Top 10 Most Unreliable Car Brands: 2017

Craig Cole
by Craig Cole

Which automotive brands are projected to be the most unreliable this year? Here are the 10 biggest offenders, according to Consumer Reports.

If top-notch dependability is one of your most important purchase considerations, pay attention; you may want to avoid products from the following companies, which didn’t fare well in the Annual Auto Reliability Survey.

This study is based on data submitted by Consumer Reports subscribers. Between 2000 and 2017, they’ve leased or purchased more than 640,000 new vehicles, a figure that covers more than 300 models.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Most Reliable Car Brands: 2017

Twenty-seven brands are included in this year’s edition of the Annual Auto Reliability Survey, including mass-market OEMs and luxury marques, companies that focus exclusively on trucks or SUVs and ones that only build electric cars. Unfortunately, this doesn’t cover every brand out there. Despite its reach, Consumer Reports has insufficient data for Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Genesis, Jaguar, Land Rover, Maserati, MINI, Mitsubishi, and Smart. Formalities aside, let’s get this countdown going!

Top 10 Most Unreliable Car Brands: 2017

10. Chevrolet

First up, Chevrolet, which earned an average reliability score of just 39, falling three spots in the process to 18th on Consumer Reports’ list. The brand-new Bolt EV was its most dependable model, but the sporty Camaro fared worst of all bow-tie vehicles.

9. Acura

Japanese cars are always reliable, right? Not true, at least according to Consumer Reports. Acura tumbled a whopping seven places this year thanks to its average reliability score of 38. The Civic-based ILX sedan was the worst model in its admittedly limited range.

8. Jeep

Despite improving by three spots compared to last year, Jeep still finished in the hall of shame, tying Acura’s average reliability score. Issues with the Cherokee’s cantankerous nine-speed transmission have finally been quelled, but that wasn’t enough for this storied brand, which was dragged down by the Grand Cherokee and Renegade models.

7. Tesla

Consumer Reports really seems to have a love/hate relationship with Tesla, projecting that the new Model 3 sedan will have average dependability despite having no actual data for it. It also adores the brand’s larger Model S four-door. But this overt love isn’t enough to lift Tesla’s average reliability score, which is hovering at just 37. In fact, its Model X crossover tied the Cadillac Escalade for worst model in this study.

6. Lincoln

Next up (or is it down?), Lincoln. Ol’ Honest Abe’s namesake brand has an average reliability score of 33, which pushed it two positions lower than last year. The MKZ sedan is its most dependable vehicle and the MKX crossover its least.

ALSO SEE: Top 10 Most Reliable Cars: 2017 Consumer Reports

5. Volvo

Tying Lincoln’s score of 33 is Volvo, which tumbled four positions to 23rd out of 27 brands. Troublesome infotainment technology and the oh-so-likable-but-problem-prone XC90 crossover torpedoed its performance in 2017.

4. Dodge

Despite offering a range of vehicles that have been in production for many years, Dodge apparently hasn’t figured out how to make them dependable. According to Consumer Reports, the Grand Caravan minivan is the best it’s got, while the Journey crossover is at the opposite end of the spectrum. Dodge finished with an average reliability score of 32.

3. Ram

But undercutting its sibling FCA division, Ram earned an average dependability score of just 30. Despite improving by four positions compared to last year, it was still ranked 25th out of 27 OEMs. Troublesome heavy-duty trucks are what’s really hurting it.

2. GMC

But GMC, which also has a pickup-heavy lineup, fell behind Ram by two points, making it the second-least reliable brand on this list. The Acadia is its biggest headache, the Sierra 2500 HD their most reliable offering.

1. Cadillac

GM’s luxury brand finds itself in first place, but this is not a position any automaker wants to occupy. According to the 2017 Consumer Reports Annual Auto Reliability Survey, they are the most problem-prone marque of all, falling six positions compared to last year. As mentioned above, the Escalade is a hot mess, easily its most unreliable product, though if you’re desperate to drive a Cadillac, the CTS is the best it has.

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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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2 of 3 comments
  • Haji Haji on Oct 21, 2017

    Wow, only 8 out of the top 10 are Americans!

  • Iammrmail Iammrmail on Oct 22, 2017

    These 2 reports are useless. They are wrong all of the time. Their sample sizes ,brands and models are so small it's not accurate. Real industry reports have every model from FCA in last place