Hybrids Are More Reliable Than Electric Cars, According to Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports has conducted yet another car reliability survey. While there were some unsurprising findings, the recent survey also shed some light on the reliability of new EVs and hybrids. As it turns out, the EV segment isn’t that reliable, and hybrid cars tend to be more reliable overall. Here’s a look at why hybrids may be more reliable than EVs, as well as the particular hybrid and EV models that scored well or didn’t score well.

The general findings of Consumer Reports’ latest survey

A red 2023 Toyota Corolla hybrid, which is one of the reasons hybrids are more reliable than electric cars.
2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid | Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

As Consumer Reports wrote, the site’s latest reliability survey had some unsurprising results regarding how reliable specific segments are. For example, sedans continue to be the most reliable segment overall, primarily thanks to the many reliable sedans on the market right now. Some sedans even saw improved reliability ratings, which was true for the Toyota Corolla Hatchback.

Another unsurprising finding concerns the opposite end of the spectrum, as pickup trucks are still the least reliable segment overall. This isn’t a surprise for truck owners, as trucks tend to require a lot of maintenance throughout the years. A somewhat surprising finding, however, has to do with the fact that the Toyota Tundra saw a decrease in its reliability score. 

Why hybrids may be more reliable than EVs

This latest reliability survey also showed that EVs and other types of plug-in vehicles are less reliable than traditional hybrids. This means that plug-in EVs, or PHEVs, such as the Toyota Prius Prime, were less reliable than the regular Prius. The reason for this may simply have to do with the fact that more people are driving EVs and PHEVs now, and as a result, more reliability data is available for those types of cars.

According to Consumer Reports, in the past, EVs primarily had issues relating to their infotainment system, and this was similar to the infotainment issues that were on other cars. However, now that more people are driving EVs, more people are also reporting issues unique to EVs, such as problems with their electric motors or batteries.

This may explain why the Ford Mustang Mach-E, which used to be recommended by Consumer Reports, lost its recommended badge as its reliability rating decreased that much. The Mach-E now has a below-average reliability rating, and that’s similar to what the Hyundai Kona Electric, the Volkswagen ID.4, and the Chevy Bolt have. The Bolt, in particular, recently went through a massive recall campaign due to an issue with its battery.

A lot of hybrids saw improved reliability ratings too


Cheapest New Hyundai Hybrid Is Car With Best Gas Mileage

In comparison, traditional hybrids seem to have few reliability issues. Many hybrids even saw an increased reliability score this year. Three hybrids had such a significant reliability increase that the car critic gave them recommendations.

One of those hybrids was the Ford Escape Hybrid, which had fewer issues than the regular version of the Escape had. As a result, the regular Escape doesn’t have a recommendation, but the Escape Hybrid does.

The Escape Hybrid has a fuel economy of 44 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on highways, for 41 mpg combined. The Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid is another hybrid that received a recommendation due to how reliable it was. The Hyundai gets 33 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on highways, for 32 mpg combined. The last hybrid that received a new recommendation was the Kia Sorento Hybrid. The Kia hybrid gets 39 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on highways, for 37 mpg combined.