automatic used last year, though I didn't notice any problems on the ones I test-drove. The 2018 Lacrosses, of course, have a completely different automatic...the new 9-speed, jointly co-developed with Ford, that shifts like butter.

I don't quite understand, though, why it's taking Ford so long to iron out the clunky dual-clutch transmission problems in the Focus and Fiesta. That car (and transmission) has been in production for several years now, and owners are still reporting clunky stop-and-go action. When I did a review on the present-generation Fiesta with that transmission, I noticed a bog-down while starting off from a stop. At the time, I was unaware of the dual-clutch problem, as it felt, to me, like the engine was running overly-lean and not getting enough fuel. But it turned out, of course, to be the tranny.

It's not surprising that the Kia Niro is the most reliable new car in the survey. I've been very impressed with the way new Kia and Genesis models are built.....slightly less-so for their Hyundai cousins.

Lincoln down at #22 also doesn't surprise me. Though the Continental and MKX seemed decent enough in the quality department, the MKZ and MKC both have a somewhat loose, disjointed feel to the way they are screwed together...one factor, among several, in my rejection of the MKZ when I got my Lacrosse.

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Old 10-19-17, 07:07 PM   #3
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I probably trust CR more than others, but them rating reliability of brand new vehicles is crazy... for instance Model 3 has every chance to be reliability disaster for the first year, it seems to be hand built right now and Musk himself said they are selling it to employees to fix early issues.
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Old 10-19-17, 08:14 PM   #4
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CR uses as large a sample size as you can get with surveys about quality reliability with new vehicles. What does anyone want? Auto reviewers who don't buy the cars they review? Beholden to the very industry they cover? Generally CR tends to look at new cars as critically as they can. Engineers often do the reviews versus fanboys or shills who are just on a paid vacation.

In other news...

There is a lag as things come up. Ford now has a recall on Explorers and F150's. Shows you that there are issues.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-f...-idUSKBN1CN1ST

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ford-ex...-recall-urged/

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ford-ex...investigation/
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Old 10-20-17, 03:18 AM   #5
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Toyota must be commended for their longterm effort of reliability. Still one of the biggest reasons I hold on to my older IS.
People need to be smart and use caution when reading these ratings. Historically speaking, when a usually unreliable model is redesigned and ranks higher than in the past, it often plunges quickly in a year or two. I'm mostly referring to the Chrysler Pacifica. There is a good chance ratings will drop soon, like it normally has for decades.
Also wise to assume and avoid any new model that comes out as "average" the first year. Nine times out of ten, the "average" turns into below average after a few years. For a car to remain reliable, it needs to start off with an above average ranking the first model year.
Lastly, to rate the Kia Niro so high, with only a short time on the road, is very half-hazard. While it could very well end up being a reliable car, a half year on the road is not enough data for an all-new model.
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Old 10-20-17, 06:09 AM   #6
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Although CR is hardly scientific, I get the "what's the alternative" camp as well. It is good to see Lexus and Toyota on top, yet it's in a way stating the obvious....my first Toyota product was purchased almost 13 mos. ago as a 2006 model with 81k, and probably as expected, not a single issue in 13 mos....
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Old 10-20-17, 07:11 AM   #7
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It's also possible for even the most reliable brands to screw up on the assembly line. Recently, I looked at a new Toyota C-HR (didn't actually write it up), and not only did the extremely thin, paper-like interior trim-plastics turn me off in general, but the large lower-dash piece that covers everything from the glove-box to the steering column was sprung out of place in a way that part of it covered up the hole for the ignition-button in a way that you couldn't even use it. I tried, several times, to snap it back in place with my fingers and a few rudimentary tools.....no dice. The fittings just wouldn't hold. To properly repair it so the car can be delivered, a new lower-dash piece might have to be ordered and (maybe) part of the lower dash disassembled. I'm not saying this to specifically point fingers at Toyota...it can happen on any brand.
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Old 10-20-17, 07:23 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by mmarshall View Post
It's also possible for even the most reliable brands to screw up on the assembly line. Recently, I looked at a new Toyota C-HR (didn't actually write it up), and not only did the extremely thin, paper-like interior trim-plastics turn me off in general, but the large lower-dash piece that covers everything from the glove-box to the steering column was sprung out of place in a way that part of it covered up the hole for the ignition-button in a way that you couldn't even use it. I tried, several times, to snap it back in place with my fingers and a few rudimentary tools.....no dice. The fittings just wouldn't hold. To properly repair it so the car can be delivered, a new lower-dash piece might have to be ordered and (maybe) part of the lower dash disassembled. I'm not saying this to specifically point fingers at Toyota...it can happen on any brand.
I had rented a Sienna for business, brand new, and the mechanism to fold the 3rd row was broken. I did not have time to go back so I had to repair it myself, it was the cable/latch mechanism. A colleague bought a brand new AWD Sienna, and he is frugal. He thought the Sienna was so bad he dumped it in a year and acknowledges he lost $10k or more....I'm sure CR would throw this data out as outliers....
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Old 10-20-17, 08:03 AM   #9
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These rankings move around each year so I take these rankings with a grain of salt. All I know is that Lexus and Toyota are more reliable than any other manufacturer and everyone is just vying for spots 2-25
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Old 10-20-17, 09:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fizzboy7 View Post
Toyota must be commended for their longterm effort of reliability.


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Originally Posted by MattyG View Post
CR uses as large a sample size as you can get with surveys about quality reliability with new vehicles. What does anyone want?
they should not rate brand new cars because they have no data to base it on, including not even driving the vehicles at all in many cases.
they just rated the tesla 3 as 'average' without driving it and obviously having NO survey data. i just posted about jalopnik's article on this rightly slamming CR https://www.clublexus.com/forums/car...riving-it.html

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These rankings move around each year so I take these rankings with a grain of salt. All I know is that Lexus and Toyota are more reliable than any other manufacturer and everyone is just vying for spots 2-25
good viewpoint.
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Old 10-20-17, 09:23 AM   #11
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From the article here is CR's rationale for predicting average reliability for the Model 3. I guess if someone wanted to get one and read this, they'd know how CR arrived at their prediction. It does seem premature to me to weigh in on a new model but it's their report.

"Electric vehicles are inherently less complicated than gasoline or hybrid alternatives," Fisher said in the statement. "The Model 3 is the least complicated Tesla yet, and should benefit from what Tesla has learned from the Model S."
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Old 10-20-17, 10:01 AM   #12
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CR doesn't outright rate reliability on new models because this is impossible, they make a prediction based on several criteria one being the history of the brand. People keep getting their pantyhose in a knot about this and I don't know why. If you want actual reliability ratings CR has these two, take for example a 10 year old model they publish detailed info on the overall reliability including the various components.

In the case of Toyota they consistently score near or at the top regardless of year. This is even more impressive when you consider how many models Toyota has.
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Old 10-20-17, 11:03 AM   #13
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From the article here is CR's rationale for predicting average reliability for the Model 3. I guess if someone wanted to get one and read this, they'd know how CR arrived at their prediction. It does seem premature to me to weigh in on a new model but it's their report.

"Electric vehicles are inherently less complicated than gasoline or hybrid alternatives," Fisher said in the statement. "The Model 3 is the least complicated Tesla yet, and should benefit from what Tesla has learned from the Model S."
no idea how they can go from that quote to rating or predicting the 3 as average.
fortunately, 3 buyers don't give a ****
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Old 10-20-17, 03:04 PM   #14
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I don't pay much attention to CR much anymore. Almost all publications will confirm Toyota and Honda have the best reliability. Issue with CR is that they almost do something to grab attention. Either it's burning oil which the Germans confirm is normal (as per the specifications manual) or more recently the Tesla where they didn't drive the car. So whatever.

I actually enjoy YouTube videos and a reviews the best.
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Old 10-20-17, 03:18 PM   #15
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Some of you, though, seem to be forgetting that CR's Reliability ratings aren't about CR....or necessarily CR's methodology. They're about YOU, as car owners. YOUR experience with the car, not theirs. The number of times YOU had to get something repaired, or adjusted, or looked into from causes that originate from problems in the vehicle itself.. True, CR has a system where they give more credence to major engine and transmission/driveline problems (which are often more difficult and expensive to repair) than other more minor things, but it is still based on actual owner-experience. Also true, they sometimes make a forecast, based on past experience from owners, which can quickly change...for example, the Better-Than-Average forecast they made for the then new 2006 Camry, based on previous experience, came back to bite them when owners, that year, has numerous transmission problems with the V6. They also gave the 2012 Buick Verano (a car I owned) an initial Much-Worse-than-Average reliability rating, but just the very next year, changed it to Much Better-Than-Average (including the 2012's)....and it went on to become the most reliable American-badged car. So, no, CR's ratings aren't perfect or 100% reliable, but they are arguably the best ones currently out there.

And it must also be remembered (as has been discussed before) that owners can sometimes complain about something that is not necessarily malfunctioning but simply poorly-designed and/or very difficult to use...The past-Generation Ford SYNC/MyTouch, Cadillac CUE, Ford Fiesta/Focus dual-clutch transmissions, and a number of unintuitive electronic shifters are typical examples.
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