• Oct 23, 2008
Regardless of where you stand on the validity of Consumer Reports' testing and survey methods, there's millions of people out there who consider the magazine their buying bible. Thus, it's news when the non-profit releases findings from a new subscriber-based survey. This time it's the 2008 Reliability Survey, and while you'll have to buy the latest issue of Consumer Reports to see how your favorite favorite brand or model in particular performed, the overall trends indicate that fuel efficient vehicles, whether they be hybrids or just small gas-powered cars, are very reliable. Also, Ford is reportedly pulling away from its domestic rivals in the reliability arena with the majority of its models, including Lincoln and Mercury vehicles, now scoring above the industry average.

You may recall the shock from last year's survey in which three Toyota models – the Camry V6, Tundra V8 4WD and Lexus GS AWD – all fell below average in predicted reliability. Consumer Reports says that those three models have clawed their way back up to average reliability scores, while every other Toyota, Lexus and Scion model in the survey scored average or better. Finally, while European brands are reportedly improving their reliability, many models remain below average and Land Rover has again came up dead last with all four of its SUVs scoring far below average. Oh, and remember when Jeremy Clarkson called the Chrysler Sebring Convertible the "worst car in the entire world"? Apparently CR subscribers who own one agree, scoring it worst in reliability of all the models surveyed and 283% below the average.

[Source: Consumer Reports]


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  • 49 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Nobody bothered to RTFA, including you.

      "Ford's reliability is now on par with good Japanese automakers."

      Suck it.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Chris,
        Actually, if you view JD power's 3 year test, you would note that Mazda was near the bottom of the list. I believe it was on Autoblog sometime late last year.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Seminole, sorry for getting on your case yesterday. These guys are even beginning to get on my nerves.

        Yes Chris, now Ford just needs to build cars people want to buy. It isn't like the F-150 is the top-selling vehicle on Earth or anything. Or that the Explorer is one of the best selling SUVs of all time. Or that the Ranger still outsells Chevy's Colorado in spite of being two decades old, or that the Focus is still one of the bestselling compacts in the United States. Yes, Chris, Ford just isn't what people want to buy these days.

        Yeesh. This survey doubles my chances of buying a Ford product as my next vehicle.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Liguan, but numbers mean NOTHING.

        Do people buy Focus, yes they do, because it is so much cheaper than Civic or Corolla. Have you ever seen a review that claimed that Focus is better than either of the two? NO. And i can tell you from experience that Focus is a full generation behind Civic.

        Some people out there (TTAC) even claim that the only reason to buy Cobalt and Focus is because you do not want to be seen in a used car.


        Also, isn't CR-V now outselling Explorer?


        As far as F-150, yeah, it is on top of its game, but you are missing the point, there's a reason why Ford is dying. Do you realize that the ONLY way Ford can start making more efficient cars (what market demand right now) is thru governmental subsidy. There are politicians who push automaking agenda 24/7 in Congress, where would Detroit 3 be if those politicians weren't there? They'd be bunkrupt by now.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Sorry, but there's a reason why the Ford Focus won best small compact 3 years in a row on both the corolla and the civic. Because from 2002 - 2005 it was. Not a mag reader but honda played catchup with ford from 2000-2005.
        • 6 Years Ago
        AndrewGTO, seriously, I don't really car what American Consumer Report says if its surveys are based purely on customers' opinions. This is not a valid scientific method.

        According to the German audit body TUV, Mazda 3 is the most reliable car ever to be sold in Europe. TUV actually bases its survey on more than 7 million inspections - that's right, TUV check 7 million cars to come up with the results. In the 2008 survey, Mazda had 5 cars in the top 20. NO OTHER manufacturer has ever managed to achieve that. No other manufacturer has ever managed 1.2% rate.

        here's methodology
        http://www.tuvamerica.com/tuvnews/hotnews/pressdetail.cfm?id=1391

        scroll down for the list of reliability of 2-3 years old car
        http://news.auto.cz/aktuality/auto-bild-tuev-report-2008-vozy-stari-2-3-roky-lidove-mazdy-momentalne-vladnou.html

        (4th Fusion is European model based on old Mazda2/Ford Fiesta)
      • 6 Years Ago
      CR is the most bias of all magazines. They started decades ago giving great marks to the Japanese when they were making junk.
      I would not put my trust in Consumers Report!!
        • 6 Years Ago
        I agree. Motor Trend = poop. The only magazine I like is Autoweek although I am not a subscriber. They seem to call it like they see it regardless of emblem.
        • 6 Years Ago
        ... right up to the moment when they rated the Camry COTY, when everybody else said the Camry was crap, beaten out by both the Malibu and Accord.

        Don't forget the Tundra as TOTY as well.
        • 6 Years Ago
        quote from ToniCipriani: -
        "... right up to the moment when they rated the Camry COTY, when everybody else said the Camry was crap, beaten out by both the Malibu and Accord." -

        The Camry won COTY in 2007, the new Mailbu and Accord weren't out then. At the time, it was the best of those 3 and was the only one eligible to win COTY. Unless you are claiming that the previous boxy, crappy Malibu bested out the new Camry? I think you are a bit confused as to how Motor Trend does their testing for COTY.

        A car is only eligible if it is all-new or has been drmatically redesigned and is on sale by Oct. 31st( I believe) of that year. Meaning that to be eligible for this year's prize, the car would have have been on sale by Oct. 31st of this year otherwise it would have to be considered for next year's prize.

        For the record, the Cadillac CTS won last years prize for which the new Malibu and the new Accord were also eligible for. Neither competed against the new Camry the year that the Camry won.

        Here were the contenders for the 2008 prize: http://www.motortrend.com/oftheyear/car/112_0801_2008_car_of_the_year_contenders/index.html

        and also the contenders for the 2007 prize: http://www.motortrend.com/oftheyear/car/112_0701_2007_coty_testing/index.html You have to get a few pages in before the cars start, but they are there.
      • 6 Years Ago
      i'm disappointed the sebring isn't doing so well with quality; out of chrysler's current north american offerings it is practically the only model i like.
        • 6 Years Ago
        [@ pips] no, i like the new sebring. although, it is strictly by appearance. i've never driven or sat in one. there are many tacky 300s and pts around here -- the sebring is like a breath of fresh air compared to them.

        • 6 Years Ago
        u kidding right, Joshua?
      • 6 Years Ago
      What do Consumer Reports and Fox News have in common?



      (Some) People actually believe everything they say as the gospel truth!


      The major problem with consumer reports surveys are that they survey their own members. The survey itself is not bias but the group they survey are biased. What's worse is that you bias the group by feeding them information then polling them.

      That is like going to an Obama rally, polling those that attend which candidate would make a better president and then reporting that as "we polled a group of people and found an overwhellming majority will vote for Obama".

      JD Power is better in that it polls those that purchased that vehicle, but they too have flaws in their surveys. Magazines, this is best articles are opinions. The best thing to do is go drive the vehicles and make up your own mind!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Perfect response Phydeaux. Right on the money.
      • 6 Years Ago
      So most reliable car in USA doesnt get the mention? For those too lazy to click the link, it is Scion xD.

      I think it tells a lot about writers agenda when winner is not even mentioned in one sentence in the article.

      Best overall car: Scion xD.
      Best overall brand: Scion.

      Best small car: Scion xD, Mini Clubman
      Best Family Car: Toyota Prius, Kia Optima
      Best Sporty Car: Lexus SC, Volvo C30
      Best Luxury Car: Infinity M35 (rear-wheel drive), Lexus IS250.
      Best Wagon: Toyota Matrix, Scion xD
      Best small suv: Honda Element, Toyota FJ Cruiser
      Best mid suv: Honda Pilot, Lexus 400h
      Best large suv: Toyta Sequoia
      Best truck: Toyota Tundra, Honda Ridgeline.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Speaking of a writer's agenda.....an autonews video I saw on youtube earlier today said that the Caliber and Compass (!!! yes I know) actually went up several steps or whatever. Interesting considering they use the same 4 banger engines and dozens upon dozens of other random parts as the Sebring/Avenger. Although this is for the convertible, but still!?
      • 6 Years Ago
      +1 for Ford

      Never been a Ford fan but the girlfriend gets them as company cars and the ones that she has had, '03 Taurus and '06 Freestyle, have had one problem in 200,000+ miles. Gauge cluster went out on the Freestyle @39K miles, that is it. She is getting a new Taurus X and I am considering buying the Freestyle for $7000 it has been such a good car.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Yeah, the current model Sebring Vert is a dud in every aspect. Its a shame, because the first gen was at the top of its game.
        • 6 Years Ago
        If by "its game" you mean "perfect for fleet sales and geriatrics", then yeah, it was...
        • 6 Years Ago
        The current Sebring convertible is a joke, Chrysler should go back to their original design for the Lebaron convertible and copy it on the Sebring. At least I still saw one sample of a 1987 still running around in my building.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "Regardless of where you stand on the validity of Consumer Reports' testing and survey methods,"------------Great First line John, way to go. So because most Detroit groupies in here bash CR for giving those welfare cases poor ratings, that allows you to question CRs validity??????????????????????????????????????????????


        • 6 Years Ago
        "Ford's three brands-Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury-continue to pull away from the rest of the Detroit automakers. Almost all Ford models are now average or better, with the exception of some that are truck-based. Excluding those, Ford's reliability is now on par with good Japanese automakers."--Consumer Reports, 2008

        All right, I'm gonna play Detroit groupie today, Gabagool.

        By which I mean to say, HAHAHAHAHA.
      • 6 Years Ago
      u kidding right?
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is why Detroit is going to look like "Escape from NY" the movie. GM and Ford are playing catch up in reliability. This should have been a focus in the 90's. Oh well, get used to someday choosing from Toyota, Honda, Mazda and Hyundai for a passenger car. Don't blame the buyers, blame the exec's.
        • 6 Years Ago
        JF

        But in terms of quality Lexus is always #1 followed by Porche followed by TOYOTA

        I believe last time Chevy was below industry average.

        Some Detroit models are better in quality, Buick is probably better than some Toyotas, but overall Toyota and Honda are way above overall GM. No question about it.
        • 6 Years Ago
        stevereportdotcom: It's rather apparent that you didn't bother with the link from CR it essentially contradicts the basis of your entire statement (as far as Ford is concerned at least)

        "Ford's three brands-Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury-continue to pull away from the rest of the Detroit automakers. Almost all Ford models are now average or better, with the exception of some that are truck-based. Excluding those, Ford's reliability is now on par with good Japanese automakers."


        • 6 Years Ago
        stevereportdotcom,

        Open your eyes. Many GM and Ford (not opening the Chrysler bag of worms) vehicles are on par or better than their Japanese counterparts. And don't get me wrong, I'm also a huge fan of my old CB7 Accord (runs perfect with 205k on the odo) and many Mazda's, but there are many good vehicles coming out of Detroit as well.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The problem with all of these survey-based research methods is pretty much the same. They are pure and simply a test of ownership perception, not reality. Especially considering that the perception of the average buyer has become so tainted by marketing garbage like JD Powers, Consumer Reports, Auto Pacific, and Intellichoice. Not to mention that quality and reliability/durability are two very different things.
      I feel that the below is a far more accurate representation of reliability and durability (in the mechanical/electrical sense).

      US Index
      http://www.reliabilityindex.co.uk/man_index_2.html?apc=3128339010848601&country=usa&searchtype=relindex

      UK Index
      http://www.reliabilityindex.co.uk/man_index_2.html?apc=3128339010848601&searchtype=relindex

      These are based on real issues covered by this particular extended warranty firm. Click around the site, as it provides quite some transparity.
        • 6 Years Ago
        -Checks out the site- Well, that's completely worthless. They only have two Lexuses mentioned (GS300 and IS300).

        I see why people stick with more reliable reports. True Delta has even worse problems. Their information on the LS, for example, is incorrect.

        No DVD-Audio player my rear.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "customers reported" ... It's about as exact as two fighting pretzels. What about taking data from dealers and garages or test centres? German TUV does it.

      That way, one can prove anything. Even the following:

      "European cars, which have trailed the domestic models for about five years, are showing signs of improvement."

      Any reliability survey based on "tell us what you feel" is by definition flawed and irrelevant.
        • 6 Years Ago
        JF, your Mazda B2300 is a rebadged Ford...
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