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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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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 41 Comments
      sodamninsane
      • 2 Years Ago
      so wait the highest volume least technologically complicated models are the most reliable? (even the prius has 8 years and 2 generations of development behind it) In other news, sky is blue!
      Mondrell
      • 2 Years Ago
      Regardless of how you feel about CR's data evaluation and collection methods, the assertion made by this article's title is a general truth about vehicle ownership; the more complicated the plumbing is, the easier it is to stop up the drain. Technology laden and dependent cars are usually a joy to own initially, but once the warranty expires, so does the patience of the average owner with subsequent problems, especially if the car is engineered to require expense labor methods that don't lend well or at all to DIY. That said, unless the contributor made an error in word choice, how does a lack of options equate to diminished predicted reliability?
      Patrick
      • 2 Years Ago
      Less complicated car more reliable?????? MIND BLOWN
      Avinash Machado
      • 2 Years Ago
      Thanks Captain Obvious Reports.
      SamIAm
      • 2 Years Ago
      CR is trash once again. If it isn't Japanese, they hate.
        GR
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SamIAm
        They also lambasted the new Honda Civic...which is a Japanese car.
      SamIAm
      • 2 Years Ago
      CR is anti-American trash. Anything regarding GM (world's biggest/most successful manufacturer) they want to bash, when records/tests/reviews state that every GM car in its respective class is above the competition. I mean an XTS just beat that Bentley Spur Phaeton-thing sedan in a C/D test...... CTS-V is STILL unrivaled and the King of all sedans: Power of a Corvette, room/tech of an S-Class (XTS too) and the performqnce of a Ferrari.... Please stop reading this biased publication. And go out and drive GM cars yourself. Buy American and Be Proud! Keep GM alive!
        Toronto St. Pats
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SamIAm
        You're right. GM is perfect and all their cars are flawless and never fail.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SamIAm
        [blocked]
        NightFlight
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SamIAm
        Yeah, that new Malibu has been a RUNAWAY success, winning comparison tests left and right. /sarcasm You do realize that the XTS comparison was supposed to be a lighthearted review, right? Not a full bore comparison? Most reviews I've read for the XTS weren't gleaming reviews.
          Tina Dang
          • 2 Years Ago
          @NightFlight
          Shut tup, the XTS was miles ahead of that overgrown Phaeton. and The XTS is selling like hotcakes and reviewers love its tech and comfort. It makes that S-Class looks overpriced lol
      al4g_00
      • 2 Years Ago
      Consumer Reports reliability ratings are done by Consumers ( you & I ) owning the vehicles as there is no substitute for knowing about a vehicles strengths / weakness than actual ownership. I laugh at those who continue to say there is BIAS to Asian cars ..... yes there is, Owners say they are more RELIABLE plain & simple !!! Seeing this small hatchback category again the highest rated (RELIABLE) cars Scion XD at 80% fewer problems than average. Honda Fit 60% fewer problems than average. Down at the bottom is the Ford Focus having a horrible 170% More Problems than average. The actual Consumer Report Review ( done by the CR "experts" in April 2012 ) stated the Focus has sporty handling / solid interior / low noise levels / confusing radio controls / automatic transmission low speed shifting problems / below average reliability. Also listed are specifications & vehicle that they actually tested. This does not sound BIASED to me but I guess the fact owners are having big problems with the Focus should not be a surprise after reading the CR evaluation in the April 2012 CR. CR also gave the Focus a Top Score for Owner Cost. Satisfaction was rated Good. So I guess Focus owners don't mind spending their time at a Ford dealer ! The top rated Scion XD ( in the April 2012 CR ) CR "experts" said the ride suffers from short jumpy motions / jittery on the highway / adequate engine performance / miserly fuel consumption / alot of standard features for the price. Owner cost rated Top score while Satisfaction was only Average. So comparing the reviews of the Focus against the Scion XD each car had its strengths & weaknesses. To say there is a BIAS towards the Asian cars is a "Pile of Fertilizer". As with anything in life nothing is perfect but CRs unique way of doing the reliability combined with vehicle reviews puts them at the Top of my list to know which vehicle to Buy. The American car makers just need to get more quality / reliability in their cars .... so say the Consumers not a marketing firm being paid by the car makers.
        protovici
        • 2 Years Ago
        @al4g_00
        So your saying that owners dont have bias answers? Of course they do. All humans do.
        mikeybyte1
        • 2 Years Ago
        @al4g_00
        Consumer Reports reliability ratings are done by their readers. That is not the same as "all Consumers (you &I)." That means their results are skewed to be based on people that only a) subscribe to their magazine, and b) bother to respond. If you recall, CR does not recommend a new vehicle until they have reliability data on it. But for a long period of time they let Toyota skip that rule. Every redesigned Toyota that scored well was immediately recommended. Even if it was a clean sheet design with a new engine and being built in a new plant. They did not need to wait for reliability info because they are Toyota. That is pure bias. It all blew up in their face when Toyota started having big problems with the Camry. Then CR decided Toyota had to follow the same rules as everyone else. Furthermore, when you tell your audience "Toyota and Honda are best" and they all listen and buy it, it means that your sampling pool is skewed. So the CR readers probably own more Toyotas and Hondas. A more scientific poll would be to get like 5000 owners of each model and then calc your results. As it stands they may get 3000 for a Civic and 200 for a Focus. I don't consider this bias, but I do consider it unscientific.
      Mbukukanyau
      • 2 Years Ago
      CR is all bull. they can take their opinions to themselves.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Austin
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm really unclear as to how a "paucity of options" would make minivans less reliable. I'm certainly not going to waste the money on a CR subscription to find out.
      Cory Stansbury
      • 2 Years Ago
      Insert appropriately sarcastic comment here I think the first two covered it nicely.
      Mercer
      • 2 Years Ago
      Yeah. I know I know. I know burning wood is more reliable than a microwave. Can I "enjoy your meal" now?
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