Consumer Reports has released its annual Car Reliability Study, and the results weren't kind to Ford. The automaker saw its ranking fall from 10th to 20th due to issues with three specific models: the Explorer, Fiesta and Focus. Each of those vehicles ranked below average in reliability during their first year on the market due to issues with MyFord Touch and the dual-clutch transmissions in the Fiesta and Focus.

Meanwhile, Chrysler busily inched its way up the reliability ladder. Jeep managed to jump to the 13th spot to become the most reliable domestic manufacturer while Chrysler jumped 12 spots in the study and Dodge maneuvered up by three places.

According to the study, the Chrysler 200, Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee all performed well in their respective reliability evaluations. Even so, Consumer Reports notes that of the 97 domestic vehicles the publication studied, 35 percent still rate as below average compared to the rest of the field. Head over to Consumer Reports to learn how the rest of the field shook out.


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  • 168 Comments
      xspeedy
      • 3 Years Ago
      I bought my Focus *without* DCT and *without* the Sync/MFT and I don't have issues with either one :)
        Bruce Lee
        • 3 Years Ago
        @xspeedy
        Haha, that's probably how I'd buy it if I was looking for a Focus. And it is possible to avoid the problematic parts on some cars, like with the Mustang you can avoid the MT by buying the Automatic transmission and avoid MyFord Touch by simply not optioning it. The problem is that in some models certain trimlines force you to buy MyFord Touch if you want to be able to get the other goodies. I was checking out the Edge for example and if you want the HIDs or the Panoramic sunroof you *have* to buy the Limited with MyFord Touch. Just really silly that Ford is turning people off from their more expensive cars by forcing you to buy their horrible system in the higher trims of so many models.
        Smooth
        • 3 Years Ago
        @xspeedy
        Killed two birds with one stone. Nice :) Glad you enjoy it!
      ctsmith1066
      • 3 Years Ago
      This may not make a huge difference to most consumers of auto-related media, but reliability is hugely important to most people when they're shopping around for a car. Kudos to Japan: keep up the good work.
        David Donovan
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ctsmith1066
        How is Japan doing any better? Nissan is horrible, Honda is a shell of the company they used to be, Toyota's too worried about being the biggest and their quality has taken a hit because of it, If anything kudos to Korea for seeing how to make a quality product and showing the world how to do it now adays.
          lne937s
          • 3 Years Ago
          @David Donovan
          the top-performing 9 brands in the reliability survey are all Japanese: Scion, Lexus, Acura, Mazda, Honda, Toyota, Infiniti, Subaru and Nissan Comming out ahead of everyone else is how Japan is doing better.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @David Donovan
          [blocked]
          • 3 Years Ago
          @David Donovan
          [blocked]
          NightFlight
          • 3 Years Ago
          @David Donovan
          Honda still rates as one of the most reliable, if not THE most reliable brand from just about every single source that does a reliability study. Shell or not, they still make some bulletproof vehicles.
          Dest
          • 3 Years Ago
          @David Donovan
          96% of Japanese models are average or better. That's how they are doing better. Especially in this economy, people care about how long their cars last and how many expensive repairs they have to make.
      aviboy97
      • 3 Years Ago
      Mazda all teh way up to #2 for non-luxury brands, besting Honda and Toyota? WOW!!
        OhReallyDough
        • 3 Years Ago
        @aviboy97
        I know right? My gf was worried that her Mazda wouldnt be as reliable as a Honda or Toyota and i told her not to sweat it. Plus (IMHO) it looks better than any car from both those other brands too!
          billfrombuckhead
          • 3 Years Ago
          @OhReallyDough
          At the rate Mazda's are selling they have plenty of time to build them. Meanwhile Chrysler's Pentastar factory is working 7 days a week.
      kylen20
      • 3 Years Ago
      I have used myfordtouch, and I have also used the new uconnect from chrysler and I have to say I prefer the chrysler uconnect. Aside from the fact that I can be considered a bit of a chrysler fan boy I am also the first to knock them when they mess up. In this case the ford is over complicated... I understand I would get used to it if I owned it however as a rental car I would pull my hair out... also it seems there is a decent pause inbetween button push and actual onscreen action.. faster processor needed? as far as a ddct trans thats just the nature of the beast, they drive differently then a standard transmission and in some cases can be noisy however I dont hear people complaining about the 40 mpg the focus nets which is in direct relation to the ddct. If you want to drive like a regular car get a regular transmission and get 38mpg.
      billfrombuckhead
      • 3 Years Ago
      There are new drawings over at Allpar of what the new Dodge compact actually looks like and it should scare the rest of the car industry. Looks like Charger is getting brother.
      Andrew P
      • 3 Years Ago
      "35% still rate as below average" I'm too lazy to visit CR to see if this is their poor writing or autoblog's, but isn't having only 35% of domestic cars score below average a pretty GOOD performance by the domestics? Will we acknowledge that domestic cars are reliable only when NONE of them are below average?
        sp33dklz
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Andrew P
        Since when is below average acceptable? This country's economy has one foot in the graveyard and one food on a banana peel, and below average is ok? Have some pride.
          SheldonRoss
          • 3 Years Ago
          @sp33dklz
          Half the cars made HAVE to be below average by definition. Being below average is not necessarily a terrible thing if we don't know anything about absolute reliability or how big the delta is between best in last. In recent years the delta has shrunk so that a "below average" car can often actually be really reliable.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        • 3 Years Ago
        [blocked]
        Dean Hammond
        • 3 Years Ago
        got news for you Mr Columbian...the Japanese have their issues as well, or do you avoid reading the news.....ALL manufacturers make great cars...i dont think a consumer can go wrong buying ANY brand.....and just a FYI, when was the last time you saw a car stranded because of My Ford Touch....weird that....
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Dean Hammond
          [blocked]
          Dean Hammond
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Dean Hammond
          so what you are saying is a gltchy software issue is worse than snapping frames, breaking camshafts, sudden accelleration, and sludgy oil.....correct?.....
        • 3 Years Ago
        [blocked]
          EChid
          • 3 Years Ago
          I love it. Its always about the driving dynamics. People in NA don't value the whole driving dynamics/hard ride thing, and I can speak from experience with this as I've owned a Mazda 3 and yes, the dynamics were great, but the hard ride, road noise and general lack of refinement made it difficult to live with. Actual handling dynamics are near useless is most circumstances, whereas a well sorted balance (which is what most economy cars aim for these days) is much more useful. So yes, your Civic doesn't handle like a go-cart anymore, but its long-term comfortable now. My favourite thing: People endlessly bitch about how new cars are heavy and over-isolated now...the Civic goes light and basic, and everyone bitches about how its light and basic.
        EChid
        • 3 Years Ago
        Yeah, I think when you see all the bashing here there are multiple reasons: a) Trends. Currently, its trendy to bash Japanese car companies. Whenever you don't know what you are talking about, just bash the Japanese and somebody will agree. Even if you do know what your talking about, its still popular. b) Disappointment. The Japanese used to have it all, in terms of design, odd packaging that attracted enthusiasts (AWD hatchback Civics, wagons etc. etc.), and so over the last 20 years of excellence have amassed a tremendous following. The downside is that that following is easy to disappoint and hard to impress. When you see companies like Honda making interiors cheaper, for many its a big problem, its a sign of a big change. People love these cars and are disappointed that the funky packaging and standout quality is less apparent now. Overall, I agree. These brands still are clearly the most reliable. Yes, they aren't perfect in terms of packaging and styling, and they will always have lots of work to do, but that is why they have lots of competition to face.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EChid
          [blocked]
          vince
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EChid
          Columbian, unfortunately Honda interior quality has gone down. I drove a 1993 and 1998 civic. The new Civic at NYIAS was garbage in comparison (I was thinking of getting an SI). More technology yes, but crap hard plastic everywhere a dash made up of multiple hard pieces of plastic that will inevitably loosen and rattle over time. MY 1993 and 1998 had 1 piece soft dashes. This downward trend was even noted in Consumer Reports latsest review, a "very reliable trusted source". I still think overall they make the most reliable engines however.
        • 3 Years Ago
        [blocked]
        billfrombuckhead
        • 3 Years Ago
        There is very little difference between cars in these surveys and the Japanese whalekillers don't take chances and just build dull unremarkable appliances. All these new super Mopars emasculate Japanese cars and with Chargers and 300's now getting 31 mpg on the highway they now do a haka dance on the whalekillers home turf.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @billfrombuckhead
          [blocked]
        mtr25500
        • 3 Years Ago
        off yourself dolt
      BipDBo
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ford follows in reliability because people can't figure out hw to operate their infotainment systems, and they sense that a transmission with clutches isnot as smooth as a sloshy torque converter. This crap has no relevance on whether a car will give you a long, reliable life span.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @BipDBo
        [blocked]
        lne937s
        • 3 Years Ago
        @BipDBo
        You are confusing initial quality surveys with reliability surveys. Initial quality (measuring "issues" in the first few months of ownership) went down largely because of the infotainment system. The reliability survey measures things breaking on the car over the past ten years or as long as the model has been on the market. Now some of that is projected based on available data and could be distorted by problems with the initial production of a new model, but that gets adjusted the longer the vehicle is on the market. It isn't perfect, but out of all the surveys available, this is the most relevant measure of reliability.
          BipDBo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @lne937s
          "The reliability survey measures things breaking on the car over the past ten years or as long as the model has been on the market. " Consumer Reports surveys car ownership out to what, seven years? That means that most of the cars surveyed haven't even flipped 100,000 miles. The new Explorer and Fiesta have been out for about one year. CR "reliabilty" is tracking very minor issues that occur pretty much within the factory warantee. It has nothing to do with real longevity.
        Dest
        • 3 Years Ago
        @BipDBo
        ANd how did you figure this out BipDBo? Oh right, you didn't and you're just making excuses for Ford. Next!
        Luke
        • 3 Years Ago
        @BipDBo
        Agreed. This is all relative. The only people really reading these magazines are old people who can't figure new technology out anyway. A guy I work with has an Edge while the dealer's fixing his transmission. It has MFT and he thinks it's way cool. He says he'd buy one in a heartbeat if he had the money.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Luke
        • 3 Years Ago
        Do the world a favor, pull your lip over your head and swallow. If Ford did things so 'half-assed,' as you state, the F-150 wouldn't have been #1 for 34 years, the Explorer wouldn't be up 290% over 2010, they would've needed government money to survive the recession, they wouldn't be the best-selling brand in the country YTD, etc., etc. A guy I work with, in his 50's, has an Edge with MFT on loan from a dealership right now. He didn't need to 'read a manual first' in order to use it. He likes it so much, he's now considering an Edge with MFT. Just because some people aren't smart enough to use the system doesn't mean everyone is. Your stupidity is completely expected.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Luke
          [blocked]
        Ryan
        • 3 Years Ago
        It's a Ford article, so this brain dead, "know nothing but his own opinions" troll quits crying long enough to crawl out of his corner to uselessly ramble about something he knows next to nothing about.
        Dean Hammond
        • 3 Years Ago
        Matt, so Cadillacs Cue and uConnect are on the market already in enough numbers for you to claim superiority.....or could this just be another Ford bashing tool?....I'll let the vote decide....but I will give you this...MFT can be infuriatingly over complex, until one uses it for a while...and yes, it had bugs....and I understand no one needs to read manuals on Chevy and Dodge equivilents....RIIIIIIIIIIIIGGGGGGGGGGHT!
        Dean Hammond
        • 3 Years Ago
        note to Matt....Cadillacs CUE works great huh?...hands on?....interesting BECAUSE ITS GOING TO E AVAILABLE IN THE 2012 model...yep...its not even out yet....PS, Tinkerbell, Peter Pan and the Old Woman that Live is a Shoe say " Hi".....
      GoFaster58
      • 3 Years Ago
      I wouldn't trust Consumer Reports on the reliability of toothpicks.
        q3a7vodk4
        • 3 Years Ago
        @GoFaster58
        Me either, because as it happens they don't study the reliability of toothpicks.
        Dest
        • 3 Years Ago
        @GoFaster58
        YEAH! I don't like the results they got from their massive survey either! Down with CR!
      Renaurd
      • 3 Years Ago
      Consumer Reports is crap paper........nothing more, I wouldn't believe anything that rag prints.
        microtitan
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Renaurd
        Both of the items they were talking about regarding the Ford Focus seems to be true to me, because I have EXPERIENCED it. Have you?
      Uplanderguy
      • 3 Years Ago
      What a joke. Ford reliability and second only to GM which is the world standard for quality, reliability and dependibility. The world revolves around GM, and Ford is the closest satellite. GM rules!
        EChid
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Uplanderguy
        A guy with the name of one of the most subpar minivans offered in recent memory, no less. Uplanderguy: I know your loyal to a fault. But please recognize this: by unconditionally guaranteeing your love to GM and its products, and promising to buy whatever they put out without question, you are only doing yourself and the company harm. See GM in the 80's. You know when GM started making compelling products? When they realized that people weren't buying them, and that they were sick of subpar efforts. As a result, we've got good offerings in almost every class (Cruze, Volt, Malibu, Orlando, Equinox etc.), something that couldn't be said 10, or even 5 years ago. So please, buy GM because it actually is the best, not because you want it to be.
        Justin Campanale
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Uplanderguy
        Oh look, Bubba is back!!!!!!!!!!! "GM rules" was his catchprase too.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Uplanderguy
        [blocked]
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Uplanderguy
        [blocked]
        You guy
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Uplanderguy
        Oh sarcasm... it sucks when people don't get you.
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