Consumer Reports releases annual exclusive car reliability guide

Shopping for a new car can be tricky and nerve-wracking in the best of times. No one wants to waste money — or time — on an unreliable model. Now with supply chain issues and inflation, it’s even more important to make a good choice. Here’s the good news: Consumer Reports is here to help with its just released exclusive car reliability report.

Shopping for a new car can be tricky and nerve-wracking in the best of times. No one wants to waste money — or time — on an unreliable model.

Now with supply chain issues and inflation, it’s even more important to make a good choice. Here’s the good news: Consumer Reports is here to help with its just released exclusive car reliability report.

Every year Consumer Reports surveys hundreds of thousands of its members asking them simple but important questions: What problems have they had with their vehicles in the past year?

CONSUMER REPORTS: Guide to Car Reliability & Owner Satisfaction

The experts ask about everything from the engine, transmission and brakes to electrical systems, noises, leaks, paint and trim.

“With more than 300,000 vehicles, Consumer Reports can calculate predicted reliability ratings,” said Consumer Reports’ Michael Crossen.

This year, Toyota, Lexus and BMW were the top brands with BMW moving up 10 spots from last year.

And while pickup trucks account for one of every five new vehicles sold, they fall behind in reliability.

“Pickup trucks have been at the lower end of our ratings for six of the last seven years,” Crossen said. “In this year’s survey, we only have seven trucks of more than a dozen surveys that are getting between better than average to average reliability.”

If you’re looking for a tried-and-true reliable vehicle, Consumer Reports says, a car — as in the traditional sedan — might be the way to go.

“Sedan body styles have been on the road for a long time, that’s given the manufacturers a chance to work on some of those problem areas and bugs,” Crossen said. “Vehicles like trucks, minivans and SUVs have complicated systems, therefore they can be more problematic.”

You might also be surprised to learn Consumer Reports found the majority of hybrid vehicles were as reliable as, or better than their nonhybrid counterparts. The most reliable car in CR’s survey was the Toyota Corolla hybrid.

Auto brands at the bottom of the reliability report were Mercedes-Benz, Jeep and Volkswagen.