Top 10 Most Reliable Car Brands

Jason Siu
by Jason Siu
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top 10 most reliable car brands

The 2016 Consumer Reports Annual Auto Reliability Survey has been released and there are a few surprises.

Designed to rank automakers based on the predicted reliability of their product lines, the annual survey gathers data from over 500,000 Consumer Reports subscribers that bought or leased a new vehicle between model year 2000 and 2017. This year’s survey includes more than 300 individual nameplates.

SEE ALSO: FCA, Honda Civic Struggle in Reliability Survey

There are some familiar faces in the top 10 most reliable car brands, while others are new to the list.

10. Honda

top 10 most reliable car brands

Honda stumbled a bit this year, dropping two spots to 10th place with an average reliability score of 57 across seven models. Honda owners told the publication they have been stymied by problematic infotainment systems and transmissions. But perhaps the biggest surprise of all is that the Honda Civic is no longer recommended by Consumer Reports.

9. BMW

top 10 most reliable car brands

BMW rose two spots to ninth place, with the same average reliability score as Honda at 57. The German automaker, however, had eight models as part of the survey with the i3 and X5 newly recommended, meaning they’re models with improved reliability.

8. Infiniti

top 10 most reliable car brands

Nissan’s luxury arm, Infiniti, was most improved rising 16 spots to eighth place. Four models were taken into consideration to give the brand an average reliability score of 62. The publication notes that Infiniti is a bit of a mixed bag, however, with the Q70 sedan scoring 91, but the QX60 getting a score of 33.

7. Hyundai

top 10 most reliable car brands

Korean automaker Hyundai saw the Santa Fe join the newly recommended list, helping the brand move up two spots to seventh place. Hyundai had seven models as part of the survey, averaging a reliability score of 66.

6. Mazda

top 10 most reliable car brands

With an average reliability score of 68, Mazda dropped two spots to sixth place with five models surveyed. The Japanese automaker didn’t have any vehicles that joined the no longer recommended list, nor did it have any newly recommended models.

5. Kia

top 10 most reliable car brands

Kia may be the more affordable of the two Korean automakers on the list, but Hyundai’s sister brand fared better in the annual reliability survey. “Kia builds cars that are slightly better than Hyundai,” said Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports‘ director of automotive testing. It’s likely due to the fact that Kia introduces models a bit later than Hyundai, once many initial bugs have been addressed. The company rose one spot to fifth place, with four models surveyed netting an average reliability score of 69.

4. Audi

top 10 most reliable car brands

Audi dropped one spot to fourth place, with seven models averaging a reliability score of 71. Both the Q3 and Q7 models have proven to be reliable, but the A3 ranked below average, making it no longer recommended by the publication.

3. Buick

top 10 most reliable car brands

Buick moves into the top three brands this year, with its core product line mature and most problems having been ironed out. The American automaker has introduced several new vehicles, however, which could have an impact on future brand performance. For this year, it rose four spots with four models averaging a reliability score of 75.

2. Toyota

top 10 most reliable car brands

To little surprise, Toyota is in the top two this year, with 12 models averaging a reliability score of 78. Despite high marks throughout, Toyota was hindered by the redesigned Tacoma, which was unreliable in its first year. The Japanese automaker continues to use tried-and-true methods to build its vehicles, taking a conservative, evolutionary approach.

1. Lexus

top 10 most reliable car brands

Topping the list as the most reliable car brand this year is Lexus, scoring 86 with nine models surveyed. Both Toyota and Lexus have been consistently reliable throughout the years of the annual survey.

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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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  • Michael Patrick Wood Michael Patrick Wood on Apr 25, 2017

    Had a '66 SS 396/325. Was 20 when I got it for $2,195, car was 2 years old. Drove it until "71. Army called so I sold it. It was fast and had a 4 speed manual transmission. Was marina blue w/black vinyl int. Thinking back, I drove that thing like crazy. Only had a seat belt, never used it.

  • Sothguard Sothguard on Jun 28, 2017

    The Lexus and the Toyota I agree with, but if Buick is number three I'll eat my pants. I've had two Buick(s) and both were nightmares. I wouldn't touch an Audi (VW) with a ten foot pole. VW was still using timing belts in 2010. (Instead of Chains). Meanwhile, my Toyota Matrix is clocking 280,000 miles... I think I replaced... a wheel bearing... other than that, just regular maintenance like tires, rotters, and plugs. At 280K miles, I'd drive it across the desert.