Study Reveals American Brands And EVs Struggle With Reliability

Industry News / Comments

Buick leads the way as the most reliable American brand in the annual study.

The annual brand rankings for car reliability are out, and they're not looking good for American brands and electric vehicles - the vehicle type that swore to be more reliable because it has fewer moving parts.

But first, let's start with the list of brands in the latest Consumer Reports study. American brands posted an average reliability score of 39 out of 100. In comparison, Asian automakers topped the list with an average score of 63, while European car brands finished in second at 46. Of note, seven of the 10 most reliable car brands in the study are from Asia.

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Ford is among the lowest in the reliability rankings, with an average score of 40, while luxury subsidiary Lincoln scored 38. This isn't a surprise, considering that the Blue Oval company continues to top the list of most recalled brands in the US, losing tons of money in the process.

But the American brand that ranked worst in CR's list is Chrysler, scoring merely 18 in the average reliability score.

Meanwhile, Buick is the most reliable among US car brands, with an average reliability score of 55. The study says the Buick Encore GX had a high score, along with other American-branded vehicles like the Cadillac XT5, Chevrolet Equinox, GMC Terrain, Lincoln Corsair, and Tesla Model 3.

Speaking of Tesla, the Texas-based EV maker follows Buick with a reliability score of 48.

Consumer Reports Consumer Reports

Lexus has the bragging rights this year with the best average reliability score of 79 out of 100, followed by Toyota and Mini at 76 and 71, respectively. While the Toyota 4Runner is among the most reliable vehicles in the study, the Tundra remains among the less reliable ones. Acura comes in fourth at 70, while Honda, also at 70, completes the top five.

Of note, the study had insufficient data to create brand rankings for Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lucid, Maserati, Mitsubishi, and Polestar.

As for EVs, the study suggests they had 79% more problems than internal combustion engine (ICE) cars, adding to the list of reasons why combustion cars are still better than electric alternatives. Electric cars received an average reliability score of 44, while electric SUVs were at 43. Electric pickup trucks got the short end of the stick with an average score of 30.

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The study saw problems with EV components such as drive system motors, charging systems, and batteries, with models like the Ford F-150 Lightning, Hyundai Ioniq 5, and Toyota bZ4X, among others, reportedly having such issues.

Meanwhile, compared to ICEs, hybrids had 26% fewer problems, but plug-in hybrids had 146% more problems.

The data was gathered from problems of 330,000 vehicle problems encountered by CR members in the previous 12 months, with model years ranging from 2000 to 2024. CR studied 20 trouble areas, with EVs only having up to 12 trouble areas, considering they don't have the problems of traditional ICE-powered automobiles.

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