When buying a new car, you should have a good idea what it will cost you in the long run. That means considering fuel, maintenance, and common repair costs for the vehicle you purchase on top of its MSRP. If you do your homework, you will probably pass on some lower-priced vehicles in favor of models that are more reliable over time. Consumer Reports is the go-to place for such feedback on any car, truck, or SUV when it comes to reliability.
In addition to thorough real-world tests and consideration of safety data, Consumer Reports conducted surveys covering 17 areas for over half-a-million cars from the 2016 model year. Using this trove of information, the testing agency came up with its list of vehicles that aced reliability tests. Once again, there was bad news for several U.S.-based automakers and impressive ratings for foreign brands, especially Toyota, whose vehicles made up half the list.
Here are the 10 most reliable cars and SUVs you can buy new, according to Consumer Reports.
10. Toyota 4Runner
Consumer Reports had plenty of negative feedback for the Toyota 4Runner, describing its handling as “clumsy” and noting it trailed most of today’s SUVs in performance. Nonetheless, it praised 4Runner’s toughness and ability to stay on the road, especially when the pavement ends. We have noted 4Runner’s safety liabilities — bad crash test scores and rollover rate — in other posts, but drivers and testers agree it can take a punch without collapsing.
9. Audi Q7
The Consumer Reports team had nothing but praise for the Audi Q7, which it ranked among the best SUVs it ever tested. (Our own Micah Wright agreed in a 2016 test.) Everything from Q7’s supercharged V6 to its interior and safety system scored high marks with testers, and there was no letdown when it came to reliability. Through its first year on the U.S. market, consumers gave it an enthusiastic thumbs-up.
8. Chevrolet Cruze
The new Chevy Cruze scored well on economy (30 MPG overall) and for its comfy, quiet ride, though Consumer Reports testers took issue with back support in front seats. All told, Cruze held its own in nearly every category, though you will need to choose high trim levels for the best safety features. As far as reliability is concerned, Chevy’s compact offering was the best in its class (as long as we don’t include hybrids).
7. Mercedes-Benz GLC
Any vehicle based on the Mercedes C-Class has a head-start on the competition, so there is no surprise the GLC compact SUV fared well in Consumer Reports tests. Reviewers pointed out the excellent performance, genuine luxury feel inside the cabin, and unusually appealing nine-speed transmission. With its first year of reliability tests out of the way, the GLC line got the best score of any Mercedes in the running.
6. Lexus GS
Consumers who are looking for alternatives to Mercedes E-Class and Audi A6 sedans might consider the Lexus GS based on its reliability ratings. Available in turbo, all-wheel drive, and hybrid variants (each with performance models), the new GS line gives consumers plenty of choices. Those who prize comfort and performance will not be disappointed by the most reliable midsize luxury sedan on the market.
5. Lexus GX
It may look more 4Runner than Lexus, but the new GX delivers on interior comforts and other amenities expected of luxury models. Consumer Reports loved its ability to head off-road and maintain a quiet, confident ride quality no matter how testers pushed it. You have to like the throwback look of the GX to opt for this three-row behemoth, but you can be sure of its reliability years down the road.
4. Audi Q3
If you want an Audi-badged SUV but want to keep the footprint small and the price low, the Q3 is your obvious pick. Testers enjoyed the power, handling, and comfortable ride quality of this model, though economy (22 MPG) was mediocre. Q3 is one of the small crossovers IIHS called out for poor headlights, but other than that it has been a well-reviewed ride. Its reliability score makes it the best of any SUV on the U.S. market.
3. Infiniti Q70
The Infiniti is anything but a high-volume model. At 216th place in U.S. sales for 2016, Q70 had about the same fanbase as the Smart Fortwo and other models automakers couldn’t give away. Yet its low standing among consumers does not take anything away from its reviews. Consumer Reports testers cited its agile handling and lively powertrain as major positives, but it’s the remarkable reliability that separates Q70 from the pack. Like other luxury sedans, it’s a car to buy gently used.
2. Lexus CT 200h
As the third Lexus in the top 10, Toyota’s luxury brand reaffirmed its status as the benchmark in reliability. Lexus CT 200h is not a popular car but, as the least expensive model in the lineup, it continues making a case for itself on economy (40 MPG in CR tests). Based on the previous-generation Prius, CT 200h sips gas and offers convenience as a hatchback. Otherwise, it lacks the luxury flourishes but is a winner when it comes to being reliable.
1. Toyota Prius
Until Hyundai releases the Ioniq Hybrid on the U.S. market, the new Toyota Prius will stand as the most economical gas vehicle around. The original hybrid delivered 52 MPG in Consumer Reports tests this time around, and it once again proves to be the king of reliability. If you buy one, you might drive it several hundred thousand miles, so make sure you get the options right. Then again, with the plug-in Prime costing about the same, you might want to go electric in your next Prius.
Source: Consumer Reports