Our gear-head bros at Consumer Reports have published the results of their Annual Auto Survey and there’s good news for General Motors, whose numbers showed considerable improvement. Still, no U.S.-based car makers were able to beat out either Honda or Toyota for reliability.
Leading the way for GM was its Chevrolet brand, which saw 83% of its vehicles receiving average or better scores in predicted reliability. That’s a huge uptick from last year’s 50% rating.
While some GM nameplates had been among the least reliable brands in past years, they now rank above some major European competitors such as Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz. Two factors are aiding GM’s reliability improvements. First, GM’s recent introductions, such as the Chevrolet Camaro and Equinox, Buick LaCrosse V6 (FWD), and Cadillac SRX, are proving reliable from the time they were launched. In addition, GM shed many models with subpar reliability when it shut down the Hummer, Pontiac, and Saturn brands. Even some older models, such as the Chevrolet Avalanche, Corvette, and Suburban have improved to average.
GM is still lagging behind Ford, which once again was the top domestic car maker. CR’s survey of 1.3 million vehicles found that 90% of Fords have at least average reliability. While the car company wasn’t able to beat out Honda or Toyota, it did score top marks in two categories: family cars (Fusion Hybrid) and large SUVs (Ford Flex EcoBoost).
Chrysler performed woefully in comparison to its U.S. counterparts, with 12 of the 20 models that CR had sufficient data for rating below average in reliability. None of Chrysler Corporation’s models scored above average. However, the magazine does point out that Fiat’s acquisition of Chrysler means that many of its products will either be replaced or redesigned in the near future.
Meanwhile, Toyota still reigned supreme over all car makers, in spite of all the recalls in the last year. The world’s largest car company earned top scores in five vehicle categories: small cars (Yaris), midsized SUVs (FJ Cruiser), luxury SUVs (Lexus LX), minivans (Sienna V6, FWD), and full-size pickups (Tundra V6). Of all Toyota brands, only the all-wheel-drive Lexus GS and the new Lexus IS 250 convertible scored below average. The redesigned 2010 Toyota Prius, hurt by antilock brake problems on early vehicles, scored only average.
Honda also earned top marks in five vehicle categories: upscale cars (Acura TL, FWD), luxury cars (Acura RL), small SUVs (CR-V), upscale compact SUVs (Acura RDX) and compact pickups (Ridgeline). Problems with rear brake pads help drop the four-cylinder Accord and Acura TSX to average.