Lincoln Bottomed Out on Consumer Reports Reliability Rankings

There are so many new vehicles to choose from that some buyers may want to narrow the options down to just a few brands. For buyers looking for reliability, Consumer Reports has looked over lots of automakers to see which are most and least reliable. Lincoln went from average last year down to last this year. Here’s a look at how Lincoln stacks up against other brands.

Lincoln: the least reliable automaker for 2020

Consumer Reports says that Mazda, Toyota, and Lexus are frequently at the top of its reliability list. Mazda rose one position to take the highest spot. For 2020, Buick and Honda round out the top five, with big improvements in their reliability rankings.

Buick has a small number of models, and those models didn’t have many problems, so the automaker jumped up 14 spots – the biggest gain this year compared to last year. Honda has some “outstanding models in its lineup” plus it’s had “steady improvements.” Those positives outweigh the reliability issues with the Honda Odyssey minivan and Honda Passport SUV.

Several of the manufacturers from the middle of last year’s rankings are still about average. That includes Subaru and Audi. Manufacturers from last year’s bottom third that saw increases in their reliability ratings include Chevrolet, GMC, BMW, Volvo, and Jeep.

And a few saw drops in reliability when compared to last year, including Kia, Ford, and Lincoln. Ford and Lincoln, which is owned by Ford, had been in the middle of last year. Both dropped down due to new SUVs with big problems. The Ford Explorer and Ford Escape along with their sibling SUVs, the Lincoln Aviator and Lincoln Corsair, all had low reliability ratings this year.

Brands not ranked for reliability

To come up with its rankings for Lincoln and other brands, Consumer Reports looks at the average of the predicted reliability scores for all the brand’s models. The reliability scores are between 0 and 100, and detailed ratings are given for 17 potential problem areas.

Consumer Reports surveys its members every year to get information about vehicle issues across 17 different categories over the past 12 months. The Predicted Reliability Score is then developed by weighting the various problems according to their severity.

The brand reliability averages fall between 41 and 60. Only manufacturing brands with two or more models were included in the rankings. That means Acura, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Fiat, Genesis, Jaguar, Land Rover, Maserati, and Mitsubishi aren’t on the list due to either insufficient data or too few models.

Reliability of Lincoln models


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Dropping 11 spots since last year, Lincoln comes in last of 26 brands with an average reliability score of just 8. That’s well behind Tesla in 25th place with a score of 29. All three of the Lincoln models that were tested by Consumer Reports received very poor reliability scores. While Lincoln had more models in 2020, only three continue for the 2021 model year.

Lincoln’s three models all received poor reliability scores. The Lincoln Corsair has a score of 14, while the Nautilus has a nine, and the Aviator has just a two. The Corsair was new for 2020, says Consumer Reports, and both 2020 and 2021 have poor reliability and predicted reliability ratings.

The Nautilus was new for 2019 but only rated for 2019 and 2021, with poor reliability and predicted reliability ratings from Consumer Reports in those years. The Aviator arrived back in 2003, but Consumer Reports only has ratings for the current generation, starting in 2020. Both years have gotten poor reliability and predicted reliability ratings.

Lincoln is a luxury brand with only three models available for 2021. Since all three have poor predicted reliability ratings, buyers looking for the most reliable vehicles may want to shop somewhere else.