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Following up on its report on which carmakers it found to be the most and least reliable, Consumer Reports has released its predicted reliability ratings based on vehicle type. Those at the top are a varied crew but mostly adhere to one theme: they're small, or small for their segment. Hatchbacks with good fuel economy (like Toyota's Prius C, the most reliable single model this time out), "compact" sports sedans and pickups and "small" SUVs take the day. The one exception to the size qualifier among the most reliable cars is wagons, which also make the cut. The nine hatches and ten wagons included in the survey are further distinguished by the fact that every one of them achieved average or above average reliability.

At the other end – the service-bay end – are luxury SUVs, minivans and "upscale" cars. Upscale is a different category than "luxury" – in a 2009 test of upscale sedans prices ranged from $33,660 to $40,880 and included wares like the Pontiac G8, Lexus ES, Hyundai Genesis and Jaguar XF (none of which is referred to in this predicted reliability report), while luxury cars are "usually more opulent and costly."

Small cars were the last vehicle type above the line before upscale compact SUVs dipped into the negative numbers. Out of ten upscale cars in the survey only half were reliable, and CR said minivans took a hit by dint of the paucity of options.


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