Top 10 Most Reliable Car Brands: 2017

Craig Cole
by Craig Cole

Consumer Reports just released its Annual Auto Reliability Survey, which predicts the dependability of every new vehicle on sale today.

There were plenty of eyebrow-raising tidbits like the fact that the Chrysler Pacifica minivan is projected to have average reliability, an unheard-of rating for the brand, especially with a first-year product. Additionally, Kia’s Niro hybrid crossover is supposedly the most dependable vehicle available today, a major win for this South Korean automaker.

SEE ALSO: Toyota Tops, FCA and GM Flop in Consumer Reports 2017 Reliability Survey

Consumer Reports’ Annual Auto Reliability Survey is based on responses from their subscribers who have purchased or leased more than 640,000 new vehicles since the year 2000. This gives the influential watchdog organization a huge amount of data to base its predictions on, which apply to more than 300 different vehicle nameplates.

But which automakers build the most reliable vehicles? Here are the 10 best.

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Top 10 Most Reliable Car Brands: 2017

10. Hyundai

Hyundai may have fallen three places compared to last year, but it still did well enough to earn a 10th-place finish on this list. Consumer Reports gave it an average reliability score of 59, a tie with the next two finishers. The Elantra is this brand’s most dependable model, while the Tucson crossover its least.

9. Honda

Basically tying Hyundai’s average reliability score is Honda. The Japanese stalwart improved its performance by one position compared to 2016, a move in the right direction. The ever-popular CR-V crossover is its most reliable model.

8. Buick

The tri-shield brand may have tumbled five positions this year, but despite the drop, it still finished in eighth place, making it the highest-rated American automaker in this study. Issues with the all-new LaCrosse sedan are what really hurt Buick.

7. Infiniti

Coming in seventh is Infiniti, Nissan’s luxury division. This is an improvement of one spot compared to 2016. The Q70 sedan is its most reliable model but its performance is offset by the Q50, which has been much more problematic.

6. Subaru

Subaru drove away with an average reliability score of 60, improving its standing in this Consumer Reports study by a whopping five positions. The BRZ sports car is its most reliable product, though this model is not necessarily a big seller. The far more popular Impreza (it sold 21 times more in the U.S. last month) is the least dependable offering.

5. BMW

Historically, it’s somewhat unusual to find German luxury brands near the top of reliability surveys since they’re often the first automakers to debut new features and technologies, which can cause headaches. But BMW managed to earn a very respectable fifth-place finish in this study, jumping ahead four slots. The fun-to-drive 2 Series is its best performer, but according to Consumer Reports, the futuristic i3 is problematic.

4. Audi

Inching ahead of BMW is arch-rival Audi. The four-ring brand landed in fourth place, exactly where it was in 2016. Audi’s average reliability score is a healthy 68, with the small Q3 crossover being its most dependable vehicle.

3. Kia

OK, we’re getting down to the podium-finishers now! Earning itself a bronze medal is South Korean automaker Kia, which squeaked past Audi with an average reliability score of 71. The Niro hybrid crossover is the best vehicle it builds, and indeed is the most reliable model in this year’s edition of Consumer Reports’ Annual Auto Reliability Survey.

2. Lexus

This should be no surprise, but Lexus is the No. 2 finisher, swapping positions with this year’s best-performing brand. If it’s about quality, when isn’t it at or near the very top? Its average reliability score is an impressive 77, while Lexus’ best-performing model is the ES sedan.

1. Toyota

Could you have guessed that Toyota would come in first place? If there ever was a safe bet, this is it. Its reliability score is three better than Lexus’, topping out at an industry-leading 80. The Tacoma pickup truck is their least dependable model, the 86 sports car its best.

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Craig Cole
Craig Cole

Born and raised in metro Detroit, Craig was steeped in mechanics from childhood. He feels as much at home with a wrench or welding gun in his hand as he does behind the wheel or in front of a camera. Putting his Bachelor's Degree in Journalism to good use, he's always pumping out videos, reviews, and features for When the workday is over, he can be found out driving his fully restored 1936 Ford V8 sedan. Craig has covered the automotive industry full time for more than 10 years and is a member of the Automotive Press Association (APA) and Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).

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  • Jran Oostra Jran Oostra on Nov 28, 2017

    The Toyota 86 is a Subaru BRZ.

    • See 2 previous
    • Downeaster Downeaster on Aug 28, 2018

      Wrong. Only difference are colors, front clip and minor interior and suspension tweaking. Both have Subaru FA20 2.0 liter flat four engine, Aisin gearbox and Torsen limited slip differential.

  • Downeaster Downeaster on Aug 28, 2018

    I have a 2013 BRZ with 60k miles on it. Oil changes and tires.