Buick becomes the first American brand to join the podium, while the latest Honda Civic has been plagued with problems.
Buick has become the first American automaker to place in the top three on Consumer Reports’ annual Reliability Survey.
Though no single Buick model ranked inside the top ten, its cars performed consistently strongly. CR’s director of automotive testing, Jake Fisher, said: “Buick’s achievement is commendable and sure to be a wake up call to other manufacturers.
“One reason why the brand has been able to leapfrog others in the General Motors’ stable has been its limited vehicle lineup - with none of the pickups and truck-based SUVs that have negatively impacted Cadillac and Chevrolet.”
By contrast, the latest Honda Civic, which was named North American Car of The Year 2016, was rated as having “much worse than average” reliability, due to problems with its power equipment and infotainment systems.
Lexus and Toyota held firm in first and second place in the rankings, for the fourth year running. All nine Lexus models rated showed better than average reliability - the CT200h hatchback, GX SUV and GS sedan ranked in the top six - and Toyota would have recorded the same result, were it not for a poor showing by the new Tacoma pickup. Still, the new Prius topped the model-by-model rankings.
Asian brands filled out seven of the top 10 positions. Only Buick, Audi (fourth), and BMW (ninth) broke their domination.
Nissan’s luxury brand Infiniti made the biggest gains, vaulting 16 places up to eighth place. Volkswagen suffered the biggest fall, dropping nine places to 22nd, as all models except the Tiguan turned in a below average score. Surprisingly, Volvo was the second-biggest loser, falling seven places to 19th, having been dragged down by problems with the latest XC90’s touchscreen system.
After Buick, Chevrolet was the best-performing domestic brand, ranking 15th, a performance helped by a strong showing from the new Cruze which placed eighth. Ford was 18th, despite poor showings by the Fiesta and Focus, both of which ended up in the bottom ten. Chrysler fared worst, placing third from bottom.
Tesla made its debut in the survey in 25th place - fifth from bottom - thanks to well publicized problems with the Model X.
Ram was the worst performing brand - all five FCA brands rated were ranked in the bottom seven - and the Cadillac Escalade was bottom of the pile in the model-by-model breakdown.
Consumer Reports began tracked car reliability in the early 1980s and first published its survey in 2001.
Source: Consumer Reports