The Least Complained About SUVs Are Pretty Obvious

There are three SUVs that are the least complained about, according to the iSeeCars list. These vehicles are all from brands that are generally expected to be safe and reliable. Subaru, Lexus, and Toyota are all carmakers that tend to nurture a certain level of trust in the minds of consumers. We see very few safety complaints recorded for all three.

The Lexus RX on display at an auto show.
A Lexus RX on display | Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

The Subaru Forester, the Lexus RX, and the Toyota 4Runner are the three least complained about SUVs reported by iSeeCars. These complaints are recorded by the NHTSA and pertain directly to safety––which is kind of a big deal for a vehicle you’ll be loading up with your family and other precious cargo. However, don’t take the safety complaints at face value. There’s more to the story when you look a little deeper.

The Toyota 4Runner SUV

A red 2017 Toyota 4Runner on display at an auto show
A 2017 Toyota 4Runner on display | Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

iSeeCars reports 10.8 complaints for each 10,000 Toyota 4Runner SUV units sold. The Toyota 4Runner is one of the most reliable SUVs on Consumer reports. It’s an SUV on a truck platform that’s known as trusty family hauler. It’s TRD trims lend it a little extra for off-roading. And it’s really just one of those well-loved SUVs.

CarComplaints shows that the most complained about Toyota 4Runner issue is chipping paint. The iSeeCars list is for the years 2005 – 2016. The two worst years reported on CarComplaints are the 2003 and 2004 model years. And the most common complaints are cosmetic. So, the mechanical foundation of the Toyota 4Runner is strong. That’s one reason these Toyota SUVs hold their value and last so long.

2019 Toyota 4Runner off-roading in dirt
2019 Toyota 4Runner TRD

The Lexus RX Crossover SUV

For the Lexus RX crossover SUV, iSeeCars reports 10.6 safety complaints per 10,000 units sold. It’s a popular luxury car for family hauling, and it has received few complaints in terms of safety. Consumer Reports also shows that this crossover SUV earns consistent Predicted Reliability ratings of 4 out of 5 or 5 out of 5.

However, on CarComplaints, the story is a bit different. While Lexus as a brand shows fewer complaints overall than other car brands, the RX is the most complained about model. There are several different RX model years, in fact, that are posted as the Lexus models with the most complaints. It is probably notable, though, that––like the 4Runner––this crossover SUV has collected the most complaints about a cosmetic issue with the dashboard cracking. At its core, we can pretty much expect longevity.

A new Lexus RX is among some of the best SUVs on display at an auto show
A Lexus RX on display at an auto show | Didier Messens/Getty Images

The Subaru Forester Crossover SUV

The Subaru Forester crossover SUV has the least complaints according to iSeeCars. Only 9.4 complaints per 10,000 units sold are reported for the Subaru Forester. In terms of safety complaints, it’s a solid family vehicle––according to this data. However, there are Forest model years with plenty of other complaints.

The Subaru Forester 2014 and 2015 model years are among the most complained about on CarComplaints. So, even though there are few safety complaints recorded with the NHTSA the Forester is still one that you’d want to research a bit before buying. Subarus have a reputation for reliability.

Subaru Forester parked in a field
Subaru Forester

Are the Significant 2021 Toyota 4Runner Updates Worth it?

However, the Subaru Forester crossover SUV doesn’t boast quite the consistent reliability of the Lexus or the Toyota SUVs. Consumer Reports shows some great years. Additionally, there are some years with less impressive predicted reliability ratings. Still, there is something to be said for a vehicle with so few safety complaints. The Subaru Forester is a good SUV. Yet, it does have complaints about engine problems. So, it’s probably wise to prioritize and decide what is most important to you before buying a Forester.