SUV sales have skyrocketed, but they haven’t made quite the same strides in reliability. In 2019, Consumer Reports gave over 15 SUVs the lowest rating (“poor”) for the year. Fortunately, this was the only bad news. The nonprofit testing agency collected more data on the most reliable SUVs.
The good news: Several popular models cracked the top 10, joining consumers’ favorite SUVs of the decade. Here are the 10 most reliable SUVs, according to 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 Tesla and Buick crossovers ranked near the bottom for reliability, but Audi SUVs didn’t share these issues. In addition to a strong performance by the Q3, the larger Audi Q5’s high score (72%) put it among the elite for 2019.
Looking at the scores for 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
Every year, you’ll find vehicles that score very high for reliability yet fail to nab a coveted recommendation from Consumer Reports. The Mitsubishi Outlander experienced this after the recent owner survey.
As far as reliability, 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 is a priority for you, it’s worth a test-drive.
8. Kia Sorento
No one really makes fun of Kia’s lineup anymore. Its cars have only improved, and the automaker consistently ranks high in reliability and quality every year as a result. A perfect example: the 2019 Kia Sorento. It muscled its way on 2019’s list of the most reliable SUVs.
Owners haven’t reported a single flaw with the Sorento since its redesign 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.
Over the years, we’ve noticed how the truck-inspired Toyota 4Runner keeps ranking among the best for reliability. Upon further review, it turns out that no vehicle sold 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. Consistent with the last three years, no major flaws were reported. The 4Runner’s overall score (78%) lands it among elite company — unless we’re talking about advanced safety equipment or a redesigned transmission.
6. Mazda CX-5
If you want to track the “most-improved” automakers, look no further than Mazda. Its iconic MX-5 Miata ranked No. 4 among Consumer Reports’ most reliable vehicles in America for 2019. 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 elite SUVs. Over the past few years, owners haven’t reported any issues with this model, which has one of the highest overall crossover scores. If you’re considering a luxury crossover, we recommend testing this model.
5. Toyota Highlander
If you’re looking for problems with the Highlander, you’ll have to go back to 2016, and you’ll only 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%), the Toyota Highlander cracked Consumer Reports’ overall top 10 for reliability. This means it will hold its place among the top vehicles of the decade.
4. Subaru Crosstrek
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 survey. This model was nearly perfect, save for an “average” score for in-car electronics.
Otherwise, buyers found Crosstrek to operate just like they expected (or 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
Every year, it’s basically a coin-flip between Toyota and its luxury brand Lexus for which ranks best in reliability. For 2019, Lexus claimed the top spot, and the NX crossover’s exceptional rating (88%) was one reason.
Sifting through Consumer Reports’ 17 categories, you won’t find a single problem for this model. This verdict has remained mostly unchanged since 2016, and this is 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. And you’d be hard-pressed to find a more practical non-luxury SUV than the Toyota RAV4. With a solid fuel economy and strong safety rating, it ranks among the industry’s best for reliability every year.
For 2019, the RAV4 received 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 nearly flawless. We’ll watch closely to see if Toyota replicates this success with the all-new RAV4.
1. Lexus GX
If you browse Consumer Reports ratings, you’ll find that other SUVs have higher scores than the Lexus GX concerning the road test and customer satisfaction. However, in the U.S. market, you won’t find any vehicle topping its reliability rating (95%) for 2019.
Like Toyota’s version of this model, the 4Runner, the GX runs on a mostly flawless truck platform. It hasn’t gotten a redesign for most of the decade, but it also hasn’t shown signs of aging. In the latest survey, owners didn’t report a single thing wrong with the GX.