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Every year Consumer Reports releases lists of their most and least reliable vehicles. Although no car manufacturer wants their SUV, car or truck to end up on that list, it’s inevitable. This year, both Ford and Mercedes have an SUV that top the list, in the worst way possible. Both the 2022 Ford Explorer and 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE are rated as the least reliable SUVs in 2022. What’s the deal with these two SUVs, and why aren’t they reliable?

Red 2022 Ford Explorer driving over a bridge
Rapid Red 2022 Ford Explorer | Ford

The 2022 Ford Explorer is one of the least reliable cars of the year

Consumer Reports only gives the 2022 Ford Explorer an 8 for its reliability. This is a very low score. A quick look at the 2022 Ford Explorer‘s predicted reliability shows a 1/5. This is in line with previous Ford Explorer models, including the 2018-2021, which all have a reliability rating of 1/5.

Major problems in the most recent four model years of the Ford Explorer show major and minor transmission problems, drive system, and paint issues. The body integrity, power equipment, and in-car electronics are also problematic in the Ford Explorer, contributing to the low predicted reliability of the 2022 Ford Explorer.

The 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE is the least reliable car there is

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The 2022 Mercedes-Benz is the least reliable vehicle rated by Consumer Reports this year. It gets just a 5 for reliability. Like the 2022 Ford Explorer, the 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE scores a 1/5 for its predicted reliability. The 2020 and 2021 also have poor reliability ratings of 1/5. The 2019 doesn’t have a reliability rating, but the 2018 has a great reliability rating of 5/5.

Major problem areas in the 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE include minor engine problems, electrical system, and the climate system. The body integrity, hardware, and in-car electronics also get 1/5 reliability ratings.

Consumer Reports uses surveys to determine reliability


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To determine the most and least reliable vehicles, Consumer Reports sends surveys to current owners of vehicles to find out how they’re holding up. Consumer Reports asks questions like what major repairs have been needed to be done in the last 12 months, as well as the severity of those problems. Then Consumer Reports evaluates those surveys as well as incorporate their mechanical knowledge. From these two sources, Consumer Reports assigns each vehicle a reliability rating. A vehicle must have at least two years worth of data to be evaluated by Consumer Reports.

The surveys that Consumer Reports sends are very comprehensive. They collect a good number of survey results to make their determination. In 2021, Consumer Reports received more than 300,000 survey results. Each vehicle surveyed typically has 200 to 300 survey responses, giving a good idea of how that particular model is holding up. This increases the chances that the reliability rating will be accurate.

Consumer Reports reliability ratings certainly play a large role in how a vehicle will sell. People who are researching potential cars, trucks, and SUVs want to make sure that they are getting a sound vehicle that they won’t have to repair as soon as they buy it. Still, plenty of best-selling vehicles have low reliability ratings, so it’s not the only factor. If you want a better chance at not having to make major repairs in the next year, you should try to avoid these SUVs with the worst reliability ratings and instead buy one of the most reliable SUVs.