Lincoln and Buick Are the Most Reliable American Car Brands, Consumer Reports Survey Says

Lincoln and Buick make a lot of high-end luxury cars, and while not many folks will be able to drive one of them, those that do may experience something special. In fact, one of the unique things about driving a Lincoln or Buick may simply be the fact that they make the most reliable cars out of all American car brands. Here’s a look at the survey that found Lincoln and Buick are currently the most reliable American car brands.

A Buick dealership with reliable cars outside.
A Buick dealership in China | LIU JIN/AFP via Getty Images

American cars aren’t that reliable, but there is some good news

Consumer Reports gets its reliability data by asking hundreds of thousands of car owners. Not all cars will get enough data, so for those cars, Consumer Reports will give them a predicted reliability score based on past info. After all of that data is gathered, “brands are ranked on average predicted reliability, based on CR member surveys.”

Overall, Asian automakers dominate the list of the most reliable automakers. Eight out of the top 10 spots are held by an Asian automaker, and Toyota is at number one. For most automakers, their SUVs and trucks are less reliable than their sedans, but this wasn’t the case with American automakers. Like Consumer Reports said, “domestic cars average a slightly lower score.” 

On top of that, one American automaker actually ended up in the top 10, and it was Lincoln. Buick wasn’t far behind, as it came in at 11th place. Here’s a look at these two American car brands and why they’re so reliable.

A look at why Lincoln is such a reliable brand

Not all critics agree with Consumer Reports’ views on Lincoln though, but the difference ultimately comes down to which cars are being looked at. For example, RepairPal wrote that Lincoln, as a brand, has an average reliability rating. It costs owners an average of $879 a year to repair and maintain their Lincolns, and this is significantly more money than the average car needs.

That being said, RepairPal takes into consideration old and discontinued models, while Consumer Reports doesn’t. For example, the Town Car is Lincoln’s most reliable car, but it’s been discontinued since the 2011 model year. On top of that, some of Lincoln’s newer models, such as the Corsair, are not rated by RepairPal yet, while Consumer Reports does have a review on that brand-new Lincoln SUV.

In general, modern Lincolns, such as the Nautilus, are fairly reliable. They’re not as reliable as the luxury Japanese models, but for an American brand, they’re doing well. Like with many other luxury SUVs though, any problems that the Nautilus has may cost a lot to fix. This is potentially why its average repair costs are so high.

Buick is a reliable American automaker as well

On the other hand, RepairPal had a lot more praise for Buick. This luxury American automaker had an above-average reliability score, and it’s 13th out of 32 across all car brands. On top of that, despite being a luxury automaker, the average Buick owner will spend about $608 to repair and maintain their car every year. That’s below the average across all brands.

Buicks also did not encounter issues as frequently as other cars did, and the severity of those issues were about the same as on the average car. Most Buick models received a high reliability score as well, and only two did not.

The Enclave and the Lucerne were about average, and this means that the rest of the lineup was above average. The Encore was the American luxury brand’s most reliable car, and it only needs about $466 a year for repair and maintenance costs.

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