Consumer Reports 2016 auto reliability survey: A few surprises amid the standbys
October 25, 2016
Consumer Reports has released the results of its 2016 Auto Reliability Survey. While the annual report doesn t rank vehicles based on what enthusiasts want in four-wheel transportation — as its name suggests, it s all about reliability and predictability — it probably plays a big role in how your neighbor who doesn t care at all about cars will make his next auto-buying decision.
This year, there s some of the expected shuffling of brand rankings common as new products and technologies enter the market and older products get perfected, plus a few totally predictable results. To the shock of no one, Toyota and Lexus topped the list thanks to their conservative, evolutionary approach to vehicle production (though in the case of the latter marque, not necessarily exterior styling).
There are a few surprises, as well. Subaru slipped from the top-10 brands over serious Legacy and Outback recalls and WRX reliability concerns. Notably, Buick moved into third place, a first for an American automaker.
It was a mixed bag for other GM offerings, with Chevrolet cars tending to fare better than Chevy or GMC trucks. It s even worse for Fiat-Chrysler. Out of a lineup spanning Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, Maserati and Ram, only the Chrysler 300 got the CR nod of approval. FCA nameplates tend to fill out the bottom of the brand reliability rankings, along with . Tesla.
Speaking of Tesla, the Model S, which has (somewhat confusingly) been all over the place in CR s rankings, has swung back into recommended territory. Yet the complicated, malfunction-prone Model X remains off the list.
Not a single Jaguar-Land Rover product made it, which highlights another caveat with the report: CR s list isn t necessarily predictive of sales. JLR vehicles have never been known for sterling reliability, yet people keep buying them. 2016 is shaping up to be a good year for the company and its cars, recommended status or not.
Sports car sales fall as baby boomers grow up
DETROIT — Baby boomers in the U.S. are starting to outgrow their midlife crisis years, and that s bad news for automakers who want to sell sports cars.It was a sign of things to come this month .
The all-new Honda Civic didn t earn a recommendation this time around; this situation parallels that of the last-all new Civic, which Consumer Reports sharply criticized after its debut in 2011. In the new car s case, this seems to be tied to a frustrating touchscreen-based infotainment system, driving safety tech and, curiously, lack of availability of certain configurations at dealerships (how that is a reliability concern is beyond us). Perhaps a fix is already in the works: The upcoming 2017 CR-V adds a volume knob to its infotainment system, likely a response to persistent griping from reviewers and buyers alike.
Graham Kozak – Graham Kozak drove a 1951 Packard 200 sedan in high school because he wanted something that would be easy to find in a parking lot. He thinks all the things they’re doing with fuel injection and seatbelts these days are pretty nifty too.