Report: The Most Reliable Car Brands

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When it comes to buying a car, reliability is one of the most important factors you should consider. A report lists some of the most reliable car brands on the market right now.

Consumer Reports’ New Auto Reliability data show which brands consumers can count on.

Which Car Brands Are the Most Reliable?

The report, published in late 2021, is comprised of data collected from surveys of Consumer Reports members’ experiences with more than 300,000 vehicles.

“Owners reported everything from transmissions needing replacement after as little as 5,000 miles to display screens that required hardware replacement and misaligned tailgates and doors,” noted the publication.

Here are some key findings from the report:

  • Eight out of the top 10 most reliable brands are from Asian automakers, with Lexus, Mazda, and Toyota in the top three spots.
  • Buick comes in at #5, the highest ranking U.S. car brand.
  • Overall, hybrids and plug-in vehicles have been found to be the most reliable models.

The reliability rankings show the vehicle brands and the average scores, which are calculated on a 100-point scale. The average rating falls between 41 and 60 points.

Due to insufficient data, the rankings do not include the following brands: Alfa Romeo, Dodge, Fiat, Jaguar, Land Rover, Maserati, Mitsubishi, and Polestar.

Here Are the Top 10 Most Reliable Car Brands

Ranking / Vehicle BrandAverage Score
1. Lexus76
2. Mazda75
3. Toyota71
4. Infiniti69
5. Buick66
6. Honda66
7. Subaru66
8. Acura64
9. Nissan63
10. Mini60

Read Consumer Reports’ full car reliability rankings (subscription required).

Money expert Clark Howard‘s longtime advice has been to buy a three-year-old used car and hold it for as long as you can. Given the crazy car market we’re currently in, his most recent advice on whether to buy a new or used car is to keep your existing vehicle, if you can.

Here’s Clark’s recommendation using a prom date analogy:

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“The new [vehicle] is the one you want to have, that’s your prom date. But prom dates are expensive, right? The one you’ve already got, you’ve paid for it,” he says. “And from time to time, there’ll be an ‘oops’ that needs this repair or the other. But almost always that’s much, much cheaper than what you’re facing with ongoing payments. Those ongoing payments create the second-biggest hole in your budget every month out of your paycheck.”

So if your circumstances allow, Clark wants you to stick with your current vehicle until the market gets better. If keeping your old car is not an option, he suggests you buy an older model as a placeholder until the market improves.

“The good news is that the used vehicle market has started to get a little, little cheaper,” Clark said in early June 2022. “We’re still a good ways away from the prices being back to historical norms, but this will correct.”

Want to know how to keep your existing car on the road? Follow this simple maintenance guide.

More Car Resources From Clark.com:

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