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In general with reliability rankings, I think they are a good overall average of how something will be. I do believe you somewhat control how reliable your car will be by properly maintaining it. Sometimes you get a lemon, but I have had vehicles that were rated poorly and have been very good to me. I currently have a 2010 VW Passat that CR has always said is not very reliable. I bought it new, it sits with ~72k miles on it and I have replaced 2 parts outside of warranty for a total of $150. It also helps when you can replace parts yourself, although neither would have been more than an hour of labor at a dealer.

My previous truck was a 2006 Nissan Frontier, which has the lowest reliability rating of the current generation. I pre-emptively replaced the radiator at 98k to prevent the cross contamination that was the biggest concern with those. That would have been a few hundred at least at a shop, but it was < $200 in parts for me to do it myself. Aside from that, nothing major, a sensor or two and routine maintenance. I loved that truck, was just ready to get something newer after 10+ years.

My boss has a few year old Dodge Ram and it hasn't left him stranded, but he has has some strange quirky things go wrong with it.
 

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CR’s ratings are based significantly on owner reports & experiences.
I need to some what disagree, I cannot count the number of times I have gone to CR for buying advice, where CR has reviewed and given high ratings to a product, but then when you read the follow-up consumer comments quite the opposite picture has been painted...........

Bill
 

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Read their publication or site to find out what their reliability ratings are based on.
 

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I need to some what disagree, I cannot count the number of times I have gone to CR for buying advice, where CR has reviewed and given high ratings to a product, but then when you read the follow-up consumer comments quite the opposite picture has been painted...........

Bill
I agree to a certain extent. The problem is people go online to complain about stuff far more often than they do to praise something. That typically skews reviews, especially on their site where there is usually a small sampling of reviews.

As far as their ratings, I would say that it depends on the products as well. It is far easier to buy 75 cordless drills and test them out rather than buy 100 different vehicles every year to test them. Filling out their questionnaires over the years, it is clear they crowd source for bigger ticket items a lot more than for cheaper things.

I never look at them as a one stop shop for decision making and would hope most look at different outlets before making a purchase (especially a vehicle). It is just one more piece of info I use when I am looking at something. For vehicles, I would check C&D, MT, specific forums to find out before making any purchase.
 

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According to latest Consumer Reports:

1. Lexus
2. Mazda
3. Toyota
4. Porsche
5. Genesis
6. Hyundai
7. Subaru
8. Dodge
9. Kia
10. Mini?
11. Nissan
12. Honda
13. Infiniti
14. Audi
15. Lincoln
16. Ford
17. BMW
18. Buick
19. Chrysler
20. ?
21. Mercedes-Benz
22. GMC
23. Tesla
24. Volvo
25. Chevy
26. Jeep
27. VW
28. Acura
29. ?
30. Cadillac

From the report, manufacturers that have mostly unchanged products made gains, while those with newer products and technology lost ground.
Mini? I've heard nothing but bad things about them from owners and mechanics. My wife has a Mazda and it's been bulletproof for almost 80k miles. If you do the regularly scheduled maintenance, any vehicle should treat you "fairly" well. I've had several VW's (GTI and Golf R), and they were both rock solid of course I traded them after 30k miles. Really surprised to see Acura at 28.
 

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According to latest Consumer Reports:

1. Lexus
2. Mazda
3. Toyota
4. Porsche
5. Genesis
6. Hyundai
7. Subaru
8. Dodge
9. Kia
10. Mini?
11. Nissan
12. Honda
13. Infiniti
14. Audi
15. Lincoln
16. Ford
17. BMW
18. Buick
19. Chrysler
20. ?
21. Mercedes-Benz
22. GMC
23. Tesla
24. Volvo
25. Chevy
26. Jeep
27. VW
28. Acura
29. ?
30. Cadillac

From the report, manufacturers that have mostly unchanged products made gains, while those with newer products and technology lost ground.
I think these ratings can be helpful as general trend indicators. I’ve had a lot of CDJR products, never again. IMO, they make a lot of desirable products, but quality has always been an issue. My 2019 RTL has over 20K miles, never been back to the dealer except for service.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Mini? I've heard nothing but bad things about them from owners and mechanics. My wife has a Mazda and it's been bulletproof for almost 80k miles. If you do the regularly scheduled maintenance, any vehicle should treat you "fairly" well. I've had several VW's (GTI and Golf R), and they were both rock solid of course I traded them after 30k miles. Really surprised to see Acura at 28.
The article was unclear as to where the Mini fell out, just that it improved. It may actually be in the #20 spot. Maybe someone with a CR subscription could chime in?
 

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The article was unclear as to where the Mini fell out, just that it improved. It may actually be in the #20 spot. Maybe someone with a CR subscription could chime in?
Mini was up 5 spots to #10.
The #20 spot belongs to Mitsubishi.
The #29 spot belongs to Alfa Romeo.

Honda was up two spots. The Passport was the least reliable model while the Clarity was the most reliable.
Acura was down nine spots. The MDX was the least reliable while the TLX was the most reliable.
 

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Magazine test reliability and real life reliability are two different things. Even their so called long term tests are baby poop compared to the average daily driver.
I second that emotion.

‘Reliability’ to me means ‘won’t leave me stranded,’ and that’s different from ‘I took it back to the dealer with a question or concern.’

The current Honda infotainment interface is terrible, but the motor keeps running like a champ as does everything else in the vehicle. My Ridgeline, our daughter’s Element, and the wife’s Pilot are as trouble-free as my old CRX, Civic, Passport and Gen 1 Pilot, despite the PITA infotainment.

We are on our second MINI and both have been pain-free and they are a hoot to drive.

We also garage a BMW 4-Series and a 7-series that have been great even though I wrecked the 7er in about month 3. Even after the wreck it is awesome. Previous 3s, 5er and Z4 were all good.

Previous F150s were also good.

To my way of thinking, no company servicing the US market makes a bad car since Yugo left town. Some are certainly better than others in particular areas. Audi/Volkswagen do a fantastic job with interiors, but something is going to fall off before you get it paid for. Hyundai and Kia are doing much better since they lured people away from Audi/BMW/Honda/Benz. The fact that a Nissan motor sounds like it has gravel in the block while a BMW straight-6 sings like an angel doesn’t make the Nissan bad or unreliable.

I just don’t think you can get too worked up about these lists. Enjoy the car(s) and appreciate that these are ‘the good old days‘ when it comes to automotive reliability.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Mini was up 5 spots to #10.
The #20 spot belongs to Mitsubishi.
The #29 spot belongs to Alfa Romeo.

Honda was up two spots. The Passport was the least reliable model while the Clarity was the most reliable.
Acura was down nine spots. The MDX was the least reliable while the TLX was the most reliable.
Feel free to edit my original post. I can no longer edit it.
 

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According to latest Consumer Reports:

1. Lexus
2. Mazda
3. Toyota
4. Porsche
5. Genesis
6. Hyundai
7. Subaru
8. Dodge
9. Kia
10. Mini?
11. Nissan
12. Honda
13. Infiniti
14. Audi
15. Lincoln
16. Ford
17. BMW
18. Buick
19. Chrysler
20. ?
21. Mercedes-Benz
22. GMC
23. Tesla
24. Volvo
25. Chevy
26. Jeep
27. VW
28. Acura
29. ?
30. Cadillac

From the report, manufacturers that have mostly unchanged products made gains, while those with newer products and technology lost ground.
Don't trust or believe Consumer Reports. As simple as that!
 

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I noticed Ram is not on the list, so you'd have to look up the Ram pickup to compare it to the Ridgeline. And even reliable brands can have some bad models. Another CR article said that it often takes 3-5 years for the manufacturer to get the bugs worked out, so vehicles further into the design cycle are usually much more reliable than new or newly redesigned models. That means you may have to choose between better reliabilty and better technology, so you give up performance, gas mileage, safety, etc., in exchange for an older design with better reliability.
 

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I noticed Ram is not on the list, so you'd have to look up the Ram pickup to compare it to the Ridgeline. And even reliable brands can have some bad models. Another CR article said that it often takes 3-5 years for the manufacturer to get the bugs worked out, so vehicles further into the design cycle are usually much more reliable than new or newly redesigned models. That means you may have to choose between better reliabilty and better technology, so you give up performance, gas mileage, safety, etc., in exchange for an older design with better reliability.
CR says: "For a brand to be ranked, we must have sufficient survey data for two or more models. We have insufficient data to rank the Fiat, Jaguar, Land Rover, Maserati, and Ram brands."

The 2019 Ram 1500's reliability was rated "much worse than average" due to problems with the brakes and in-car electronics. It has also been recalled 14 times for potential problems ranging from fires to broken drive shafts to detached steering wheels to detached brake pedals to cruise controls that may failed to deactivate.

In a page from the playbook used by Chevrolet and Apple, the previous generation of Ram 1500 continues to be manufactured alongside the current generation.

"Well, Ford and Chevrolet are not going to want to hear this: FCA is holding on to its old Ram pickup indefinitely. Mike Manly, the CEO of FCA, told analysts there is no end-of-life scheduled. By keeping the old model in production, Ram can offer low prices yet charge more for the new model for customers who want the latest and greatest. And, so far the strategy is paying off handsomely. While sales of the Ford F-series and Chevrolet Silverado are down by a couple of percent, sales of the RAM are up by double digits. More impressively, the average transaction prices for Ram pickups overall are up 5% this year while incentives are down 2%. So, no wonder they've decided to keep the old RAM in production." Transcript from Autoline Daily 2718
 

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I stopped subscribing to CR because I found their ratings system to be flawed for my personal liking. When I wanted a “good” appliance, features and cost and “tests” weighed more than reliability. Also, that “reliability” was short term complaints and not 5-10 years. Cars are the same way and they have trouble differentiating between complaints (about HOW something works) vs a problem (as defined by something needing fixed or replaced).

I’m not saying their ratings are worthless, just not worth my money in my own opinion.
 

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As for Cadillac, a co-worker received a new ATS as a gift from his wife earlier this year. It's a handsome vehicle and always looks showroom-new thanks to the "free car washes for life" that came with the purchase. Unfortunately, that car is in the shop for various problems more often than our token drunk calls in sick to work on Monday mornings. It's actually quite comical for us and frustrating for him because his 20 year-old Galant with well over 200K was much more reliable.

Z,
Any chance that coworkers wife got a full refund on the ATS under Lemon Law, then asked dealer what they do with it? Why we wholesale it for pennies on the dollar after ripping it apart to find and fix the issue, then slap it all back together and mark title accordingly so it’s unable to be sold without this annotation. Since maybe she liked the looks and knowing it’d be a POS forever, she may have bought it back and gave it to her husband. Dealer was prolly so happy they threw in car washes for life! A shiny turd still floats and has same smell, it could be the rest of the story to torture him slowly with service department getting last laugh.
 

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I have shared this story before so will give the abreviated version here. Our neighbor purchased a new brand X car. Over time he was always complaining about it because it was experiencing constant problems where the car was spending more time in the shop then being driven. Enter another neighbor who grew weary of this fellow's constant complaining, he liked the car, so he offered pennies on the dollar for it. The owner took him up on the deal, it is now several years later and the new owner is still tickled with his car, constantly bragging how it has been one of the most reliable vehicles he has ever owned, which, by the way, has not been back to a shop since purchase.

In the mean time the original owner has since purchased a brand y car, in which is now spending more time in the shop then being driven with the owner constantly complaining.........................

Bill
 
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