Top 10 Least Reliable Cars of 2014

Jason Siu
by Jason Siu

Each year, Consumer Reports conducts its Reliability Survey in order to determine which vehicles presented the most problems fresh off the assembly line.

In this year’s study, the publication found that consumers complained the most about infotainment systems and associated electronics, as more and more vehicles adopt advanced systems that are supposed to make their owners’ lives easier. Instead, many of them are simply causing headaches. has compiled the Top 10 Least Reliable Cars based on this year’s study, picking the worst from each segment.

Fiat may be hoping to appeal to another demographic with its all-new 500L model, but early adopters might be visiting their service centers more than enjoying a trip to the beach. Ranked the least reliable vehicle in the compact/subcompact segment, the Fiat 500L was actually the most problematic new car in the survey for 2014 and joins a long list of vehicles from the Fiat Chrysler Group, including the Fiat 500, Chrysler Town & Country and several Jeep models. In fact, Dodge, Ram, Jeep and Fiat ranked as the bottom four automakers in the reliability study.

Topping the least reliable charts in the hybrids/electric cars category are the Ford C-Max Hybrid and Energi models. Attributing to the C-Max’s problems is the American automaker’s MyTouch infotainment system, which has improved but is hardly trouble free. The C-Max was also the victim of a fuel economy downgrade and was at the center of controversy in 2013 when its 47-MPG city and highway ratings were dropped to 45 MPG and 40 MPG, respectively. For the 2014 model year, Ford did upgrade its hardware and software to help improve MPG to a 44-mpg combined rating, versus 43 mpg for the 2013 model year.

SEE ALSO: 2013 Ford C-MAX Hybrid Review – Video

Nissan continues to have a poor showing in the annual reliability survey, ranking 16th overall with sister company Infiniti ranking 20th. More telling is that Nissan and Infiniti are the worst automakers from Japan in the reliability study, with the Altima ranking least reliable in the midsized cars category. Both the four-cylinder and V6 models scored poorly as did other Nissan models including the Pathfinder and Sentra. The redesigned Rogue managed an average reliability score, but the Japanese automaker has been fighting an uphill battle in the reliability category for years.

All-new models tend to have all-new problems and the Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 doesn’t avoid that generalization. Ranked least reliable in the large/luxury/luxury compact cars class, the CLA actually helped drag down the German automaker’s overall brand score. In fact, the redesigned S-Class also attributed to its decline as Mercedes was the only European brand to see a significant drop this year. The company’s best performers from a reliability standpoint were the E-Class sedan and GLK SUV.

It might be one of the most attractive, affordable sports cars in today’s market, but the Subaru BRZ is also the least reliable. Naturally, the Scion FR-S was also ranked among the least reliable in the sporty cars/coupes and convertible category. It may be earning the accolades of sports car enthusiasts worldwide, but the FR-S is the least reliable product in Toyota’s lineup and the BRZ is the only Subaru with below-average reliability according to the annual survey.

Both the Chrysler Town & Country and the Dodge Grand Caravan were rated the least reliable in the wagons/minivans category, adding to Fiat Chrysler’s list of not-so-reliable vehicles. The Automaker’s UConnect touchscreen system has improved with software revisions over recent years though it was quite buggy in its first iterations. Chrysler is promising its next-generation minivan will be much improved, but it is a segment that has given way to crossovers and SUVs in recent years.

The small SUVs category was topped by the Jeep Cherokee equipped with a four-cylinder engine, but the V6 model as well as the Jeep Compass also made the list of undesirable products, adding more woes to Fiat Chrysler. Only four Chrysler products managed to receive an average score with the Patriot being the sole Jeep model. In the American automaker’s defense, it is revamping a lot of its lineup and new vehicles tend to be more problematic.

Another Nissan model that impressed in all the wrong ways is the Pathfinder, which was ranked the least reliable in the midsize SUV category. Jeep wasn’t far behind with the Grand Cherokee and Wrangler while the Dodge Journey also ranked among the worst. The Pathfinder received a major overhaul for the 2013 model year and moved to a unibody design and rides on the same platform as other problematic Nissan models such as the Altima and Maxima.

The Infiniti QX60 has more than its fair share of problems, being named the least reliable in the luxury/large SUVs category. According to the survey, Infiniti’s InTouch system was the most problematic among in-car electronics and infotainment systems, which also caused the Infiniti Q50 sedan to score poorly in the large/luxury/luxury compact cars category. The QX60 was joined by the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, Ford Flex EcoBoost and Lincoln MKT as problematic SUVs.

The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel might be one of the most popularly discussed pickup trucks available in today’s market, but the Ram 2500 & 3500 diesel models aren’t faring well with their owners. The reliability of the Ram 1500 faltered making it the least reliable in the pickup trucks category but is also joined by the Ram 1500 V6 and Ram 1500 V8 two-wheel drive models. Both the redesigned Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 pickups were also problematic, further reinforcing the idea that you should wait a year or two after a new model is introduced before getting behind the wheel.

Jason Siu
Jason Siu

Jason Siu began his career in automotive journalism in 2003 with Modified Magazine, a property previously held by VerticalScope. As the West Coast Editor, he played a pivotal role while also extending his expertise to Modified Luxury & Exotics and Modified Mustangs. Beyond his editorial work, Jason authored two notable Cartech books. His tenure at saw him immersed in the daily news cycle, yet his passion for hands-on evaluation led him to focus on testing and product reviews, offering well-rounded recommendations to AutoGuide readers. Currently, as the Content Director for VerticalScope, Jason spearheads the content strategy for an array of online publications, a role that has him at the helm of ensuring quality and consistency across the board.

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  • Aok Aok on Aug 19, 2015

    Ok 1990

  • Melete Melete on Dec 02, 2016

    These darned click-through listicles are SOOOO annoying! From the reader's point of view, they're unreadable. I'd have loved to know what you thought of which vehicles...but can't and won't waste my time trying to access this thing.