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SUV reliability is a pretty mixed bag. Not all new SUVs are created equal, and some segments are more reliable than others. Recent data from auto research site iSeeCars shows a pretty wide range of SUV reliability across segments. The most reliable SUV segment may surprise you.

Large luxury SUVs are the most reliable SUVs

A quick look at the various SUV segments shows that large luxury SUVs tend to be the most reliable based on iSeeCar’s data. More specifically, full-size luxury SUVs from American brands have some of the best reliability scores in this study.

On a 10-point scale, the Lincoln Navigator scores a near-perfect 9.8 out of 10. The long-wheelbase Navigator L gets a 9.0 out of 10, putting it in fourth place in its class. In-between the Navigator and Navigator L are the Cadillac Escalade and long-wheelbase Cadillac Escalade ESV, which get a 9.4 and 9.2, respectively.

The fact that the top four in this class for reliability are variations of just two vehicles, may skew the results a bit. Nonetheless, it’s pretty impressive to see American SUVs ranked so high in the full-size luxury SUV class.

The import rivals of these domestic luxury SUVs don’t score as well. The Lexus LX got an 8.8 out of 10, the Infiniti QX80 got a 7.5 out of 10, and the Mercedes-Benz GLS got a miserable score of 5.6 out of 10.

The luxurious Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are too new to have long-term reliability scores, but it will be interesting to see if they’re as dependable as the Escalade and Navigator.

Least reliable SUV segments

According to this study, the smaller the SUV, the less reliable. Subcompact and luxury subcompact SUVs get middling scores. In the subcompact SUV segment, the most reliable option is the Jeep Compass getting a 7.3 out of 10. For luxury subcompact SUVs, the most reliable is the BMW X1, with a 7.2 out of 10.

The study also shows that plug-in hybrid SUVs are just alright in terms of reliability. The most reliable PHEV SUV is the Mini Countryman earning a 7.2 out of 10, and the most dependable luxury PHEV SUV is the Porsche Cayenne, with a 7.6 out of 10.

Most reliable SUV in other segments

This iSeeCars study shows the Jeep Wrangler and Honda CR-V tied for the most reliable small SUV with an 8.5 out of 10. The most dependable midsize SUV is the tried and true Toyota 4Runner, with an impressive 8.8 out of 10. The most reliable large SUV is the Toyota Land Cruiser, with an excellent score of 9.8 out of 10, but it was recently discontinued in the U.S. The Toyota Sequoia is in second place with a 9.4 out of 10.

Unsurprisingly, this study also shows that Toyota hybrids are very reliable. The most reliable hybrid SUV by far is the Toyota Highlander, with a 9.2 out of 10. The most dependable luxury hybrid SUV is also unsurprising; it’s the Lexus RX 450h with a 9.5 out of 10.

Check out the complete study for more interesting reliability data.


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