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Editor’s note: This article was updated on 05/17/2023

Consumer Reports sends an Annual Auto Survey to owners to gather reliability data about popular cars, trucks, and SUVs. Within the survey are many questions about issues that may have occurred over the past year, and it covers 17 aspects of vehicle ownership. Contrarily, J.D. Power offers a reliability score “based on hundreds of thousands of independent and unbiased opinions of verified car owners,” but its score remained the same. Unfortunately, after receiving feedback from owners, two Ford SUVs saw a decline in reliability. What happened to the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Bronco Sport?

Which Ford SUVs had declining reliability?

A yellow 2023 Ford Bronco Sport is driving on the road, reliability is on the decline.
The 2023 Ford Bronco Sport | Ford

Consumer Reports recommended buying the Ford Mustang Mach-E electric crossover and the Ford Bronco Sport in the previous model year. Both provide plenty of excellent features, a potent engine, and many other excellent attributes. However, both were brand-new models and didn’t have enough time in the market to determine reliability. Reliability can’t be realized until many owners have driven the vehicle for a long time.

Unfortunately, after a short time with the Bronco Sport and Mustang Mach-E, owners felt the Ford SUVs were below average for reliability. As a result, Consumer Reports’ Annual Auto Survey influenced the publication to withdraw its recommendation for the pair entering the 2023 model year. Although reliability significantly lowered the score of these two Ford SUVs, it isn’t all bad.

Even other automotive experts, including our own review at MotorBiscuit for the 2021 model year, had mostly great things to say about the Bronco crossover.

2023 Ford Bronco Sport: Reliability

According to J.D. Power, the all-new 2023 Ford Bronco Sport‘s reliability score is the same as the previous model year. Additionally, it has excellent features, convenient storage, and great heating/AC after at least 90 days of ownership. Unfortunately, CR claims it has a stiff ride, which is likely due to its underpowered engine. Speaking of which, it uses a three-cylinder turbocharged engine with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Making 181 horsepower is decent enough for a crossover of the Bronco Sport’s size.

The model’s pricing ranges from $29,215 to $44,655. As a result, it’s a cheaper, smaller version of the standard Bronco with which it shares a name. Previously, it was one of the highest-rated vehicles from Consumer Reports. However, the publication heavily weighs reliability, which was unavailable for the new model. Thanks to the first year or so with the crossover, owners have given CR the data to determine that the Bronco Sport has below-average reliability. As a result, it is no longer recommended.

J.D. Power, however, held firm with its reliability rating. A “great” score of 87 out of 100 was the second-highest on the JDP scale, trailing only the overall driving experience.

Ford Mustang Mach-E: Is it too soon to tell?

A white 2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E small electric SUV is parked.
The 2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E | Ford

Next, the Ford Mustang Mach-E was previously ranked high on CR’s list of best luxury compact SUVs. However, now it’s down far lower on the list of best models overall. The result is the same as the Bronco Sport, which dropped due to its reliability data. As Ford’s first designed-from-the-ground-up electric vehicle, the Mustang Mach-E has a lot of expectations to meet. One thing it fell short on is reliability.

The all-electric crossover stole styling cues from the iconic muscle car but is far different. It’s a five-passenger SUV with plenty of cargo space and available all-wheel drive. Additionally, the extended-range version has 270 miles of driving range. Unfortunately, it takes over 10 hours to charge the 88-kWh battery when it’s completely depleted. Other than that, CR liked almost everything about the battery-powered Mustang. Unfortunately, owner experience surveys revealed poor reliability, which lost the Mustang Mach-E’s recommendation from Consumer Reports.

Other experts, like J.D. Power, have no reliability data available yet for the Mustang Mach-E. We suspect the EV needs more time on the road before anyone can make definitive decisions. As one of Ford’s first real steps into the all-electric market, the crossover is difficult to judge on long-lastingness.


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