Consumer Reports has just published the results of Reliability Survey conducted annually to determine the most and least reliable automakers and vehicles. Once again Japanese automakers – Lexus, Toyota and Scion – proved their dominance of the upper echelons of reliability. The Scion xB is recognized the most reliable new vehicle. In spite of notorious ignition switch recall General Motors has been recognized one of the most reliable domestic brands in terms of reliability.
In the past, consumers used to complain about improper parts, problems with transmissions, engines and other mechanical systems. The agency collecting data on more than a million vehicles found that today consumers are mainly dissatisfied with infotainment systems and associated electronics. Carmakers are installing advanced systems on the vehicles to make owners lives easier. Instead, many of them simply give a lot of trouble. Problems bothering consumers include backup cameras that switch later than they should, screens that freeze and other advanced systems that flat-out don`t function.
Among the most significant changes, this year one should mentioned Infinity dropping most considerably in the ranks. Let`s see what cars have lost consumers` confidence.
Fiat 500L with its multiple problems is ranked the least reliable car in the compact and subcompact segment. Actually, consumers named four Chrysler brands – Dodge, Jeep, Ram and Fiat – the least reliable cars. It`s probably a result of numerous recalls conducted by the automaker this year.
Ford C-Max Hybrid
Ford C-Max Hybrid is among least reliable cars, according to the respondents participating in the survey. Problems with C-Max are due to MyFord Touch infotainment system, which has been the main reason dragging down the brand`s reliability and quality ratings in recent years. The system has been upgraded, and now reliability ratings are supposed to rise.
Nissan Altima, Pathfinder and Sentra
Nissan shows poor results ranking 16th in the annual reliability. Its sister company Infinity ranks 20th. More impressing is that Infinity and Nissan are worst Japanese carmakers in the terms of reliability, with Nissan Altima, Pathfinder and Sentra being rated as least reliable in their segments. The upgraded Nissan Rogue has an average reliability score only thanks to the Japanese automaker fighting an uphill battle for years.
Mercedes Benz CLA 250
You might suppose a Mercedes-Benz to be completely reliable. However, Daimler AG`s Mercedes CLA 250 is rated least reliable luxury car. The overall brand score of the German automaker was dragged down as well. All-new models tend to have “gizmos, which go wrong”, and Mercedes CLA 250 cannot avoid that generalization. Infinity QX60 luxury SUV is experiencing similar woes due to a new telematics system.
One can think about Subaru BRZ as an attractive and affordable sports car, but it seems not to justify hopes. The vehicle is also included in the consumers` black list. Apropos BRZ is the only Subaru ranking below average reliability, according to the survey.
Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country
These two vehicles were also included in the charts of least reliable vehicles in the minivans and wagons segment. The UConnect touchscreen system has been enhanced with software upgrades over recent years. The automaker promises to make its next-gen minivan even better.
Jeep Cherokee equipped with a four-cylinder engine tops the list of undesirable small SUVs. Though 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee got high rankings in Consumer Reports test its reliability was put into a tailspin admittedly due to recent modifications, including an upgraded version of UConnect infotainment system.
Nissan`s luxury brand fared worse with reliability of its new products being plummeted. The Infiniti QX60`s inTouch system was the most questionable among infotainment and in-car electronics systems. It is even less reliable than notorious MyFord Touch was in its problematic first year. Infiniti QX60 is not alone in the list of least reliable luxury compact cars; it is accompanied by Lincoln MKT, Ford Flex EcoBoost and Mercedes-Benz GL-Class.