SUV sales have skyrocketed in recent years. But they haven’t made quite the same strides in reliability. In 2019, Consumer Reports gave over 15 utility vehicles got the lowest rating (“poor”) for the year. The least reliable SUVs listed had more problems than you can count. Fortunately, this was the only bad news.
Following the latest round of owner surveys, the nonprofit testing agency collected more data on the most reliable SUVs of recent years. The good news: Several popular models cracked the top 10, joining consumers’ favorite utility vehicles of the decade. Here are the 10 SUVs that scored the highest marks for reliability in the 2019 Consumer Reports rankings.
10. Audi Q5
- While Audi lost a little ground in the 2019 survey, the Q5 was among the best for reliability.
Luxury crossovers by Tesla and Buick ranked near the bottom in this year’s reliability ratings, but Audi SUVs didn’t share these problems. In addition to a strong performance by the Q3, the larger Q5’s high score (72%) put it among the elite for 2019.
Looking at the scores on each area of the Q5 in recent years, you see only minor infotainment issues with near-flawless mechanical operation. Almost every other luxury crossover scored worse, and competitors from BMW (33%) and Mercedes-Benz (34%) didn’t come close.
9. Mitsubishi Outlander
- You won’t see Outlander land a Consumer Reports recommendation, but its reliability is elite.
Every year, you’ll find vehicles that score very high for reliability yet fail to nab a coveted recommendation from the team at Consumer Reports. That’s exactly what happened with the Mitsubishi Outlander following the latest owner survey.
As far as reliability goes, you won’t find many vehicles scoring higher than this model (73%). Outside of a 2017 suspension issue, you’d have to search really hard to find a problem with any recent Outlander. If a low price and the ability to start every morning are priorities for you, it’s worth a test-drive.
8. Kia Sorento
- Since its 2016 redesign, owners haven’t reported a single major flaw with the Sorento.
Have you noticed no one really makes fun of Kia’s lineup anymore? That’s because the automaker consistently ranks high in reliability and quality every year, and its cars seem to get better all the time. The 2019 Kia Sorento, which muscled its way on the list of most reliable SUVs this year, offers a perfect example.
Owners haven’t reported a single flaw with this vehicle since it got redesigned a few years ago. Mechanical operations, cabin controls, and all other vehicle functions have been excellent. Along with its elite reliability rating (77%), Sorento also boasts a Top Safety Pick+ award for 2019.
7. Toyota 4Runner
- The U.S. market’s most reliable vehicle this decade keeps on trucking.
As we’ve reported on Consumer Reports rankings over the years, we kept noticing how the truck-based Toyota 4Runner always scored among the best for reliability. Upon further review, it turned out that no vehicle on sale in America since 2010 has landed more top ratings since the start of the decade.
The 4Runner’s solid platform continued to please owners in the latest reliability survey. As in each of the last three years, no major flaws were reported. The 4Runner’s overall score (78%) put it among elite company — as long as we’re not talking about advanced safety equipment or a redesigned transmission.
6. Mazda CX-5
- Along with Miata, the CX-5 crossover led Mazda’s charge to the top of the reliability rankings.
If you want to track the top gainers among automakers, look no further than Mazda. Its iconic MX-5 Miata ranked No. 4 among Consumer Reports’ most reliable vehicles in America for 2019, and the brand shot up nine spots overall, nudging its way into third place, right behind Toyota.
Besides the high-scoring Miata, the CX-5 crossover (78%) ranked among the elite in the SUV segment. Over the past few years, owners haven’t reported any issues in this excellent model, which has one of the highest overall crossover scores. If you’re considering a luxury crossover but love to drive, we recommend testing this model before you bank down on anything.
5. Toyota Highlander
- While every Toyota is a safe bet for reliability, Highlander was among the very best for 2019.
If you’re looking for problem areas in the Highlander, you’ll have to go back to 2016, and you’re only going to find minor infotainment issues. Otherwise, you’re looking at basically flawless operations in the most reliable three-row SUV on the market.
With another high score for 2019 (81%), Highlander cracked Consumer Reports’ overall top 10 for reliability. That means it will hold its place among the top vehicles of the decade.
4. Subaru Crosstrek
- Crosstrek’s 2018 overhaul appears to be a complete success for Subaru’s most reliable vehicle.
It’s rare for a redesigned car to score so highly in reliability after just one year, but that’s the impression the new Subaru Crosstrek gave owners in the latest survey. This model was close to perfect, save for an “average” score for in-car electronics.
Otherwise, buyers found their Crosstrek operating just as they expected (or even better). Its score for 2019 (84%) placed it well above the subcompact competition, with only the Honda HR-V (71%) in the same ballpark.
3. Lexus NX
- Models like the NX300 helped Lexus reclaim the top spot for reliability in 2019.
Every year, it’s basically a coin-flip between Toyota and its luxury brand Lexus for which one ranks best for reliability. For 2019, Lexus claimed the top spot, and the exceptional rating for the NX crossover (88%) was one reason why.
Sifting through the 17 areas Consumer Reports asks about, you won’t find a single problem area for this model. That verdict has remained mostly unchanged since 2016, and that’s why NX is among the best again this year.
2. Toyota RAV4
- While Toyota preps a new RAV4, there have been no complaints about the current model.
Among non-luxury models, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more practical SUV than the Toyota RAV4. It gets solid fuel economy, boasts a strong safety rating, and ranks among the industry’s best for reliability every year.
For 2019, the RAV4’s run continued with another top score (90%). You’d have to go back to 2014 to find an area with significant owner complaints, and it was an infotainment issue. Mechanically, it’s just about flawless. We’ll watch closely to see if Toyota replicates that success with the all-new RAV4.
1. Lexus GX
- The Lexus version of the 4Runner had the highest predictability rating of any vehicle.
If you browse Consumer Reports ratings, you’ll find higher scores for the road-test and customer satisfaction than the Lexus GX. However, you won’t find any vehicle on the U.S. market topping its reliability rating (95%) for 2019.
Like the 4Runner, Toyota’s version of this model, the GX runs on a mostly flawless truck platform. It hasn’t gotten a redesign for the better part of a decade, but it also hasn’t shown signs of growing old. In the latest survey, owners didn’t report a single thing wrong with their GX.